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368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

What's the harm in believing in faith healing?

Faith healing is the belief that religious faith alone can cure medical illnesses.  Read more about faith healing

Here are 34 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

Jacqueline K. Beagley & her baby

Age: 25 / 0
Oregon City, Oregon

Died during childbirth
March 20, 1990

She was in labor for four days. She died of a massive infection after rupture of the fetal membrane. Authorities said she would have survived if she had delivered in a hospital. Read more & more

Neil Beagley

Age: 16
Gladstone, Oregon

Died (heart failure)
June 17, 2008

He had a congenital condition that could have been easily treated. Unfortunately his family belongs to a church that believes in faith healing rather than medicine. He died. His cousin (Ava Worthington) also died in related circumstances. Read more

Roberto Caceres

Age: 54
Santa Ana, California

October 28, 2002

Roberto had a bad rash, and heard about a faith healer on the radio. He was given ointments and pills. After an injection on his second visit, he went into convulsions and died. The healer was charged with manslaughter. Read more & more

Jessica Crank

Age: 15
Loudon, Tennessee

Died (untreated cancer)
September 15, 2002

A medical clinic told Jessica's mother to take her to an emergency room. Instead, she took her home to pray over her. She died. Charges of abuse were later dismissed. Read more & more

Warren Trevette Glory

Age: 18 days
Grand Junction, Colorado

Died (untreated meningitis & pneumonia)
February 1999

He died of meningitis and pneumonia days after birth. His parents were prosecuted for child abuse and sentenced to probation. Read more

Debra Harrison

Wichita, Kansas

Died (untreated diabetes)
August 2005

Debra was one of the founders of Consegrity, a form of energy medicine and faith healing. She rejected medical treatment for herself or her family members, and died of undiagnosed diabetes. Read more

Tovia Laufau

Age: 13
Mangere, South Auckland, New Zealand

September 1999

His parents were told he had a 70% chance of a full recovery from bone cancer. They left the hospital never to return. The cancer spread to his lungs, and the tumor on his leg grew to 30 pounds at his death. His parents got a suspended sentence. Read more

Alice Leach & her baby

Age: 24
North Webster, Indiana

Died (bled to death during childbirth)
July 2, 1976

She belonged to a faith healing church. She bled to death after childbirth at her home. One person present was a registered nurse and lost her license over the incident. "Those people thought they could pray her back to life," said her mother. Read more

Matthew Lincoln

Age: 58
Knoxville, Tennessee

Injured his back & head in fall
June 6, 2007

At a faith healing service he "received the spirit and fell backwards", but nobody was there to catch him. He struck his head on the floor. He claims this exacerbated his back condition and has sued the church. Read more

Keenan Littlefield

Age: 10 days
Cortez, Colorado

Died (untreated bowel obstruction)

Religion (faith healing) Read more

Lucas Long

Age: 0
Cory, Colorado

Died during breech birth

During childbirth, his mother was attended by unlicensed midwives. The baby had breathing problems shortly after birth, and the church elders were called to pray. "We believe in divine healing" said the grandmother. Read more & more

Alex Dale Morris

Age: 4
Oregon City, Oregon

April 16, 1989

He had fever and congestion. Members of his church anointed him with oil and laid hands upon him, praying for 46 days. A medical examiner later said the boy would have been "overwhelmed with fever and pain" and basic antibiotics would have cured him. Read more & more

Photo of Madeline Kara Neumann

Madeline Kara Neumann

Age: 11
Weston, Wisconsin

Died (untreated diabetes)
March 23, 2008

She suffered from a treatable form of diabetes. Her parents chose to pray over her instead of taking her to the doctor. They are now charged with second-degree negligent homicide in her death. Read more & more & more

Sarah Parkinson (actress)

Age: 41
East Sussex, England

Died (untreated breast cancer)
September 23, 2003

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was concerned that chemotherapy would prevent her from using IVF to start a family. Instead she used acupuncture, spiritual healing, homeopathy and Johrei to treat it. Read more & more

Photo of Darrell "Wayne" Perry (songwriter)

Darrell "Wayne" Perry (songwriter)

Age: 55
Monroe, Ohio

May 15, 2005

He had cancer, but his tele-evangelist aunt allegedly advised him to stop taking medication and allow God to heal him. She then wrote about this in a book. He died, and his children sued for wrongful death, but later dropped the suit. Read more & more & more & more

Bo Phillips

Age: 11
Oregon City, Oregon

Died (untreated diabetes)
February 23, 1998

He had a diabetic crisis, but he was treated with liquids, prayer and anointings. When a detective asked his father why he was allowed to die, the father answered, "It was my choice." Read more

Ava Worthington

Age: 15 months
Oregon City, Oregon

Died (blood infection & pneumonia)
March 2, 2008

She got an infection, but her parents treated it with prayer instead of antibiotics. They were charged with manslaughter and criminal mistreatment. Read more & more

6 people

Sukagawa, Japan

July 1995

Faith healing / exorcism Read more

7 breast cancer patients

Karachi, Pakistan

Delayed treatment, worsening disease

This study found at least 7 patients who delayed treatment of their breast cancer in favor of "spiritual therapy." Read more

"John Doe"

Lakeland, Florida

Schizophrenic relapse, hospitalization
May 2008

He controlled his schizophrenia successfully with medications. Then he attended a faith healing revival and was told that he was healed. He stopped the medications and relapsed into psychosis. He had to be hospitalized. Read more

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