Second Child Death for Convicted Faith-Healing Couple

Couple on probation after 2-year-old died, lose another child

By Dan Stamm
|  Monday, Apr 22, 2013  |  Updated 5:30 AM EDT
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A couple that was sentenced to probation after their 2-year-old died in 2009 from pneumonia have had another child die.  NBC10's Chris Cato reports.

NBC10.com

A couple that was sentenced to probation after their 2-year-old died in 2009 from pneumonia have had another child die. NBC10's Chris Cato reports.

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A couple that was sentenced to probation after their 2-year-old died in 2009 from pneumonia have had another child die.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible, fundamentalist Christians who believe in the power of prayer ahead of modern medicine, recently had their 8-month-old son die, according to Philadelphia Police spokeswoman Jillian Russell.

It wasn’t clear when the child died, or the cause of death, but the death hasn't been ruled suspicious, Russell said.

The child was taken to a funeral home by an as yet unknown individual and the undertaker alerted police, Russell said.

An official cause of death is pending an autopsy, according to police.

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In 2010, a jury convicted the Schaibles, who have seven other children, of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in the death of their 2-year-old son Kent. The Schaibles were each sentenced to 10 years of probation -- they could have faced prison time.

As part of their sentence, the Schaibles were required to arrange medical examinations for each of their children, to immediately consult with a doctor when a child became sick and to follow the doctor’s treatment recommendations.

During their trial, the Schaibles' lawyers said the parents were targeted because their fundamentalist Christian beliefs espouse faith healing.

Pennsylvania law says parents have a legal duty to protect their children's health and safety, although the law does not specify if or when medical care must be sought.

Prosecutors said the Kent could have been saved with basic medical care -- probably even over-the-counter medication -- but the couple relied on prayer instead. Defense attorneys argued that their clients did not know how sick the child was, and their beliefs played no role in their decision.

When asked for comment outside his Rhawnhurst home Friday, Herbert Schaible, 44, told NBC10’s Chris Cato “we don’t want to talk.”

 


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