Story: Alternative health therapies

Faith and health

In 2003 four-month-old Northland boy Caleb Tribble died after a short illness. His parents (who were Christians) believed he was suffering from the same stomach bug as the rest of the family and did not seek medical attention. After Caleb's death it transpired that he had had a serious kidney infection which was difficult to diagnose but easy to treat once diagnosed. During a police interview (standard procedure after an unexpected death), Caleb's father David said he had been worried and prayed to God. Both parents were charged with manslaughter, the Crown arguing that they had relied on faith healing instead of conventional medical care. The pair were acquitted of manslaughter, convicted of failing to provide Caleb with the necessities of life, but then discharged. The judge said that the Crown had overstated the religious aspects of the case.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Alternative health therapies - Religion, spirituality and health care', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/27963/faith-and-health (accessed 21 November 2019)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 6 Apr 2018