Faith Healing, or Inhumane Sacrifice?
While Ava’s head grew at a normal rate, Mato said, because the body was so desperate to protect her brain, the rest of her body steadily wasted away: “She stopped growing. That is not an overnight event. That takes months … Her growth reflects there was a chronic problem.”
Not a fatal one, however, for your average, God-fearing parent. Just a signal to go see a doctor, and gently place your child in the hands of someone who understands that bacteria and disease aren’t tests of faith, but the inconveniences of life in a fallen world.
Unfortunately, the Worthingtons’ faith and the Worthingtons’ church shun those interventions. “I don’t believe in (doctors),” Ava’s father told detectives in Clackamas County’s child-abuse unit. Medical treatment “is not a question. It’s not even thought.”