Second Child Of Philadelphia Faith-Healing Couple Dies

A Philadelphia couple already on probation for the 2009 death of their toddler after they refused medical treatment in favor of prayer could be facing similar charges over another child, The Associated Press reports.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes in faith healing. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reported back in 2010, they were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in the death of their two-year-old son, who died of bacterial pneumonia after they declined to see a doctor and opted instead for faith healing.

An 8-month-old belonging to the couple died last week after suffering diarrhea and breathing problems. Authorities are awaiting an autopsy on the child and the Schaibles have not been charged as yet. But Philadelphia Judge Benjamin Lerner said at a hearing they violated the most important condition of their probation: to seek medical care for their remaining children.

After the death of two-year-old Kent in January 2009, Herbert Schaible told police investigators that he and his wife had “tried to fight the devil, but in the end the devil won.”

The couple attend the First Century Gospel Church of Juniata Park, which adheres to faith-healing practices and eschews medical intervention.

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