By Kevin Williams
Wow, this story really tugs at me on several levels.
On one hand, seeing the mug shots of these two Amish women....stripped of their traditional Amish clothes and headcoverings really disturbs me. This is a very conservative Amish community and while views about photography may well have changed in many settlements they have not here. This is an Amish community that still shuns pictures. I also don't believe these ladies were deliberately trying to inflict harm. But I also believe that these women are a product of a local Adams County, Indiana culture that views modern medicine suspiciously. Local medical establishments, in my view, are partly to blame, my experience in this area is that the Amish here are often treated as second class citizens.
I absolutely think something needs to be done to stop and prevent this type of "under the table medicine" in Adams County.
An excerpt of the article outlines what I mean:
Police went to a building Eicher used as a clinic of sorts and found Eicher and her husband there. Eicher told police she "may have (given injections) and she didn't remember," the affidavit said. Eicher said she sees "so many women that she didn't remember," the affidavit said.
Eventually, Eicher admitted to the injections, according to the affidavit. She told investigators that she gives "vet medicine" injections in the hip area to help "mature the lungs."
It's one thing to draw upon rich Amish oral histories and herbal remedies, but these ladies went too far. I'm not sure, though, that jail is the answer. Education. A dialogue between the medical establishment and the Amish. Trained and licensed Amish midwives in Adams County, Indiana. All of these would be much better, effective steps. I'm worried going after these Amish ladies too forcefully could make the situation worse, not better.