I have been the Board Chairman of Children's healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc., for twelve years, and I was a Board member for some time before that. I consider it a privilege to have worked with the tremendously talented and dedicated founders of the organization, Rita and Doug Swan. They reacted to a tragic loss of their son because of religiously motivated refusal of medical help for the son, who died as a result. Instead of retreating into a life of solitude they renounced their previous religious affiliation and founded CHILD, Inc. They have worked tirelessly to influence state and federal legislators to eliminate exemptions to child-guarding laws that mandate medical treatment for children regardless of the religious or personal beliefs of the parents that would prevent such treatment. In my work as Chairman I have striven to promote the objectives of the organization and to bring principles of good organizational practice to the administration of the group. Though clear legislative victories have been few for CHILD, Inc., those that have been achieved have been decisive and life-saving for children whose fates would have been tragic indeed without the work of this organization. It is a pleasure as I retire from the Chairmanship to endorse fully the continuing work and to applaud all who support it, especially the Swans.
This membership organization (CHILD, Inc.) has been working for nearly 30 years to protect children from the harm, and often death, resulting from not receiving medical care due to the parents' religious beliefs. I joined over 20 years ago, myself, because such a tragedy occured in my family. My nine-year-old sister died of treatable pneumonia because my Christian Science parents refused to seek medical treatment for her. Such parents are protected from prosecution from this kind of child neglect and abuse by various laws in most states, while parents who withhold medical care without the "religious exemption" umbrella are still held accountable under the law. CHILD works to educate the public, the media, and lawmakers about this fundamentally unequal treatment of children who happen to be born into families with religious prohibitions against medical care. CHLD also has had success (most recently in Oregon this year) in getting such religious exemptions removed from the law. It has been shown that where the threat of prosecution exists, the death rates of children, even those children raised by still devout parents, goes down. CHILD does a lot with a little: even small donations go a long way with this extremely efficient operation. It's an honor to be a supporter of CHILD.