A Christian couple prayed for their dying toddler instead of sending him for medical attention that could have saved his life.
When their two-year-old son, Kent, was found dead, Herbert, 42, and Catherine Schaible, 41, told the police 'We tried to fight the devil, but in the end the devil won.'
But Mr and Mrs Schaible have been spared prison by a court in Philadelphia, despite being convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. The judge instead sentenced them to 10 years' probation and ordered them to take their remaining seven children for regular medical check-ups.
Little Kent was ill for two weeks with a cold which eventually led to pneumonia. The couple's fundamentalist church, the First Century Gospel Church, frowns on the use of medicine. The Schaibles, who both grew up in the faith, have never received medical care themselves, apart from the services of an 84-year-old lay midwife who attends home births.
Their pastor, Nelson A. Clark, said church did not shun members who sought medical attention, but 'prayed' that they made a different choice next time.
Following the court case, Clark said: 'The legal community is trying to force our church group to put them in the hands of this flawed medical system, when they have chosen to put them in the hands of a perfect God, who does not make mistakes.'
What do you think about this story?
Should the parents have been sent to prison?
Or did the judge show understanding of their religion?
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