Faith healing parents plead ‘no contest’ in death of child

Source: Examiner

Author: Michael Stone

“Faith healing parents Herbert and Catherine Schaible pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in the death of their infant son, Brandon. By their own admission the couple failed to provide medical care for their child, choosing prayer over modern medicine, with tragic consequence.

According to a NBC report issued Nov. 15, the Schaibles were each convicted after entering their pleas late last week. The Schaibles each pleaded no contest to third-degree murder, child endangerment, and conspiracy.

8-month-old Brandon Schaible died on April 18 at his home in Rhawnhurst, Philadelphia, from bacterial pneumonia, severe dehydration and an infection, after his parents withheld medical care, according to a report issued by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Gary Collins.

Adding insult to injury, the couple was already on probation after a jury convicted them of involuntary manslaughter in 2010 for the faith healing death of their 2-year-old son, Kent.

After Brandon’s death last April, the dead boy’s father, Herbert Schaible, 44, told Philadelphia homicide detectives the following:

“We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power. Medicine is against our religious beliefs.

Both Schaibles gave statements to homicide detectives after Brandon’s April 18 death, in which they admitted they did not follow the terms of their probation.

“My husband and I decided we wanted to trust in God,” Catherine Schaible told detectives, explaining why they did not take Brandon to a doctor.

The Schaibles attend the First Century Gospel Church, a fundamentalist congregation that believes in faith healing and prayer over science and medicine for the treatment of illnesses and injuries. Their pastor, Nelson Clark, said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives

Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner set sentencing for Feb. 19. The Schaibles face 20 to 40 year maximum prison terms for their crime.

The Schaibles’ seven surviving children are currently in foster care.

For more news, information and humor relevant to atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists, check outProgressive Secular Humanist Examiner on Facebook.

Emphasis Mine


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