Couple Prays for Child Instead of Going to Doctor

April 23, 2013  |  
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One couple is facing the consequences of waiting for divine intervention instead of taking action. Pennsylvania couple Herbert and Catherine Schaible have had a second child die after praying for the end of illness instead of taking the child to the doctor, according to the Associated Press.

The Schaibles had already been sentenced to 10 years’ probation after losing 2-year-old Kent in 2009 to pneumonia instead while they prayed for God’s healing instead of taking him to the doctor; the jury considered it involuntary manslaughter. Last week, the couple lost 8-month-old Brandon after he’d had diarrhea and difficulty breathing for a week. The Schaibles are members of the First Century Gospel Church fundamentalist Christian church which believes in faith healing. The church’s website posted a sermon which says, “It is a definite sin to trust in medical help and pills; and it is real faith to trust on the Name of Jesus for healing.”

State prosecutors hoped to have the couple jailed but their lawyer insists they’re a danger to their seven other children instead of the public at large. Their children are currently in the state’s custody. According to the AP, “at a hearing Monday, a judge told the couple they had violated the terms of their probation, noting the Schaibles had told investigators that they prayed to God to make Brandon well instead of seeking medical attention.” Prayer in place of doctor’s visit is a violation of the couple’s probation, though their representation insists the children did have their recommended checkups.

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