Defense looks to minimize faith in the faith healing death of child

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.

Couple accused in death of daughter, 12, seek to exclude mention of faith healing.

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communities get the message loud and clear that you do not have a right to allow children to die based on your outdated superstitions.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.

Parents acquitted for murder after faith healing fails | Doubtful News.

Tulsa mother on trial for manslaughter after relying on prayer over medical help and Mother faces prison for faith healing death

The Rossiters were charged back in August.

More on children’s death from faith healing parents:

Parents avoid jail in faith healing case in Oregon that resulted in child’s death

Wrongful death due to religion: Faith healing killed Misty Horner

Schaible’s faith healing congregation has had at least 22 child deaths

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds faith healing conviction

Schaibles sent to prison for up to seven years for faith healing murder

  4 comments for “Defense looks to minimize faith in the faith healing death of child

  1. Mary-Karen Reid
    April 20, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    So their defense will be “we didn’t take her to the doctor because … We didn’t feel like it … We had to finish the book we were reading first … We she was just trying to get attention …” what possible explanation could you have for neglecting your child until she died other than following some religious nonsense? It should be interesting.

  2. Rex Dart
    April 21, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    It’s not like there are a ton of great arguments for the defense attorney, who is ethically obliged to give her client “zealous defense.” Most likely after this longshot motion is rejected, it’ll be time for a plea bargain.

  3. Andrew
    April 21, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    I really find a very fine line between these beliefs and Alicia Silverstone’s book about not taking any medicine. The only difference is one quack vs a whole bunch of quacks. I’m sure in the case of one person who decided ‘on their own belief’ to withhold medicine they’d be convicted in a heartbeat, so this should be no different.

  4. May 16, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    The parents will no doubt use poverty as a reason for not getting medical care. This is normally the second line of defense in religions like this. My family belongs to the Followers of Christ in Idaho. Same religion, same last names, same sickening stories. The Rossiters are not unfamiliar with the law and sick children. They have been a part of other deaths and children being removed from relatives for medical neglect. They chose to let Sybil die because of their twisted beliefs.

    This abuse will stop when the Christian public recognizes this is child abuse and not religious freedom or God’s will. How many people saw this girl during her illness and did nothing?

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