Woman dies from religious snakebite incident, family sues hospital

Published November 11th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson


A woman in London died after she was bitten by a rattlesnake during a religious service of some sort. Her family is now suing the hospital, claiming that hospital employees made fun of her instead of providing proper treatment.

I want to say something, and it might be offensive.

If the hospital employees ignored her symptoms and she died because of medical negligence, then obviously justice should be served. Everyone deserves proper medical treatment, even the very stupid.

The part that gets me is this idea that she shouldn’t have been “snickered” at.

The complaint also says the unprofessional comments about Long’s religious beliefs were discriminatory and caused her and her family emotional pain and humiliation.

Here’s the thing: we’re all free to pursue our religious beliefs. If you play with rattlesnakes because you think Jesus wants you to, fine. As long as you keep your snakes away from me, more power to you. But if you get bit, it’s my right to call you a retard. No offense to the retarded (who have the sense not to play with rattlesnakes).

There is an important, necessary part of a healthy society served by calling out people for doing stupid things.

Respecting your religious beliefs means I won’t interfere with them. It does not mean I won’t make fun of you if you do stupid things.

To the family of the snake-lady: I’m sorry for your loss. It’s a crappy way to die, and it’s the reason most of us don’t dance around with rattlesnakes. Suing the Hospital isn’t going to bring her back. Why not instead speak out about the dangers of your weirdo snake religion, and maybe save another family from the grief you’re going through?

Follow this link to read the lawsuit article.

377 Responses to “Woman dies from religious snakebite incident, family sues hospital”

  1. meichan says:

    “There is an important, necessary part of a healthy society served by calling out people for doing stupid things.” If we spend our time criticizing the stupid when do we dig up the ‘inspiration’ to do something smart? I think that this is the proverbial ‘low road.’ You go your way, I’ll go mine is, in so many ways superior. This lady who belonged to a religious group, or cult, or church, where they used snakes ceremonially. Would most people deem this nutty? Yep. Do most people think it is “necessary” to “call them out”? No.

    It is pretty clear that the family is pursuing a case here because the woman died (which is quite serious) and they believe that, had she gotten better, more professional treatment, she mightn’t have. I think that that is incredibly straight forward and any argument placing responsibility on family members to ridicule her…well, you’re going out of your way to a) not understand the case and b) further your argument that religion is stupid and that it only makes people do stupid things. This is a little too simplistic for a somewhat educated, slightly cosmopolitan population. If logic is your schtick, then use it across the board!

  2. One-eyed Wonderkin says:

    Meichan – I understand your point about creativity, but not in the context of snake handling.
    I am not familiar enough with the case to know if the family has anything to sue about. If the hospital administrered the wrong anti-venom, then may be, but a nurse noting the mental capacity of someone who handles deadly snakes for worship, doubtful.
    It is a shame that someone died, but you play with snakes more than likely someone will get bitten.

  3. tewlyWaityTat says:

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well.

  4. abc says:


    “You can say whatever you want, but you can be held responsible for the consequences of what you say. Like, for example, if you bring a hate-parade to a Marine’s funeral and scar his family for life.”

    What about if you make fun of a lady bitten by a rattlesnake during a religious celebration?

    It’s stupid to “play” with snakes. It’s mean to make fun of someone dying from a snake bite just as it’s mean to go to a funeral with hate banners.


  5. DARLA says:


  6. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    Jesus SPOKED? Was he riding a bike?
    According to legends, Jesus didn’t appear until thousands (according to YE Creationists) or billions (according to the sane) years after the world was created. A lot came to pass before. And Tom Brady didn’t come to pass until almost 2000 years AFTER the death of the alleged Jesus.

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