US couple found guilty in faith-healing over dying boy
- From: AP
- September 30, 2011
A US couple who prayed and rubbed olive oil on their sick infant rather than seek
medical care for the dying boy have been convicted of manslaughter, becoming the
latest members of an Oregon faith-healing church to be blamed in their child’s
Church, which has a history of rejecting medical care for congregants’ children
and relying instead on techniques such as prayer and anointing the sick with
Five other church members have been convicted in Clackamas County for crimes
related to the rejection of medical care for their children, said Greg Horner,
chief deputy district attorney.
The Hickmans’ conviction on second-degree manslaughter charges typically
requires a mandatory minimum sentence of six years in prison. But because of a
religious exemption in state law at time of the crime, the couple likely will
face no more than 18 months in prison and a $US250,000 ($256,581) fine, The
Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Robert Herndon allowed the couple to
remain free until they are sentenced October 31.
Prosecutors claimed Shannon Hickman never sought pre-natal care when she was
pregnant with David, who was born two months premature at his grandmother’s home
and died less than nine hours later when he had trouble breathing. He was born
with a bacterial infection and underdeveloped lungs.
Medical experts for the prosecution testified that the baby had a 99 per cent
chance of survival if his parents had sought medical care. But prosecutors
claimed the couple never considered taking the baby to the hospital.
Defence lawyer Mark Cogan said his clients were the victims of religious
persecution. He argued that the baby died quickly and said there was no evidence
that medical care would have saved him.
Dale Hickman testified that he didn’t call an ambulance once he realised his
infant son was ailing “because I was praying”. Shannon Hickman said that as a
woman in the church, she must defer to her husband.
“That’s not my decision anyway,” she testified. “I think it’s God’s will
Two other parents from the Followers of Christ church were convicted earlier
this year for failing to seek medical care for their infant daughter, who had a
growth that could have left her blind in one eye. They were sentenced to 90 days
- Trial set to begin in faith-healing case (bendbulletin.com)
- Parents face manslaughter charge in baby’s death (bendbulletin.com)
- Shannon Hickman Takes Stand in Trial for Faith Healing Baby Death (inquisitr.com)
- Couple face manslaughter charge in baby’s death (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- To ensure care, state will keep custody of faith healers’ child (bendbulletin.com)
- Judge will decide who pays girl’s medical bills (bendbulletin.com)
- Faith healing couple faces hefty medical bill (1minionsopinion.wordpress.com)
- On Wednesday’s Radio Show… (alan.com)