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Woman Seeks Prosecution for Parents Who Denied Her Medical Care as a Child

The Short of It

A gravely ill woman, whose parents denied her potentially life-saving medical treatments as a child, is now fighting to have them prosecuted.

The Lowdown

At age 20, Mariah Walton suffers from multiple health conditions that could've been corrected with surgery when she was a little girl. But her mom and dad, practicing fundamentalist mormons, believed her congenital heart defect could be corrected through prayer and never took her to a doctor.

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Mariah lives in Idaho, which is one of 32 states that allow religious defense exemptions to protect parents like hers. But she told ABC News, "My parents do deserve to be prosecuted," because, she says, it's totally unfair for her to be in this situation now. She hopes to get the law repealed, so kids who are dying aren't put in danger by their parents.

Critics of the law say it would violate religious freedoms.

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The Upshot

Mariah is now estranged from her mom and dad and is being financially supported by her nine siblings. According to NBC News, Mariah's mother denies knowing how sick her daughter really was and says she sought natural remedies for her illness.

Now, Mariah needs a heart and lung transplant to survive. And to think, her serious medical condition could've been prevented if her parents had only taken her to a doctor!

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We'll wait to see what happens with her case. In the meantime, here's hoping she gets the medical treatment she needs to live a healthy life.

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