Dav Sevy has a very unique perspective on the 'faith healing' legislation as his family are members of the Followers of Christ, a small Christian denomination that believes in what the media calls "faith healing". Each year, on average, three children in Idaho die of causes for which they would have otherwise been hospitalized, according to a gubernatorial task force, and the child mortality rate among the Followers of Christ from 2002 to 2011 was 10 times that of the rest of Idaho. Dan provides another more statistically accurate perspective.
“We happen to practice what you call faith healing, our families there are easily 10 times as many children as the state average. The statistics used in the report are based on average family size."
The U.S. Census Bureau reports an average of 2.69 persons per household in Idaho from 2012 - 2016 -and-Persons under 18 years of age as of July 1, 2016 at 26% https://www.census.gov/
Most families in the Followers Of Christ Church are quite large: I am one of 12 children, My Father was one of 16 children, I have friends and relatives with 16 and even 17 children. My wife and I had 5, we are considered a small family in our community! With a state average of only 26% of persons below the age of 18, it only requires 2.6 children per adult or 5.2 children per couple to have a ratio of children per adult 10 times higher than state average.
I find find it easy to confidently state that "As a general rule: because of Followers of Christ large families, there are easily 10 times as many children as compared to state average."
In the Governor's Task Force On Children At Risk report: the claim is made that the faith healing community suffers a child mortality rate 10 times higher than state average, however, the elevated ratio of ratio of children as compared to adults (at least 10 times higher) has been completely overlooked in the report.Once reason and numbers have been applied, It becomes easy to understand that there is not an elevated child mortality rate among the faith healing community!
While we are on the subject of child mortality, there are an estimated 7-15 preventable children's deaths due to medical errors in Idaho each year, according to figures from John Hopkins Medicine (more than 250,000 per year), factored against the child mortality rate used in Governor's Children at Risk report!
(See the death of August Elliott caused by medical error)
Many times, a patient recovers in spite of treatment rather than because of treatment.
A sad fact of life is the death of loved ones, even children, but children die regardless of the finest medical care known to man.
Through it all it is a parents God given duty and right to make decisions for their child considering all aspects of care: nutrition, education, health care, and above all spiritual, since existence in this reality is finite, especially when considering eternal salvation.
Sincerely, Daniel C. Sevy
P.S. Since science and medicine are considered to be "hand in hand", I have included this quote from Thomas Jefferson.
"As for France and England, with all their pre-eminence in science, the one is a den of robbers, and the other of pirates. If science produces no better fruits than tyranny, murder, rapine, and destitution of national morality, I would rather wish our country to be ignorant, honest, and estimable as our neighboring savages are."
— Thomas Jefferson
Letter (21 Jan 1812) to John Adams. Collected in Thomas Jefferson Randolph (ed.), Memoirs, Correspondence and Private Papers (1829), Vol. 4, 173.