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Fundamentalist faith healing couple allows second child to die

How does this happen? How could they have been allowed to keep any of their children after the death of their first one? Hard to believe there are people who nuttier than the Duggers when it comes to children.

A faith-healing Philadelphia couple on probation after they refused to seek medical care for a son who later died has now lost a second child.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible reportedly told authorities they prayed for the health of their 8-month-old son, Brandon, who was suffering from diarrhea and breathing problems, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. But the baby died last week.

In 2009, the fundamentalist Christian couple lost their 2-year-old son, Kent, to pneumonia. The toddler had fallen ill with pneumonia, and the Schaibles chose prayer rather than medical attention. They were later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years' probation, WCAU-TV reports. The Schaibles also were ordered to provide regular medical attention for their remaining children as part of their sentence.

The Schaibles have not been charged in connection with Brandon's death. But they did appear in court Monday, where a judge said there was evidence the couple may have violated terms of their probation.

The Inquirer says the judge asked:

"When you were asked by police why you didn't call a doctor, you both responded, separately, with the same answer," Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner said during a probation-violation hearing, referring to sealed statements the couple made to police. "Because we believe God wants us to ask him for healing," Lerner quoted from the statements. "Our religion tells us not to call a doctor."

Herbert Schaible, 44, and wife Catherine, 43, belong to the First Century Gospel Church of Philadelphia, WCAU reports. The church is described as a fundamentalist congregation that believes in faith healing. Although the couple hasn't been taken into custody, authorities could decide to bring charges against them once the medical examiner has completed a report on Brandon's death.

The Schaibles have lost custody of their seven other children.

by Anonymousreply 3804/26/2013

Why they hadn't been arrested after the first child died? Not to mention now, after the second death.

How is that different from abusing your children to death? I can't see any difference. It's abuse if you don't let the child get proper help.

by Anonymousreply 204/23/2013

Unfortunately, the U.S. government and the courts have dropped their collective pants and bent over for the "Christian" Right.

So these people will not be prosecuted successfully, if they are prosecuted at all.

If there was justice, the both parents would be sterilized.

by Anonymousreply 304/23/2013

Why do True Believers think God gave them such an amazing tool, the brain, if he didn't want them to use it? Isn't that a sign of unbelief and supreme arrogance?

"Yup, God gave me this here anal sphincter. Naw, not gon' use it. GOD will hold my bowels in if I pray real hard."

by Anonymousreply 504/23/2013

[quote]If there was justice, then both parents would be sterilized.

This. I almost feel sorry for these poor fools... [italic]almost[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 604/23/2013

I've just spent over $2000 to treat my dog's pneumonia.

These people should be slowly killed with a vegetable peeler, sliced away layer by layer.

by Anonymousreply 704/23/2013

Bring out the lynch mob. Seriously, public burning isn't harsh enough for those two.

by Anonymousreply 804/23/2013

Let them all get sick.

by Anonymousreply 904/23/2013

Jeez, their invisible friend in the sky is asleep on the job. Don't the kids have a right to live long enough to make up their own minds about looney, fucking, so-called "religions"? But then, kids are replaceable. Mommy and daddy just have to fuck. ( not too much brain strain there)

by Anonymousreply 1004/23/2013

[quote]Brandon, who was suffering from diarrhea and breathing problems

by Anonymousreply 1104/23/2013

Look at it this way: they've still got seven kids! So it worked most of the time.

by Anonymousreply 1204/23/2013

Is anyone here from Philadelphia? There has to be more to the story. They were still on probation for the death of the first child and one of the conditions was making sure the kids received medical care. Who dropped the ball? The probation officer or DCFS? You would think with a new infant in the home there would be stepped up oversight as there was reason to believe there could be a repeat.

by Anonymousreply 1304/23/2013

You'd think after the first child died they'd get a clue about how much their invisible buddy gives a shit.

by Anonymousreply 1404/23/2013

They'll be prosecuted as they should be.

by Anonymousreply 1504/23/2013

Pennsyltucky indeed.

by Anonymousreply 1604/23/2013

Guess "God" didn't care.

by Anonymousreply 1704/23/2013

They probably ironically describe themselves as "pro life"

by Anonymousreply 1804/23/2013

Philadelphian here, R13. It sounds like the judge who sentenced them is partly responsible. She didn't order them to be placed under the supervision of DHS (This probably wouldn't have made a difference - DHS is well known joke of a department).

