Schaible murder charge will stand in faith healing death

The Schaible faith healing saga continues. They aren’t getting away with excuses.
Judge won’t toss Philadelphia faith-healer’s murder charge |

A judge refused to dismiss murder charges Wednesday against a fundamentalist Christian in the faith-healing death of his son, saying things might be different if another one of his children’s deaths hadn’t landed him and his wife in court four years ago.

Their probation in that case required Herbert and Catherine Schaible to seek immediate medical help if another child was sick or injured. But the Schaibles instead sat and prayed over 8-month-old son Brandon before he died of pneumonia in April, according to their statements to police.

Defense lawyer Bobby Hoof argued that Brandon died just three days after he became ill, and said there was no evidence of malice, as required for a third-degree murder charge. The judge disagreed.

“They learned in the worst possible way … exactly what these symptoms could lead to in a child, especially a young child, if not medically cared for,” Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner said, referring to the 2009 death of 2-year-old Kent Schaible. “We’ve been here before … under strikingly similar circumstances.”

This piece quotes Shawn Francis Peters, a University of Wisconsin lecturer who has studied faith-healing deaths who says about a dozen children die each year in the U.S. because parents choose faith healing over conventional medicine. The Schaible’s have the distinction of having two of their children die from potentially treatable illnesses. While their defense argued that many parents wait three days to see if things get better on their own, they were required to seek care and not make those judgements themselves.

To add to the disgust many people have with the Schaible case is the words of their self-righteous pastor, Nelson Clark, who said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives. He also insisted they would not seek medical care even if another child appeared near death. How he knows this is not clear but this seemed to have played out in this case. Is it his direction? Clark is against trying to force his members into “the flawed medical system.” Dude, what medical system is flawed again? The one who saves children with modern knowledge or a God that lets kids die?

  2 comments for “Schaible murder charge will stand in faith healing death

  1. Chris Howard
    August 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    “Dude, what medical system is flawed again? The one who saves children with modern knowledge or a God that lets kids die?”


  2. One Eyed Jack
    August 8, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    They should have lost custody of their other children after the first death. This second death is as much the responsibility of the Judge in the first case as it is the parents.

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