Holly Fletcher, [email protected] 5:26 p.m. CST January 19, 2016
A bill filed Tuesday would remove a legal shield in Tennessee for parents who reject medical treatment for children in favor of treatment by prayer.
It is a crime in Tennessee to fail to provide medical care to children, with an exception, known as the Spiritual Treatment Exemption Act, for parents who want to rely on "spiritual means through prayer alone," according to state code. State Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, filed SB 1761 to repeal the exception.
One possible use would be if a parent refuses a blood transfusion after an accident then custody of the child could be transferred to the state to allow the transfusion then transferred back to the parent, said Briggs, referencing occasions if the parent is a Jehovah's Witness and opposed to transfusions, even in life-saving circumstances.