Of physicians and medicines: what is to be done in sickness…
Honour the physician for the need thou hast of him: for the most High hath created him. For all healing is from God, and he shall receive gifts of the king. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head, and in the sight of great men he shall be praised. The most High hath created medicines out of the earth., and a wise man will not abhor them.
Give place to the physician. For the Lord created him: and let him not depart from thee, for his works are necessary. For there is a time when thou must fall into their hands: And they shall beseech the Lord, that he would prosper what they give for ease and remedy. Ecclesiasticus 38: 1- 4, 12 -14 (DRB)
Faith-healing couple who prayed and rubbed oil on their dying baby instead of calling 911 WILL go to prison for killing the newborn.
Dale and Shannon Hickman were found guilty of manslaughter in 2011
They were members of a controversial faith-healing church in Oregon
Their son David was born two months premature in 2009
He died hours after a home birth when couple refused to go to hospital
Their conviction was upheld last week by the state’s Supreme Court
They will serve six years each in prison
An Oregon couple who prayed and rubbed olive on their dying son following a home birth rather than call 911 and seek help will continue to serve six years in prison each after a judge upheld their manslaughter conviction.
Dale and Shannon Hickman, both 30, were both convicted in 2011 of second-degree manslaughter for the death of their son, David, who died nine hours after his home birth in 2009.
David was born two months early at his grandmother’s home with undeveloped lungs, and died after having trouble breathing and turning blue.
The Hickman’s – members of a controversial faith-healing church in Oregon – had appealed their conviction, on the grounds that the prosecution had the burden to prove the couple knew their religious beliefs would cause the death of their child, The New York Daily News reported.
But the plea was rejected by the Oregon Supreme Court last week.
Last week a judge rejected an appeal made by the couple and reiterated that they could have done more to try and save their son.
Avoidable: David’s official cause of death was staphylococcus pneumonia, which could have been treated. Doctors said there was a ’99 percent chance’ he would have survived if the parents had called 911
During the 2011 trial, a doctor had testified that David would have had a ’99 percent chance’ of surviving had the couple called 911.
The baby officially died of staphylococcus pneumonia, which could have been treated.
‘As the evidence unfolded and the witnesses testified, it became evident to me and certainly to the jury … that this death just simply did not need to occur,’ Judge Robert Herndon said.
Prosecutors explained during the trial that David was born with a bacterial infection and underdeveloped lungs. Mr Hickman said he didn’t call 911 because he was praying. The couple never considered taking the baby to the hospital, prosecutors said.
Shannon Hickman said that she must defer to her husband because of church rules.
‘I think it’s God’s will whatever happens,’ she testified. (!!)
The baby boy died quickly and there was no evidence that medical care would have saved him, Mark Cogan, defending, told the court.
The Followers of Christ Church has a history of rejecting medical care for children and relying on as prayer and anointing the sick with oils. Five other church members have been convicted in Clackamas County for crimes related to the rejection of medical care for their children.
The Hickmans’ conviction on second-degree manslaughter charges typically requires a mandatory minimum sentence of six years in prison. But many feared that, because of a religious exemption in state law at time of the crime, they might have received just 18 months in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In response to deaths among Followers of Christ members, state lawmakers removed the religious defences from criminal laws this year. Those exemptions had made it tougher to convict parents shunning a child’s medical care for religious reasons instead of neglect. The change will allow prosecutors to seek stiffer manslaughter or murder charges in faith-healing cases.
On Monday, Prosecutor Mike Regan said a message needed to be sent to the church that child abuse for any motive is still child abuse.
Under-fire: The Followers of Christ Church has a history of rejecting medical care for children and relying on as prayer and anointing the sick with oils
He said: ‘These generally are good, decent, law-abiding folks, except in this one narrow area of their lives. One (area) where they have told us stubbornly – and arrogantly, if I may – that ‘We are not going to change.’‘The law of civil society demands that they change. It demands that we sent a message to all of them that whether you believe this or not in Oregon, you cannot act upon that belief.’
Two other parents from the church were convicted earlier this year for failing to seek medical care for their infant daughter. She had a growth that could have left her blind in one eye – and they were sentenced to three months in jail.