Brandon Schiable was born into a family in Pennsylvania who rejects all forms of medical care, because their church believes that it is a sin, it's a lack of trust in God. 8 month old Brandon started to get heavy breathing, diarrhea, and several other signs that he was seriously ill, but still, his parents stuck to their beliefs that medical care is immoral, and young Brandon died.
The most disturbing aspect of this story is that Brandon's parents, Hebert and Catherine were already on probation for manslaughter, because of the death of their infant son Kent in 2009 under similar circumstances.
|Herbert and Catherine's mugshots|
That didn't happen, obviously .Their lawyer even had doubts over whether or not they were going to follow the judge's order after their 2011 sentencing:
At the 2011 sentencing, Catherine Schaible's own attorney expressed doubts that the parents would call a doctor if any of their children became ill.
"I have some concerns personally about their ability within their faith or their willingness to proactively take their children to get medical attention," attorney Mythri Jayaraman said then
Jayaraman had requested that the family be referred to Department of Human Services, court records show.No charges yet have been filed in this case, prosecutors say they are waiting for the results of a medical examiner's report on Brandon's death, but the remaining 7 children are now finally in foster care. As it turns out, under Pennsylvania law, their state Department of Human Services, their social services agency is rather limited it what it can do to intervene when medical care is denied to a child based on the religious beliefs of the parents:
Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law includes a religious exemption for instances in which parents neglect children's medical needs because of religious beliefs. Those faith-based cases cannot be labeled child abuse - a categorization many advocates feel prevents children from getting needed services.
While the exemption limits DHS oversight, it does not prohibit the agency from any involvement with the family, said DHS spokeswoman Alicia Taylor.
Frank Cervone, executive director of the Support Center for Child Advocates, said that a judge could require a defendant's cooperation with DHS as a condition of sentencing and that "DHS is generally willing to support the court's efforts."Such cases can't be considered child abuse legally, and DHS intervention is limited until the parents are charged with, and convicted of a crime.
burned an infant alive because they thought he was the anti-Christ
Shortly after his birth at a local hospital, he was thrown into a 2 meter deep fire pit and burned alive.The mother approved of the murder The cult believed in the "Mayan apocalypse" , and the cult's leader believed himself to be god.
The infant's mother approved of the murder, and she and two other members of the cult have been arrested.
Chilean police are still looking for the cult's leader, who is believed to be hiding in Peru.
In the case of the death of Brandon Schiable, I find the fact that Pennsylvania law stands behind parents who refuse to get medical care more shocking than his death. Why is the state unwilling to act strongly to such cases until the parents are convicted of a crime (which more than likely would be as the result of a child's death as in this case)?
Why did the court only give Herbert and Catherine Schiable probation for the previous case where their child died? Why were they allowed to keep their remaining children? In my opinion, if Herbert and Catherine wanted to make the decision for themselves never to receive medical care, I would find that senseless and highly illogical,m but that would be their right. However, why is denying medical care to one's children more tolerated?
The child has no legal ability to make that choice for themselves, and in both deaths in the Schiable family, the child was even to young to understand what was going on. Why isn't this legally considered any different from any other form of neglect/abuse? Would a family who did the same thing, but didn't use religious beliefs to justify it receive probation like they did? Probably not.....
The law needs to change in Pennsylvania.