They were solely under the supervision of their probation officer which was a recipe for disaster. I don't know what is going on inside of the probation department, but I do know they have had some high profile fuck ups lately. For example, an off duty police officer was murdered a few months ago by a man who was supposed to be under house arrest as part of his probation. This required the use of an electronic monitoring bracelet. At some point he cut it off and was out on the street robbing people at gun point. One of his victims was the off duty officer who was shot as tried to fight back.

The probation department knew the guy had cut off his monitor but didn't contact the police until AFTER the cop had been killed. Clearly they aren't concerned with addressing issues before they become a tragedy. Or, in other words, just doing the bare minimum their job requires.

by Anonymousreply 1904/23/2013

"We have to respect peoples' religious beliefs."

Under US law, responsible adults have the right to die for their religion, if they so choose, but they don't have the right to kill anyone else. Parents do not have the power of life and death over minor children; they can't beat them to death, sacrifice them on the altar of Ba'al, or refuse to let doctors save their lives.

Believe me, it's one of the things keeping me out of pediatric medicine.

by Anonymousreply 2004/23/2013

I'm cool with this...the world needs less humans.

by Anonymousreply 2104/23/2013

Darwin Award Winners for sure.

Religious morons like this need to be told this basic joke/story:

"A horrible flood occurred, forcing a women up onto her roof as the water was rising. A guy in a row-boat came along and offered to help her to safety, but she refused saying "The lord will provide!"

The water rose further, and another guy in a canoe came by and offered to help her to safety, but she refused saying "The lord will provide!"

The water was up to her and she was holding on to the chimney to keep from being swept away. A helicopter came by and lowered a ladder offering to take her to safety, but she refused saying "The lord will provide!"

The water continued to rise and she drowned.

When she reached the pearly gates of heaven, she asked St Peter why God had let her drown... why hadn't he saved her?

St. Peter just sighed heavily and said "He sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want??"

by Anonymousreply 2204/24/2013

[quote]I'm cool with this...the world needs less humans.

I think you meant the world needs [italic][bold]fewer[/bold][/italic] humans.

by Anonymousreply 2304/24/2013

They should have got jail.

by Anonymousreply 2404/24/2013

[quote]Under US law, responsible adults have the right to die for their religion, if they so choose, but they don't have the right to kill anyone else.

But even that's being changed so that pharmacists and doctors can refuse to dispense medications or provide services that "interfere with their religious beliefs".

If a pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription, why can't a parent choose to not take their child to a doctor?

These children are being raised by their biological mother and father, which according to people testifying recently before the Supreme Court, is the only important consideration for being a parent.

This was a child being raised by his heterosexual, married, religious-freedom-enjoying biological parents. He is a symbol of all that is great about America, and it's a shame that people would try and drag his parents through the mud over their sincere beliefs.

by Anonymousreply 2504/24/2013


Philadelphian here as well, but also one who has worked directly (as a contractor) for the system. They react rather than act, plus they are overloaded with cases from our zero-tolernace school system.

They likely considered the magtter resolved once the fmaily was on probation, and had nothing to react to until now.

Oh and it's DHS here, though there may also be a DCFS.

by Anonymousreply 2604/24/2013

Sorry R25, but there is nothing "sincere" about their beliefs. Just stupid. Plain old fucking stupid.

by Anonymousreply 2704/24/2013

Bottom line is these are serial child killers who think they've found the perfect way to eliminate unwanted spawn under the radar of the law.

by Anonymousreply 2804/24/2013

It's the state's fault!!!!! In such cases when a child has something life threatening but that can also be easily cured with drugs, the doctors should have legal power over the parents. The fact that the state lets nutjob parents to make such crucial decisions, makes the state the killer or at least an accomplice.

by Anonymousreply 2904/24/2013

Upside is that those fools are only overpopulating the world with 7 offspring now instead of 9, and the woman is 43 so probably/hopefully her spawning days are over.

by Anonymousreply 3004/24/2013

Looks like the judge dropped the ball

Prosecutors questioned in 2011 whether the city probation department could effectively monitor the medical needs of Herbert and Catherine Schaible's children - nearly two years before the faith-healing couple allowed a second child to die without a doctor's help, sources with detailed knowledge of the case said Tuesday.

The department initially classified the Schaibles as "low risk" after they were sentenced to 10 years' probation in February 2011 for choosing prayer over medicine while their toddler son, Kent, was dying of bacterial pneumonia, the sources said.

Home visits are not conducted in families designated as low risk.

