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Debate question 4/24

Posted by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM
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 Should this family be charged for murder or due to religion beliefs not be held responsible?

Your thoughts on this?

*** Please do not bash another for their opinions!! Thank you!

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A couple serving probation for the 2009 death of their toddler after they turned to prayer instead of a doctor could face new charges now that another son has died.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes in faith healing. They lost their 8-month-old son, Brandon, last week after he suffered from diarrhea and breathing problems for at least a week, and stopped eating. Four years ago, another son died from bacterial pneumonia.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that a decision on charges will be made after they get the results of an autopsy.

Catherine Schaible's attorney, Mythri Jayaraman, cautioned against a rush to judgment, and said the couple are good parents deeply distraught over the loss of another child.

"There are way more questions than answers at this point. We haven't seen the autopsy report. We don't know the cause of death of this child," Jayaraman told The Associated Press. "What we do know is Mr. and Mrs. Schaible are distraught, they are grieving, they are tremendously sad about the loss of their most recent baby."

A man who answered the phone at a listing for Herbert Schaible declined to comment and hung up.

A jury convicted the Schaibles of involuntary manslaughter in the January 2009 death of their 2-year-old son, Kent. The boy's symptoms had included coughing, congestion, crankiness and a loss of appetite. His parents said he was eating and drinking until the last day, and they had thought he was getting better.

The Schaibles were sentenced to 10 years' probation.

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.

"You did that once, and the consequences were tragic," Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Prosecutors on Monday sought to have the couple jailed, but Lerner permitted them to remain free because their seven other children had been placed in foster care.

"He feels they are a danger to their children — not to the community, but to their own children," Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, who prosecuted the couple in 2010, said Tuesday.

Herbert Schaible, 44, and his 43-year-old wife grew up in the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia and have served as teachers there. The church's website has a sermon titled "Healing — From God or Medicine?" that quotes Bible verses purportedly forbidding Christians from visiting doctors or taking medicine.

"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," says the message, from last May.

A phone message left with the church on Tuesday was not immediately returned.

The church's pastor said in 2010 that the couple had never received medical care themselves beyond the help of a lay midwife who attends home births.

The Schaibles did take their children for medical checkups as required by their probation, according to Jayaraman, the defense attorney. Jayaraman said that Brandon was checked by a doctor when he was 10 days old, but she did not know whether the child had seen a doctor since.

"Nobody argues that these aren't very loving, nurturing parents," she said Tuesday. "Whether their religion had anything to do with the death of their baby, we don't know."


Rubinkam reported from northeast Pennsylvania.

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Maria - Midwest Lady on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:36 AM

 I think murder might be going too far. I would go with manslaughter. They are very negligent parents. I am not sure if murder is merited...JMO!

by Silver sister on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM
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I think murder is the correct charge.  You would think that perhaps they would have learned their lesson after their first son died.  It is amazing that people like this can procreate.

by Ash on Apr. 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM
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 Murder. I would think the first time around would have taught then a lesson.

by Goddess Johnnie on Apr. 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM
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I tend to agree - murder is going too far.  They didn't plot to kill their child, so I don't think that charge fits.

This is a slippery slope because I know there are several religions that do not believe in doctors, some that allow doctors but not blood transfusions, and so on.  While we all have personal beliefs on what is acceptable, where do we draw the line on personal faith verses legal standing?   

A very slippery slope in deed.

Quoting Mariagma3:

 I think murder might be going too far. I would go with manslaughter. They are very negligent parents. I am not sure if murder is merited...JMO!

  Goddess Johnnie 

by BL on Apr. 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Hmm, this is tricky. I don't really believe it should be murder because I don't think they intentionally planned on killing this child. It's so sad what has happened but you think they would have thought a little more after what happened previously.

by Momma of 40ish on Apr. 24, 2013 at 1:06 PM

 I think after the first time they would have learn and if the child was sick then take him to the doctor. They were on probation after the first son passing and knew they would be watched. I did feel bad because they said the child was eating and drinking but had the cough. I would have sought medical treatment after that. I think what got me was the pastor said they never seek any type of medical treatment and because of this their followers dont.. What might help for one does not always hold true for others. I personaly dont take medications but I dont by any means not give my kids any because my beliefs are MINE and they are NOT old enough to make that choice yet.

by Nana on Apr. 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM
They dont have a license or classes to do before you become a parent, like when you marry or even when you adopt a pet! Personally i feel heartbroken there are so many of threse stories, i know church and state seperation of, but i think if it puts a minor in harms way that needs to be addressed, i think maybe we need to look at religions the westboro church is it a church or is it more a gfoup wanting media attention under the guise of a church, i just got done reading the scientoligy book by the niece a church based on a sci fy book wth?
That poor baby in this story
by Gold Sister -lp on Apr. 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

They should be charged, IMO.

by Nancy on Apr. 24, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The Lord helps those who help themselves.  He created doctors to help mankind.  Willfully allowing someone to die for a religious belief is criminal in my opinion.  I am however not exactly sure what the charge should be.

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 3:03 PM

 "the Lord helps those who help themselves" is not in THE book but it is a popular saying that makes sense to many...if by helping ourselves we ask Father for Wisdom He certainly gives that and to women I think we have a bit more called mothers intuition which speaks volumes in many situations ....I don't know their thoughts or what they did or did not do to help the child but I do believe they are heart broken and questioning themselves and probably their faith right now..

as far as a  charge...not murder but in our society I would think giving the other children back to them would be criminal for the other kids if they arent charged.

I also do not go to doctors nor does my husband...I don't think doctors were created, I think they are okay just second best in my opinion but with that said our children are taken as needed until they can make that decision for themselves

Pam in Alabama
A Mom to nine sons and one daughter with five still at home
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