Another case of a faith healing death to be tried. The parents want to exclude mention of the foundation behind the child’s suffering and death – their religion.
Defense attorneys for Travis and Wenona Rossiter, an Albany couple accused of manslaughter for the death of their 12-year-old daughter in February 2013, are seeking to exclude evidence of religious beliefs or practices during their trial.
The Rossiters are members of the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist sect that believes traditional medical treatment is sinful, and instead trust in God to heal them through faith, according to police and court documents.
The prosecution intends to show that Syble Rossiter, 12, was deprived of life-saving medical care, and her parents instead resorted to faith-healing rites.
The defense attorney for the mother, Wenona, things that the evidence of relgious belief would be prejudicial. Curious. Many in this country give religious beliefs a special pass for scrutiny and many states use religious freedom as an excuse to withhold health care if it clashes with their beliefs. The father’s attorney wants his client to be evaluated on the actions of that day the child died. Another interesting aside that the lawyers seem to not want brought to the fore is that Wenona’s brother died of treatable leukemia. He was 7 when his parents failed to provide medical care. The father was jailed for negligence. The judge ruled this information should not be brought in because the cause of death was different. (Oh? Was it really?) Syble died of complications from diabetes. Evidence strongly suggests that her deteriorating condition was well known and not addressed.
When will it end? When people like this serve serious jail time and their faith-based communities get the message loud and clear that you do not have a right to allow children to die based on your outdated superstitions. Their rights preclude your religious freedom.
Regular readers will know that this belief community is WELL KNOWN for cemeteries full of death children. Oregon media traces child faith healing deaths to Idaho.
The Rossiters were charged back in August.
More on children’s death from faith healing parents: