Rita Swan, Ph.D., whose 16-month-old son Matthew died of meningitis in 1977 under the care of two Christian Science practitioners, quickly collected allegations of 75 deaths and 95 serious injuries to children of Christian Scientists. Angered by her experience, she formed Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc. (CHILD) to work for legal reforms that could protect children from inappropriate treatment by faith healers. She also sued the church but lost the case. During the proceedings, church officials testified that the church had no training, workshops, or meetings for practitioners that included any discussion on how to evaluate the seriousness of a child’s condition. A 1993 lawsuit following the death of an 11-year-old boy resulted in a $1.5 million judgment against the boy’s mother and stepfather and two Christian Science practitioners. Press reports indicate that the boy died after passing into diabetic coma while the mother prayed at his bedside and the practitioner took notes about his condition. [1]

Christian Science is the belief that prayer is the ONLY medicine. Believers in Christian Science sometimes stay sick unnecessarily or die unnecessarily because they reject conventional medicine. James Hetfield of Metallica was a Christian Scientist until his mother, also a Christian Scientist, died of cancer because of her beliefs.


  1. The Origin and Current Status of Christian Science

External linksEdit

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