Faith-Healing Parents Arrested After Second Child Dies From Lack of Medical Care

schaible_ap_296I have previously written columns about Herbert and Catherine Schaible, who allowed their child to die pursuant to their religious beliefs of faith healing. They received probation for the death of Kent Schaible, 2, who died of bacterial pneumonia. They were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. Now, after being given 10 years probation conditioned on maintaining medical treatment for their children, they have allegedly killed another child through neglect in refusing basic medical care.


The 8-month-old boy died last week after suffering with diarrhea and breathing problems for days.

I previously wrote how courts are endangering children by handing out comparatively light sentences for deaths caused by religious beliefs. This tragic death reportedly occurred because the parents were allowed to avoid jail and to continue to raise children based on the promise of medical attention. These children are not given a say in such beliefs imposed by parents to their peril. Seven remaining children were placed back in the care of these parents and it is now down to six.

Source: Thv11

41 thoughts on “Faith-Healing Parents Arrested After Second Child Dies From Lack of Medical Care”

  1. Wow That Is So Sad. I HopE The Government Makes A Law That ProhibIts Refusing Medical Care For Religious Reasons Or Any Reasons To Children. Mental Health And Regular Health.

  2. This is for Kevin–from your April 25th 11:49am post.

    With all due respect, Kevin–for your beliefe that I do not share–there is a fundamental flaw in your logic. Your post assumes that it is some version of a Christian Bible that these people simply ‘misread.’ The larger issue is when do Religious Freedoms trump the Safety of innocent Minors–and vice versa. What if their Bible was indeed different and specifically prohibited getting medical treatment for their injured children? Then would you be fine with them allowing their children to die?

    From your post, you seem like a reasonable person–so I think that you would agree that despite the scripture in their ‘Bible’ that you would want to protect innocent children from dying while in the care of fanatics.

    If I start a religion that says that it is OK to sacrifice my first born son on an altar–by stabbing him and burning him (Not a huge stretch–since the Christian Bible does offer such stories on some level) would you allow me to do it–since it was my Religion? If my Religion thought of women as chattle so I felt that it was OK to rape your daughter–but compensate you with a couple of goats, a sheep and a calf to be square–would that work for you–since I was simply following my Religious beliefs?–Again, such things are referenced in the Christian Bible.

    This is not and wilol never be about any one religious belief–or set of customs. It will always be about when we draw the line between how much we respect the right of others to worship how they please and when we choose to intervene and set boundaries.

    Me? It’s simple. If someone other than you–especially a child can die from the consequences–then to hell with your beliefs.

    Get real–there has to be a line in the sand and wouldn’t you agree that it should end at children dying unecessarily?

    If your religion says that you are to commit suicide if you ever sin by having pre-marital sex–then by all means-have at it. Kill yourself if you think that in death that will bring you closer to your God. But if your religion also stipulates that you must kill the other participant in the sexual act–then that is Murder. I draw the line when your insanity endangers others.

    How can anyone with cognitive abilities possibly disagree with that position?

  3. On the flip side

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316783/5-month-old-taken-away-parents-wanting-second-opinion-sick-son.html?ICO=most_read_module

    Couple claim their sick five-month-old boy was taken away by police simply because they asked doctor’s for a second opinion

    Anna and Alex Nikolayev had a bad experience at a Sacramento, California hospital so they took son Sammy to another area doctor
    Though the first hospital was discussing heart surgery, the second OK’d the family to head home
    That’s where police showed up the next day and wrenched Sammy from Anna’s arms

  4. However Tom, your first question is ludicrous. This isn’t about money.

  5. Tom, Courts try and find family that will accept responsibility first. However, w/ four kids that will be REAL tough.

  6. As a person that believes God created everything, I believe that to include medicine, medical advancement, etc. While I also believe miracles are possible, maybe this couple should consider that modern day medicine and the ability to use it for healing is in itself a miracle. You won’t find a verse in the Bible that tells you whether or not to seek medical care. Inferring that a verse tells you to pray instead of seeking medical treatment most likely means you have read that passage out of context. Peace!

  7. Why didn’t they just admit they can’t afford medical care? With 5 or 6 kids i can totally see that.

    Despite the pleas to sanity, logic and the law, unfortunately parents impose their particular brand of insanity on their children all the time. Whether it’s neglect, exposing them to substandard nutrition, or poor quality education it happens to most of us because we’re born into this omnicidal set of living arrangements that’s completely unsustainable – and the law is written to keep it that way (for example, mandatory indoctina…, er, education).

    i agree that these two people, having pulled this off once already, should not be allowed to raise their remaining kids, but that just subjects them to even more insanity and is bound to affect their worldview, mental state and possibly health and well-being due to the problems of foster care. It’s just sad, like so much else that’s wrong with human civilization. The children lose as usual despite what happens to their demented parents.

