Attorneys: Faith-healing parents OK with surviving children receiving care

Posted: May 07, 2013

HERBERT AND Catherine Schaible don't object to the city providing their seven surviving children with immunizations and other medical care, their attorneys said in court yesterday.

The Rhawnhurst couple are being investigated for the April death of their 8-month-old son, Brandon. The child died at home after becoming ill days earlier with breathing problems and diarrhea.

Instead of calling a doctor, the parents prayed for their son, just as they did in 2009 when another son died.

The Schaibles have not been charged in Brandon's death because the Medical Examiner's Office has not yet determined a cause of death, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner during a status hearing.

Herbert, 44, and Catherine, 43, were present but did not speak. They are members of the First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park, which believes in faith healing instead of medicine and doctors.

In 2011, the couple were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Kent, 2, who died of bacterial pneumonia.

Both were sentenced to 10 years' probation and were ordered to get their children medical checkups and care as needed.

A dependency judge last week gave the Department of Human Services authorization to provide the Schaibles' remaining children with medical care, Lerner said.

Attorney Mythri Jayaraman, representing Catherine, and attorney Bobby Hoof, representing Herbert, said their clients did not object to the ruling.

The seven children are in foster care.


On Twitter: @MensahDean

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