Kara Neumann case

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The Kara Neumann case was an incident in which parents of a sick child refused to treat her with anything other than prayer, resulting in the child's death. The 11-year-old child, Madeline Kara Neumann, of Weston, Wisconsin, died of undiagnosed diabetes[1] on March 23, 2008, after Kara's parents, Leilani and Dale Neumann, prayed for their dying daughter instead of seeking medical help. The parents were Pentecostals who did not belong to an organized religion. They had obtained medical care in the past, but had come to believe that there are spiritual root causes to sickness and that prayer and strong religious beliefs will cure any health problems. They decided not to go to doctors for treatment anymore, out of a belief that they would be "putting the doctor before God", amounting to idolatry and sin.[2]

The parents were charged with second-degree reckless homicide by the Marathon County district attorney[3] in separate trials. Dale Neumann was convicted on May 22, 2009, and Leilani was convicted on August 1, 2009.[4][5][6] On October 6, 2009, both parents were sentenced to 10 years of probation, with six months jail time to be served over a six-year period.[2] On July 3, 2013, by a 6-to-1 margin the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the convictions.[2][7] Kara Neumann's case sparked renewed discussion about faith healing in the United States.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Schoetz, David (2008-03-27). "Parents' Faith Fails to Save Diabetic Girl". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  2. ^ a b c State v. Neumann, 832 N.W.2d 560, 2013 WI 58 (2013)
  3. ^ Jessica Vanegeren, "Prayer death case headed to state Supreme Court, experts say," The Capital Times, March 19, 2010, accessed August, 18, 2010.
  4. ^ Starck, Jeff (May 23, 2009). "Leilani Neumann found guilty in Wausau faith-healing homicide trial". Wausau Daily Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-06-01.
  5. ^ BBC News (2009-08-01). "Praying man let his daughter die". BBC News.
  6. ^ Starck, Jeff (August 2, 2009). "Jury finds Dale Neumann guilty in prayer death case". Wisconsin Rapids Tribune. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
  7. ^ Luthern, Ashley. "High court upholds convictions of 2 who let daughter die as they prayed". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved July 8, 2013.