Kitzhaber signs faith healing bill into law

Kitzhaber signs faith healing bill into law
The Followers of Christ Church sign is shown in front of their church Monday, May 23, 2011, in Oregon City, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon no longer allows legal protection for parents who rely on faith healing versus modern medicine.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the law in response to several cases involving Oregon City's Followers of Christ Church, which has a long history of children dying from treatable medical conditions.

The new law that Kitzhaber put into effect eliminates spiritual treatment as a defense against all homicide charges and makes parents subject to sentencing for a Measure 11 crime.

The most recent case against members of the Followers of Christ Church did not involve a death but Timothy and Rebecca Wyland were found guilty earlier this month of criminal mistreatment for not seeking medical care for their daughter. The girl had a large growth over her eye that was taking over one side of her face. The Wylands have not yet been sentenced.