Second child dies after parents choose prayer over doctors

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PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia couple who turned to prayer instead of doctors has lost a second child — violating their probation.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were serving 10 years probation after the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son — who died from pneumonia — when their 8-month-old son died after suffering for days with diarrhea and breathing problems.

The Schaibles belong to a fundamentalist church that believes in faith-healing. Their refusal to take their infant to the doctor violated a key condition of their probation: to seek medical care for their remaining children, Philadelphia Judge Benjamin Lerner said in a hearing.

Charges may be filed once the baby’s cause of death has been determined. The Schaibles pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for the death of their first son.

In January 2007, an Lee’s Summit, Mo., woman died after her husband chose prayer over medicine. Misty Horner died a month after giving birth to a still-born baby at her home. She was under the care of her husband, Caleb, who performed an episiotomy on her with a pair of scissors at the time of the baby’s birth. Caleb did not seek medical attention for his wife even after her health declined due to his belief in faith-healing.

In December 2012, a jury awarded Misty’s family $108.6 million in a wrongful death civil case against Caleb and his siblings.


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