FILED IN: Social Issues

Authorities believe faith healing couple allowed second child to die

Herbert and Catherine Schaible accused of killing their second child in four years in faith healing ritual. Mug shots via Philadelphia Police Department.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible accused of killing their second child in four years in faith healing ritual. Mug shots via Philadelphia Police Department.

Authorities are waiting for an autopsy report which they believe will confirm that a Philadelphia couple allowed their infant to die last week when they denied the infant medical treatment in lieu of prayer and faith healing.

If autopsy reports prove that the infant, who was suffering from a bad bout of diarrhea and respiratory problems, could have been saved if the baby’s parents, Herbert and Catherine Schaible, would have sought medical treatment or even over-the-counter medicine, then this will be the second time the couple has been accused of allowing one of their children to die because they denied them medical treatment.

According to NBC News, the couple is currently serving a 10 year probation after they were accused of denying treatment for their 2-year-old son, Kent Shaible, in 2009, resulting in his death. The couple was convicted of manslaughter after pleading guilty to the charge in 2011, two years after their son Kent died of pneumonia.

The Schaible’s are strict Christian fundamentalists who believe in prayer over medical intervention. The couple allegedly believe if prayer doesn’t treat an ill child, then God has already chosen their fate.

Part of the couple’s probationary agreement included their promise to seek medical treatment for their other seven children should one of them need it.

If the autopsy report comes back confirming law enforcement’s suspicions; that their 8-month-old died from a treatable illness, the Shaible’s could face criminal charges.