'Faith-Healing' Couple Questioned In Death Of Second Child

Jennifer Deutschmann

A Pennsylvania "faith-healing" couple is being questioned in the death of a second child. Herbert and Catherine Schaible's 8-month-old son reportedly died last week, after the couple refused to taking him to the doctor, citing their religious beliefs. Their 2-year-old son died in 2009, when they failed to seek medical treatment for his pneumonia.

The parents stated that their infant son displayed symptoms of illness for several days before he finally perished. As the infant experienced diarrhea and labored breathing, the couple chose to pray over their son rather than taking him to the hospital.

As reported by Philly.com, a local funeral home reported the death to authorities. Police responded to the Schaible's home to question them about their son's death. The couple was questioned, but have not been charged or detained pending autopsy results.

In 2011 the couple was placed on ten years probation. They were each found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 2-year-old son Kent. The terms of the probation required the parents to seek medical treatment for all of their children.

The Schaibles agreed that from that point on, their children would be treated by a medical doctor, not prayer.

The couple's belief in faith-healing has now led to questions in the death of a second child.

As reported by Fox News, the Schaible family belongs to a fundamentalist Christian church that practices faith-based healing. The First Century Gospel Church refers to scripture, which they believe promotes faith-healing over traditional medical treatment. They further promote their beliefs as faith-based healing is free.

The couple appeared in court for a hearing to determine whether they violated their probation. Judge Benjamin Lerner expressed sympathy toward the couple for the loss of their child, but reprimanded them for failing to seek medical treatment.

Judge Lerner asserted that the couple "knowingly, intentionally, hypocritically and callously violated" the terms of their probation agreement.

Their surviving seven children have been placed in temporary homes by the Department of Human Services.

The Schaibles are facing up to ten years each, for probation violation. Additionally, they may be charged for their reliance on faith-healing, which may have led to the death of a second child.