Parents Charged in Diabetes Death

This is an update to my blog entry "There’s More Than One Way to Answer a Prayer," which ran on April 1.

Saying that religious freedom has its limits, the Marathon County, Wisconsin, district attorney has charged the parents of an 11-year-old girl who died from undiagnosed and untreated diabetes with second-degree reckless homicide. If convicted, the parents could face up to 25 years in prison.


Madeline Kara Neumann died on March 23 after her parents prayed for her recovery instead of taking her to a doctor.

“During the final 48 hours of her life, Kara became unable to speak, eat or walk and suffered breathing difficulties,” the report, posted April 29, 2008, on, said.

While noting that parents have the religious freedom to raise their children according to their faith, “in this case it was necessary to weigh freedom of religion and parenting rights against the state’s interests in protecting freedom,” the district attorney was quoted as saying.

You can read the full account, plus a timeline of the child’s final hours, here.

  • calgarydiabetic

    Thanks Jan for keeping us upto date on this case. America never ceases to amaze me. will the religious rigth storm the bastille,(in wisconsin, if such a thing exists) to defend the papents of the dead child from rather heavy handed 2nd degree murder charges. Are not the parent super upset by the death their child, is not their belief in god sincere enough. With such a soft touch you will eventually have more people incarcerated than there were under Stalin.

  • Bahamut

    Although the USA has it (admittedly high) shared of idiocy, please remember the Media only displays the “shock” and “newsworthy” events. You don’t see any newspaper proclaiming “5 million teens survive to teens” or “Millions of people are smart enough to buy houses they can afford.” All you see is the “religious fanatics kill child.” The Media is hugely slanted to uncommon events and, especially in the USA, controlled by a small minority so their “agenda” is shown more often than not.

  • Bodedog

    Does the use of insulin tend to add belly fat?

    I am on a Medtronic insulin pump and have gained weight in the stomach area.

    For those considering a pump, mine has made my life a whole lot easier.

    Thank you.

  • andrea

    Second degree murder is very heavy handed. The prosecuor did have the choice to file other charges. I do go to doctors but have relatives who absoultly do not believe in modern medicine and do believe that GOD can do all. These parents did not viciously, cruley torture their child. They simpliy did not know. I have read articles about people (parents) who intentionally tortued,absued and murdered children and got a whole lot less than 25 years prision time and were not charged with second murder.

  • Candace

    When I tried to click on the link to see the full account, I got the following error message:

    Too many redirects occurred trying to open “″. This might occur if you open a page that is redirected to open another page which then is redirected to open the original page.

  • Jan Chait

    Candace, the link probably timed out. It’s been awhile. If you do a search on “Madeline Kara Neumann” on Google or another web browser, you’ll find lots of information.