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When Prayer FailsFaith Healing, Children, and the Law$
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Shawn Francis Peters

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306354.001.0001

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“This Ain't Religion”

“This Ain't Religion”

Spiritual Healing and Reproductive Rights

(p.153) 8 “This Ain't Religion”
When Prayer Fails

Shawn Francis Peters

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how issues of reproductive rights have been implicated in cases of religion-based medical neglect. Its primary focus is on legal cases involving members of a New England sect known as The Body, among them a woman named Rebecca Corneau. Massachusetts authorities obtained a court order mandating state-supervised confinement for Corneau so that she would give birth under a physician's supervision. The chapter also explores other cases raising analogous legal issues, including several cases involving pregnant Jehovah's Witnesses (who have long refused, on religious grounds, to accept blood transfusions). A discussion of Witness transfusion cases involving both children and fetuses highlights the web of bioethical issues confronting physicians and hospital administrators in cases of religion-based medical neglect.

Keywords:   reproductive rights, The Body, Rebecca Corneau, Jehovah's Witnesses

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