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Vestal: Idaho fiddles while kids die

Columnist Shawn Vestal/SR comments:

How many dead children per year is the going price for religious freedom?

One? Three? Seven?

In Idaho, it’s 2 1/2, and a lot of lawmakers seem to consider it a good deal. That’s based on the 10 children in Idaho who died between 2013 and 2016, according to the Idaho Child Death Review Team. It’s likely the deaths are undercounted. “It is difficult to estimate the actual number of preventable deaths to children of religious objectors,” the team dryly noted.

Since 2012, the team has tried – in the face of limitations including a reluctance to cooperate by some individuals and agencies – to track how many kids die in the Gem State because their parents believe modern medicine is evil. The number is particularly important given the reluctance of the Idaho Legislature to do anything about it, deferring instead to the right of a parent to cause their own child’s death, as long as they do so religiously. More here.

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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