A pair of Michigan parents have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after allegedly allowing their newborn daughter to die from complications of jaundice. The Christian parents, 30-year-old Rachel Joy Piland and her husband 36-year-old Joshua Barry Piland, reportedly refused to seek medical treatment for their 3-day-old daughter, Abigail, because of their religious beliefs.
Abigail Piland was born at her family's home on February 6, into the hands of a midwife (who had delivered two of Rachel Piland's older children) and her assistant, reports the Lansing State Journal. At the time of her birth, the infant reportedly appeared to be in good health, and was left in the care of her parents at around midnight. The midwife returned to the Michigan parents' home on February 7 for a follow-up visit, and that is when her assessment of the newborn's health reportedly changed.
According to the midwife, the newborn appeared to be suffering from jaundice. She claims that she told Rachel Piland to seek medical care for the baby, even suggesting that the baby be taken to an emergency room. Lansing Police Detective Peter Scaccia claims that the midwife warned the Michigan parents that the baby may develop brain damage or even die if the jaundice remained untreated. Rachel allegedly responded to the dire warning by refusing to seek medical care for her newborn daughter.