  8. Mike A, your arguments are correct and your frustration is well placed and mirrors my own. You bring up a good point, they agreed to seek aid for their other children when needed as a condition of their probation. They did not.

    Srsly, did anyone not see that coming? They already let one child die for their faith, did anyone in the system not understand that in their system of priorities their god and his dictates was paramount? That the dictates of a lesser authority (a mere court or agreement therewith) would be dismissed when push came to shove? Those kids should have been taken out of the parents custody after they showed themselves unfit to care for them. That should be SOP in every case of this kind.

    I think it’s also at its heart an issue of property rights. While the law does give some good measure of autonomy to children through restraints on what parents may and may not do with and to them, I suspect that at the lowest levels of law enforcement the attitude that children belong TO their parents prevails.

  9. I’m reminded of the old joke about the man of faith who drowned in a flood, refusing rescue in lieu of his faith. When he reached heaven, he asked “what happened, I believed and prayed and still I died.”
    God replied “I sent two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

    There were EMTs, ambulances, and hospitals, what more did they want?

  10. My hope and prayer is that there are some sane relatives to care for these kids. Foster care is a crap shoot @ best.

  11. Ditto what Mike A said…

    I will add that in the removal hearing that it is a slam dunk for the prosecutor…. There will be Three trials set one to terminate the remaining children, unless they voluntarily relinquish there rights, the second one will be probation revocation, unless they admit responsibility. And the third should be held after the probation revocation in order to establish guilt for the death of the second child.

    At sentencing, the trial for the causation if the second child the sentence should run consequetive to the sentence of the probation revocation…. Which means they will be spending a long time in the prison system…

  12. Memo to Paul: you do not have a constitutional right to allow your child to die in order to protect your freedom of religion. That has never been the law. Contrary to the beliefs in some religious circles, children are not the property of their parents; They may not be used for the sexual pleasure of their parents. They may not be sold into marriage. They may not be beaten to death for disobedience. They may not be denied an education or medical care.

    If it weren’t for the fact that we live in an age in which people actually argue that for-profit corporations can engage in the exercise of religion, we wouldn’t even be having this absurd discussion.

  13. The Free Exercise Clause does not come into play here. There is a compelling state interest in protecting the health and safety of children. It is clear that Mr. and Mrs. Schaible understood that they were required to seek medical care for their children because that was one of the agreed terms of their probation. They violated those terms, resulting in the death of a second child. As a consequence, I anticipate the following:

    (a) Their remaining children will be removed from their custody (I believe that they have five or six other children).
    (b) Their probation will be revoked.
    (c) They will be adjudged guilty of some form of manslaughter in connection with the latest death.
    (d) They will go to prison.

  14. Paul,

    You really should read Reynolds v. U.S.. Religious belief cannot be legislated. Religious practices can. Or do you think that if I worshiped Tlaloc that I should be allowed to perform human sacrifice to make it rain? It’s what my religion would demand. Why can’t I do it? Because my rights end where others rights begin. No one is telling anyone they cannot believe what they want, just that they cannot harm others based on those beliefs. These are minor children and, yes, parents have a right to raise children in their religious tradition but in the end? The child grows up and can choose for themselves. Until that time, they should be protected from harm by the religious choices of adults. We have laws protecting children from the actions of adults already just like we have laws against murder. While I’m a maximized liberty kind of guy, the reality of it is that under the social compact model of government rights are rarely – almost never – absolute. This includes Free Exercise.

  15. And I am still amazed at those that so quickly want to do away with civil liberties because someone’s religion is different than their own. A refusal to take blood transfusions is a classic example of where it may save a life but is against many persons individual beliefs. Is your desire to save every life worth destroying a persons religious liberty? Is not your desire to impose a blood transfusion a “religious” preference on a child that is different than the parents? Who should make this religious preference decision, you or the kids parents? I guess the bottom line is I am willing that some kids die when they could have easily been saved to keep the government out of my “religious” beliefs. In this case, I do not know the facts fully enough (even knowing a prior conviction) to weigh a blame on the parents or not. I would much rather err on the side of freedom than government domination.

  16. Dean Fox – “Religion shouldn’t get special exemptions.”

    It should for personal practice, but the religious should not be able to impose it on others.

    If one of those idiot “parents” (or any other religious moron) died after refusing medical care, there’s nothing wrong with that. But murdering one’s own children, murdering kids who aren’t old enough to consent to refusing treatment, that’s unacceptable.

    Even money says the parents get medical care for themselves, but not their kids. And if they do, this case should definitely be a first degree murder trial.

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