PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia jury is considering a troubling question: did a Rhawnhurst couple allow their two-year-old son to die of pneumonia because of their religious beliefs, or did they just overlook the signs he was seriously ill?
The prosecutor alleges that Herbert and Catherine Schaible, now charged with involuntary manslaughter, sought no medical care for their child.
They did pray, with their pastor from the First Century Gospel Church, over the body of their dead or dying son. And the parents later told a detective that they believe in faith healing, not medicines.
But the defense contends that the couple did not realize Kent was so sick — that he did not, to their untrained eyes, seem to be at death’s door.
And Catherine Schaible’s attorney argued that religion did not kill the child, pneumonia did — and she suggested the Schaibles are being prosecuted because they are members of a minority religion.
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060.