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Pa. Jury Convicts Parents In Tot’s Prayer Death

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia couple who relied on prayer, not medicine, to cure their dying child have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Christian fundamentalists Herbert and Catherine Schaible (SHY’-bull) face more than a decade in prison for the January 2009 death of their two-year-old son Kent.

Jury foreman Vince Bertolini tells The Associated Press the panel believed they were guilty of at least gross negligence under the manslaughter statute.

The Schiables declined comment as they left the courthouse to await sentencing Feb. 2.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore says she will seek medical supervision for the couple’s other six children.

Experts say about a dozen U.S. children die in faith-healing cases each year.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

  • Philly Couple Gets Probation In Prayer Death Of Toddler Son « CBS Philly

    […] Schaible have been sentenced to ten years’ probation on the manslaughter conviction (see previous story), and the judge has also ordered mandatory medical care for their remaining seven children, ranging […]

  • Stephanie Patterson

    Let’s all step back and take a breath – and think for a minute. FIRST, this couple is mourning the loss of a child. Is it anyone’s fault? They were following their religious beliefs. For those of you who know anything of American history, this country (SUPPOSEDLY) has religious freedom. No judicial authority or even a person has the right to dictate one’s religious beliefs. Could this child be saved with conventional medicine? Probably yes. Could he have been saved by healing? In the minds and hearts of his parents, yes. Now they will carry this burden for life and will question themselves over and over again.

    There is a demonstrated connection between MEDICINE and faith in a person’s healing. In this child’s case, it may have worked – or maybe not. We don’t know. No one can answer that.

    So instead of pointing fingers and accusing these misguided, but well-meaning parents, of murder or manslaughter or anything else, leave them alone. They have a large enough burden to carry.

    I don’t agree with their decisions, but it’s none of my business – nor is it anyone else’s.

  • Janet Martino Liciardello

    How many times do we have to read about people allowing their children to die because they rely soley on prayer when medical intervention is obviously necessary? They belong in jail, and I for one am happy to see that that is exactly where they’re going.

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