The woman of the photo is Verónica Rodríguez Roca, the leader of a domestic sect based on the principle that God cures everything. Her fundamentalist view did not allow her to look for medical care for her daughter, 19. Maria Antonella Mirabelli died last Saturday, June 15, in Entrerios, Argentina from anorexia. The young women followed the believe of her mother and grandmother that God heals any evil.
The story is longer and it shocks for the role of the legal system not only in Argentina, but in many other Western societies.
Cristian Mirabelli, the father, is divorced from Rodrígez Roca, who has the custody of six of their daughters, María Antonella was the eldest. In September 2012 Mirabelli went to the Poor and Children’s Ombudsman in Rosario del Tala, 280 kilometers to the east of Parana to get legal right to look for health attention for her daughter, since Rodrígez Roca prevented any medical check under the idea that God would heal her if He wants.
But María Antonella herself did not want to receive medical check, following the believes of her mother, blocking any legal actions because she was considered already an adult and thus free to decide over herself.
The only thing accepted by Ma. Antonella was to do a psychological therapy in the aim to convince her of the need of a medical check, but it did not succeed and María Antonella died of a severe malnutrition.
According to an Argentinian law, the patient has the right and autonomy to reject or determine the therapy and medical procedure.
Mirabelli is now looking the way to get the custody of her other six girls under the influence of this fundamentalist mother. According to the authorities, Rodrígez Roca does not belong to any sect or religion group and her position is entirely hold inside her home.
After the passing of María Antonella, Rodríguez Roca published an open letter in her Facebook where she justified her attitude with Biblical concepts. She goes as far as to thanks the decision of the tribunals to respect the decision of María Antonella.