Currently, there are no legal consequences for Idaho parents who deny their children medical care on religious grounds. Mariah Walton is one of those children. Raised by a fundamentalist Mormon family in Declo, she was born with a congenital heart defect that could likely have been repaired early on with surgery. Instead, says Walton—who now needs a heart and lung transplant—her parents used vitamins and prayer to alleviate her symptoms. Walton told Boise Weekly News Editor George Prentice she's angry and wants to see her parents prosecuted for child medical neglect. Read more from Walton on Page 5.
At a legislative panel that convened Aug. 4, social workers, a prosecutor and a victim of faith healing made the case that the loophole for parents who pray rather than take their sick or injured children to the doctor should be closed Boise Weekly Staff Writer Harrison Berry has the story of that legislative panel, as well as the voices of those who say the faith healing exemption in Idaho law is an injustice, and a speaker for the Followers of Christ, who said if Idaho removes that exemption, he and other members of his church will hit the road in search of a new place to freely practice their faith. Get the full story on Page 6.
Speaking of hitting the road, Boise Weekly Associate Publisher Amy Atkins interviewed Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, best friends and the subjects of our story on Page 7, after they returned from their 500-mile walk across the Camino de Santiago in Spain. She was waiting to run the story closer to the release date of I'll Push You, a documentary about the duo's trip, but the release has been pushed back a few times and is now tentatively set for late 2017. Atkins found Gray and Skeesuck so inspiring, she didn't want to wait any longer to share their story with BW readers, so you'll find it starting on Page 7.
Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 10, you'll also find voting for Best of Boise 2016 open. Visit bob.boiseweekly.com and vote for the local—emphasis local, meaning no out-of-town—people, places and things you love most.