April 22, 2005

Custodial Care

A young girl in Ghana has been removed from her parents because they refused medical care for her tumor for five years:

Mathias Acquah and his wife Rebecca are unflinching members of the Jesus Christ Apostolic Faith Church in Accra.

Members of the church have no use for doctors and hospitals, because they believe solely in divine healing.

... Their 14-year-old daughter, Mabel, had not seen a doctor, despite developing a life-threatening tumour which showed up five years ago and is now nearly the size of her head.

The tumour dangles on the back of the girl's neck. ...

I think this comment from the discussion below the article said it best:

How could we Africans not opt for "Western" medecine when our own pastors drive Western Mercedes? I believe it is the highest hypocrisy when those priests can afford to send their offspring overseas from the pockets of parishioners, to get medical degrees while letting parishoners die of mosquito bites and other treatable ailments. Do we really think that, by doing so, Africa will be the next Garden of Eden (paradise)? As far as I am concerned, I think these churches which advocate divine healing haven't done any good to Africa.
Elom, Halifax, Canada

Not only a grim commentary on parents who neglect their children in the name of allegedly doing God's will, but on churches who neglect their parishoners' needs in order to hold fast to rigid dogma. I'd put any church that opposes education about contraception and AIDS prevention in that category. Unfortunately, their millions of victims have no legal recourse, no obliging authority to step in and save them.

Why is it that virtually everyone would think it was right to save Mabel Acquah, but not everyone thinks it's right to prevent the spread of AIDS through accurate information spread early enough to do some good?

Posted by natasha at April 22, 2005 07:16 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |