In recent years there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough among children in California, mumps in New York, and measles in Ohio's Amish country - despite the fact that these are all vaccine-preventable diseases. Although America is the most medically advanced place in the world, many people disregard modern medicine in favor of using their faith to fight life-threatening illnesses. In 21st-century America, how could this be happening?
Acclaimed physician and author Dr. Paul Offit chronicles the stories of these faithful and their children, whose devastating experiences highlight the tangled relationship between religion and medicine in America. Religious or not, this issue reaches everyone - whether you are seeking treatment at a Catholic hospital or trying to keep your kids safe from diseases spread by their unvaccinated peers.
Replete with vivid storytelling and complex, compelling characters, Bad Faith makes a strenuous case that denying medicine to children in the name of religion isn't just unwise and immoral but a rejection of the very best aspects of what belief itself has to offer.
©2015 Paul A. Offit, M.D. (P)2015 Tantor
"Offit masterfully points out that the denial of medicine in the name of religion actually rejects the basic teaching of religious faith." (Library Journal)
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"A must read"
This book is chock full of stories that most people I know probably have never heard of.
It is time for America to WAKE UP and realize that "Freedom of Religion" is ensuring that parents can do what they like, and kill their children in the name of religion. And this DENIES THE RIGHTS of the children to a life to live!
Parents who refuse medical care to their children in the name of religion need to be prosecuted! Please read this book.
I know our country was founded on the idea of "Freedom of Religion." What about the Right to Life by a child who needed protecting by their parents, teachers, church, family, community? They often can't speak up for themselves. We as a country need to speak up for the defenseless.
"Freedom of Religion" is NOT good enough alone.
As both a Christian and a physician, I expected a well-rounded look at different religious ideas that makes parents choose not to pursue vaccines or other medical care. I thought by knowing more about the thoughts behind parents' decisions I could better answer their questions and confront any erroneous information. Instead this guy spends the whole book listing different cases with dead kids whose parents refused treatment or vaccines but without at all attempting to explore why the parents made that choice except in a couple of the cases (where other books already did the work). Then he ends with re-iterating his belief that any parent who refuses any medical treatment is committing child abuse. That's not a helpful attitude AND it's not an attitude likely to help any of this Guy's poor pediatric patients. Bottom line there is no new information or insight on either side of the debate here.
"Children and religion-induced medical neglect"
Paul Offit's book "Bad Faith" was much less a condemnation of religious dogma interfering with health care than a critique on the fallacies of religious avoidance of certain medical practices; ultimately, the books is a call to arms for better protection of children, some of the most vulnerable of the population to infectious diseases, and less leniency on parents who use religion to exempt their children from life saving treatments that lead to their death. Full of anecdotes of common, treatable or preventable conditions, the stories seem like they are pulled out of the early 20th century. There was interesting exploration of the history of child neglect and children's historical lack of rights that helped put into perspective the abuses and rights violations made by parents who choose religion and prayer over modern medical care. I enjoyed Offit's approach to the ethical issues involved in parents refusing care for sick/ dying children, but he did go on a few tangents that seemed to distract from the otherwise engaging narrative. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in the issue of religious exemptions to medical care, prayer healing and other practices from a diverse sampling of religions, and ethical considerations in pediatric care (or the avoidance of care).
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