At a June 2011 hearing, prosecutors voiced concerns about the department's ability to enforce court-ordered oversight of the Schaible children's medical needs, given the lack of records to show whether the children had received physical examinations, the sources said.

After that hearing, the department classified the Schaible family as "high risk" and increased monitoring to include home visits. Probation officers visited the Schaible home in 2011 and 2012.

In March 2012, Herbert Schaible provided probation with medical records showing that he had taken the children to court-ordered exams at a district health center. The family did not have medical insurance.

On Thursday, the Schaibles called a Cottman Avenue funeral home and reported that their 8-month-old son, Brandon, had died.

At a probation violation hearing Monday, Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner said the couple made statements to police admitting they knowingly violated their probation in choosing not to bring the child to a doctor even after he showed signs of labored breathing for days.

Members of the First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park, Herbert and Catherine Schaible believe medical care is a sin that shows a lack of faith in God.

Prosecutors said they were awaiting a medical examiner's report before deciding whether the couple would be charged.

Lerner did not jail the Schaibles since he felt the couple did not pose a risk of flight or harm to their seven other children, whom the city's child-welfare agency placed in foster homes after Brandon's death.

Each of the Schaible children had a physical examination in 2011 and 2012, Joseph Glackin, director of the city's Adult Probation and Parole Department, testified at the hearing, including Brandon, 10 days after he was born. But that was the infant's last trip to a doctor, Glackin said.

None of the probation records reviewed by the sources listed any future scheduled doctor visits for Brandon other than an annual checkup set for later this year.

At the 2011 sentencing, Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Engel Temin made medical care the priority of the Schaibles' probation.

"You are to consult a medical practitioner whenever a child exhibits signs of being sick," the judge said, "and you are to follow the medical practitioner's advice to the letter."

But even Catherine Schaible's own attorney expressed doubts that the parents would choose to call a doctor.

"I have some concerns personally about their ability within their faith or their willingness to proactively take their children to get medical attention," the lawyer, Mythri Jayaraman, said then.

Jayaraman recommended that the family be referred to the Department of Human Services. Temin denied the request, saying she could not order DHS intervention because the agency was not involved in the case.

Child-welfare experts said Tuesday that the judge had been mistaken and that it was within her power to demand that the Schaibles seek DHS assistance as part of their probation.

Child-welfare experts said Tuesday that the judge had been mistaken and that it was within her power to demand that the Schaibles seek DHS assistance as part of their probation.

Then the children could have been monitored by trained social workers instead of overwhelmed adult probation officers.

"They are not trained for it - it's not probation's responsibility to monitor families

by Anonymousreply 3104/24/2013

When your "faith" doesn't allow birth control or abortion this has worked out rather well for them.

by Anonymousreply 3204/24/2013

This needs more publicity. Face and tweet.

by Anonymousreply 3304/24/2013

They're practicing retroactive birth control.

by Anonymousreply 3404/24/2013

p Pardon the blatant ass kissing, but when events such as this occur, I thank my lucky stars I found DL. You guys are the only people with a lick of common sense in my world. Thank you for being clever, smart and restoring my hope that sanity still exists and will hopefully prevail.

When I broached this topic with an acquaintance, her only response was that old chestnut, " God gave us all free will".

by Anonymousreply 3504/25/2013

There was a legal case years ago where Jehovah Witness were involved. Their child got in a car accident and needed a blood transfusion to survive.

It was and still is against their religion to do this. The hospital disagreed with their decision and saved the child's life.

They sued and lost. While you have freedom of religion, it dose not over ride the safety of minor. Your right of beliefs end when someone else's life is endanger.

It's just like you cant choose to home school your child and then decide to not teach it how to speak a basic language because you believe in silence. That is illegal too.

by Anonymousreply 3604/25/2013

[quote]Pennsyltucky indeed.

Philadelphia is not Pennsyltucky. Pennsyltucky refers specifically to the rural areas of the state. It's a slur from the state's urbanites (rightly) directed at the bitter, gun-loving, hate-church attending mouthbreathers in the red counties. There is a sharp cultural divide and much mutual distrust between the lily-white, overwhelmingly Protestant rural residents, and the liberal, secular city dwellers.

Philadelphia is not a fundie hot spot. It's a fairly liberal, pro-labor city with a diverse religious background. It's far more closely related to crunchy, pacifist Quakers than right-wing fundies.

by Anonymousreply 3704/25/2013

I can't believe this couple has't been charged yet.

by Anonymousreply 3804/26/2013
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