Authorities say a teenager from a faith-healing family died from an illness that could have been easily treated, just a few months after a toddler cousin of his died in a case that has led to criminal charges.
Tuesday's death of 16-year-old Neil Beagley, however, may not be a crime because Oregon law allows minors 14 and older to decide for themselves whether to accept medical treatment.
"All of the interviews from last night are that he did in fact refuse treatment," police Sgt. Lynne Benton said Wednesday. "Unless we can disprove that, charges probably won't be filed in this case."
An autopsy Wednesday showed that Beagley died of heart failure caused by a urinary tract blockage.
He probably had a congenital condition that constricted his urinary tract where the bladder empties into the urethra, and the condition of his organs indicates that he had multiple blockages during his life, said Dr. Clifford Nelson, deputy state medical examiner for Clackamas County.
"You just build up so much urea in your bloodstream that it begins to poison your organs, and the heart is particularly susceptible," Nelson said.
Nelson said a catheter would have saved the boy's life. If the condition had been dealt with earlier, a urologist could easily have removed the blockage and avoided the kidney damage that came with the repeated illnesses, Nelson said.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
More reasons to beware of God
It isn't just Jehovah's Witnesses who keep their kids from proper medical care: