Christian parents who shunned medicine as son died are given probation

A Christian couple who prayed for a miracle healing instead of seeking medical help for their son who later died have escaped a prison sentence.

A Philadelphia judge instead sentenced Herbert and Catherine Schaible to 10 years probation and ordered that they ensure their remaining seven children receive regular medical care.

The sentence follows their conviction last December of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment after their two-year-old son Kent died from bacterial pneumonia.

The Schaibles are members of the controversial First Century Gospel Church, which teaches that using medicine is a sin.

When Kent Schaible came down with flu-like symptoms, his parents turned to prayer to heal him instead of calling in the doctors. He died two weeks later on January 24, 2009.

Herbert Schaible had told detectives at the time: “We tried to fight the devil, but in the end, the devil won.”

He and his wife have been given 30 days to set up medical examinations for their surviving children, ranging in age from one to 15.

In the US, involuntary manslaughter carries a prison sentence of up to ten years, while child endangerment carries up to seven years in jail.

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