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Couple Guilty of Manslaughter In Son’s Death After Choosing Faith Healing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Northeast Philadelphia couple has been convicted in connection with the pneumonia death of their two-year-old son. The defendants chose god and prayer over medicine.

Herbert and Catherine Schiable didn’t seek medical treatment as their toddler son grew sicker instead they prayed over him. And prosecutor Joanne Pescatore argued and the jury has found when little Kent died of bacterial pneumonia, it was manslaughter.

“They prayed, but under the law that’s not enough, there’s a lot more parents have to do and they didn’t do it and the jury so found,” says Pescatore.

As for what the defendants told police in their statements? “They told police they didn’t get medical attention because they believe in faith healing.”

The defendants did not comment after the verdict even when asked if they would seek medical care if any of their seven remaining children get sick.

The prosecutor says she will argue for mandatory medical care as part of any sentence.

Reported By Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio.

  • Scott M

    To follow one’s own belief, even to death, is fine. However, I doubt that the 2 year old had any beliefs to follow.

  • rcii

    Are you Kidding? A) These idiots won’t live with self doubt, people like that are SURE they’re right no matter how obvious it is to the rest of us that they’re wrong. B) They weren’t convicted for praying. Their religious freedom is intact. They were convicted for not taking him to the doctor. Pray all you want but also do something that actually works if it is obvious and easily available. C) What do you mean “We don’t know, No one can answer that.” Of course we can, it DIDN’T work.

    Their other 7 children should be taken and given to someone with common sense.

  • p

    It is everyone’s business! A child died and we would be wrong to ignore it. Religious freedom does not mean that having religious beliefs gives you immunity.

  • 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.

    • Brad

      Yes, it is absolutely the fault of these moronic parents. And they have seven other children! They should be put away and their children given to someone who will care for them without superstition.

    • steven vance

      sorry…but it IS someone else’s business. The state has authority to enforce laws that protect the welfare of children. And there’s another issue… it might well be that the parents meant well, but meaning well is not enough when you have someone else’s life in your hands. You have to have your facts straight, and think correctly.I am a serious Christian, and it’s noteworthy that Christians accept their Bible as their authority. Why do I mention this? Because the Bible nowhere says to avoid physicians, in fact the Apostle Luke was a physician. It does say to pray, and trust God for what He does.In many ways,God works through ordinary means to achieve His ends…including physicians. Denying medical care to child and using your faith as an excuse at first glance seems righteous, but it’s doesn’t follow the Bible of the faith these people claim to embrace/

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