Dan Sevy, a member of the Followers of Christ and a practitioner of faith healing, told lawmakers today, “I want to point out that we believe in freedom of health care. Not free health care, but freedom of choice in health care.”
Sevy, who lives near Marsing, said he believes in healing by prayer only, and cited concerns about deaths from medical error. “The medical profession, I understand, they want to help,” he said. “Their intentions are good. But our intentions are good. Life extends beyond this earth.”
“Suffering is real,” he said. “It’s real all over the world and it’s real right here and it’s real personally. And there’s no greater suffering than one that is personal to oneself, whether it be himself or his children, and I as a parent find the suffering of my children far greater than my own. … None of us wants to see anybody suffer. If you do, there’s something wrong with you.”
Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, told Sevy that he, too, is a person of faith, but he believes that medicine is among God’s gifts. He asked Sevy why he wouldn’t want to make use of it. Sevy responded, “We believe that pharmaceuticals and medicine is a product from Satan. Proof can be found in one of the lost books of Enoch.” He said he equates medicine to “witchcraft and sorcery,” and said, “Those who imbibe in those things will not attain a home in heaven. That is our belief. We use it to condemn no one but ourselves. Like I said, we respect your choice and your belief, and hope the very best for you . … We do disagree with medicine and believe that it puts our very eternal lives in jeopardy.”
Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, asked Sevy when he believes that a child reaches an age where he or she can decide for themselves. Sevy said that differs for every child and for the parent who decides it.
“Our goal is eternity, it isn’t here,” Sevy said. “Our goal is not suffering. … If the statute is changed, I’ll not change anything I do.”
Sevy said he had five children, three of whom survive, and has one grandchild. That grandchild was born in a hospital, and he was there, even though he doesn’t believe in that, because he said that was the parents’ decision. Sevy, 52, said he was born to believing parents in the Followers of Christ church.