Letters to the Editor

Erkel letter: Saving children’s lives

Thank you, Carolyn Bridges, for your “Guest Opinion” column (April 22). As Americans, we’re all able to enjoy the many rights granted by our founders. It’s what makes our country great. The freedom of religion granted under the 1st Amendment is a shining example. And yet, when one group’s rights collide with another’s, the ability to engage in critical thinking occurs. So it is with Idaho’s archaic and cruel law allowing parents to legally refuse even the most basic medical treatment for their children under the guise of religious freedom.

Our Idaho Legislature has turned its back on children by recognizing the rights of parents while cruelly denying the very existence of any rights of our children. As referenced in Ms. Bridges’ column, the 1944 Supreme Court decision decisively ruled that “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to … expose [children] to ill health or death.” So how is it that you lawmakers, in your infinite wisdom, continue to permit the continued statutory deaths of infants and minors?

How does a legitimate concern for the rights of parents judged by Idaho lawmakers as more important than protecting children from easily preventable deaths?

Paul Erkel, Boise