When faith healer Jomanda took to the stage yesterday for one of her sessions in Bergen op Zoom, Noord Brabant, she had a big sign with her that said “Raadpleeg altijd een arts” (“Always consult a physician”), an odd move perhaps for somebody who believes she is a healing medium between this world and ‘God’. On her website she even claims that “doctors merely apply the bandages, only God heals.” Jomanda was recently cleared from charges (Dutch) of contributing to comedy actress Sylvia Millecam’s death.
Millecam had been struggling with breast cancer and had been avoiding traditional medicine. The alternative ‘healers’ she sought out suggested that she merely had a bacterial infection, after which she died. The case against Jomanda and two ‘alternative doctors’ was unique in that for the first time a court held it had the authority to address the care duty of somebody who was not a legal care giver. Indeed, the court seems to take this for granted (Dutch).
The court considered it proven that Jomanda had violated her care duty, but cleared her of the charges because Millecam had also sought regular help during the time she consulted the medium, and that the medium merely had a “comforting” influence, not a decisive one. The justice department is appealing.