Health Code

February 10, 2011 by admncc

If you’ve been a reader of this blog, even for a short period of time, you know that I usually don’t publish posts about religion or politics.  That’s just not my thing.  When I’ve done it in the past, I’ve always worried about how many people it was chasing away verses attracting.  So…normally I don’t do it.

Thus, I’m treading delicately…  But as a parent, this story was so difficult and upsetting to read, that I ultimately decided to write a post about it.  The Philadelphia Inquirer has been covering the story of Herbert and Catherine Schaible, the devout faith-healing couple convicted of involuntary manslaughter for praying while their 2-year-old son died of bacterial pneumonia.  According to this story, both were sentenced to 10 years probation by a judge who also ordered regular medical care for their surviving seven children to age 18.

The Schaibles were convicted by a jury in December 2010, for the January 24, 2009, death of their son Kent.  According to trial testimony, Kent died after fighting what began two weeks before as a cold and progressed into bacterial pneumonia.  Witnesses testified that the Schaibles prayed over their son and thought he might be getting well.  Herbert Schaible was later quoted as saying, “We tried to fight the devil, but in the end the devil won.”

The article went on to say that the judge’s “10-year probationary term put strong limits on the Schaibles’ practice of faith-healing, a tenet of their First Century Gospel Church of Juniata Park, a fundamentalist Christian congregation that teaches healing through prayer and considers medical care a lack of faith in God.”

Now, this post is not a shot at anyone’s religious beliefs.  It doesn’t matter to me who or what you believe in.  And if your religion says that you can’t go to the doctor, and you follow that, than that’s your right.  But what blew me out of the water here is that “while the Schaibles’ church considers members who get medical care to have sinned, it does not go so far as shun members who see a doctor.”  And “according to court testimony, the church permits dental care such as teeth-cleaning and filling cavities.”  So…basically…while they might have been frowned upon for seeking medical treatment, it wasn’t strictly forbidden.  And even worse, if it had been a toothache instead of a cold, they could have sought treatment.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

At the end of the day, it’s just upsetting to see a life lost over something that didn’t have to play out the way it did.  Check out the article if you haven’t already…as it’s pretty interesting…there’s also some heat on others at the church for not recommending that the family seek medical care sooner.

All Posts / Family/Lifestyle / Law and Order / Medicine / Parenting / Politics / Relationships / Religion Bacterial Pneumonia / Catherine Schaible / Children's Safety / Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Engle Temin / Faith Based Healing / First Century Gospel Church / Health Care / Herbert Schaible / Involuntary Manslaughter / Juniata Park / Kent Schaible / Manslaughter / / The Philadelphia Inquirer /


  1. Extreme John says:

    Much like you my friend I try to keep my hands off of this kind of stuff, but sooner or later some things make you snap and comment on it. I truly do share the same views as you in this, lemme just ask… Does common sense exist anymore?

  2. Jen says:

    Hmmm, this is a tough one. Clearly, something they were doing made them think this was working to cure him. I guess I would have to know what their intent was – did they only pray and not seek medical attention because they believed it was working?

    Would they have sought medical attention if they realized prayer wasn’t working or would they have stayed the course knowing their son would die?

    Did doctors intervene and explain that medical attention was necessary or the boy would die?

    I can’t imagine the death of my own child if it could have been helped 🙁

  3. kittycat says:

    This isnt the first time I have heard such a thing about religion and not being allowed to seek medical help. I think it is just WRONG!
    I am a religous person. but I can tell you that if my church had rules like this then I guess they would just have to shun me.

    PS Im so glad to see you back to posting somewhat regularity.
    missed you

  4. Jane says:

    Touchy subject. But interesting post.

    To me, this doesn’t add up. They can get their teeth cleaned, but not see a doctor. It’s a shame that the boy died.

    There’s always going to be the argument over the division of church and state. But I say preserve life at all cost.

  5. Oh boy. Why not do both — pray and get medical attention?

  6. NeoConDon says:

    These parents are going to burn in Hell, and they should be rotting in jail…!!! Shame on this judge for giving probation for murdering their child. These people are NOT Christians. There is nothing Christian like about not seeking medical care to save the life of your child. Doctors, medical care, and science are gifts from God, and are the answers to our prayers.

  7. Kind of a dark take, but if these lunatic fanatical religious types refuse to get medical attention, then eventually they will all die out, thus making the world a better place without them here.

    This is all sad nonetheless though, especially given that an innocent child died because of stupid parents.

  8. Angelica says:

    This is VERY sad indeed. I would never put my baby in that danger. I agree that it SHOULD be the other way around. How does God look at them now that they have let their child die? The devil doesn’t make people sick. I’m sure he’s got better tricks to pull. This makes me sad AND angry. Ugh.

  9. wendy says:

    Unfortunately, I think this happens more than we think. About a year or so ago, there was a family who had the same beliefs (about not using doctors due to religious beliefs). The son had cancer and the parents were unwilling to treat his HIGHLY treatable form of cancer. Anyway, the courts intervened, their son was given treatments and is healthy and thriving today. I’d love to know if the parents views have changed at all.

  10. Jen says:

    It’s so unfortunate that things like this have to happen. There are so many things done in the name of religion. Sadly, some of them lead to disaster.

  11. I agree with South Florida and Jen @ 4:39.

  12. It is heartbreaking to think that baby died when he could easily have been saved.

  13. TitforTat says:

    Faith healing, no meds……..Think about it, if people believe a talking snake convinced a woman to get a man to eat an apple and were all shit for eternity because of it, is it so hard to believe that they would let their kids die without medical treatment???

  14. yea i always avoid these topics too. but i will post something if it really hits home.

    man, this is truly tragic. i’m all about God. but he gave us brains, which have resulted in science, which has resulted in the ability to get better. Praying is one thing, but denying the help you have in front of you is another.

    sigh. i don’ t know.

  15. Ashley says:

    Insane. I don’t have anything nice to say. They should have taken there sick child to the doctor.

  16. Alexandra says:

    What Blunt Delivery said. It’s just sad that in the 21st century this crap happens.

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