Faith healing idiots who let son die are headed to prison.

Hey, remember back in April of last year when I wrote about Herbert and Catherine Schaible, the two idiots who decided prayer was the only appropriate way to deal with their 8-month-old son’s pneumonia? How this was the second kid they let die because they believe prayer is better than medicine when it comes to dealing with illness?

Mr. and Mrs. Dumbass

Mr. and Mrs. Dumb-ass

Well there’s some good news! They’re finally headed to prison:

SAYING THAT IT was they who killed their son and not God or religious devotion, a judge yesterday sentenced a Rhawnhurst couple to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison for praying for their pneumonia-stricken baby instead of following a court order to take him to a doctor.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible each apologized for the April death of 7-month-old Brandon and said despite their religious beliefs in prayer over medicine, they would take their surviving children to doctors in the future.

Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner also sentenced the couple to 30 months of supervised probation after they are released from prison.

Of course they made the promise of taking their kids to the doctor after the first time they let one die of a treatable disease so you’ll pardon me if I’m skeptical that they’d actually keep a promise they’d already broken. Six of the seven surviving kids are minors and currently in foster care. With any luck they’ll reach adulthood before these morons get out of prison.

Oregon faith-healing parents put their daughter at risk of blindness; themselves at risk of prosecution.

Timothy and Rebecca Wyland are strong in their faith that God will heal if you just ask him to. When their months-old baby developed a hemangioma over her left eye they didn’t bother to seek out medical attention for the child, but busted out the oil and started praying.

Now they could be charged with a Class C felony under Oregon law:

The Wylands were indicted within the past few days and probably will be arraigned next week, said Colleen Gilmartin, the deputy district attorney handling the custody case in juvenile court.

Under Oregon law, it is a crime for parents to intentionally and knowingly withhold necessary and adequate medical attention from their children. First-degree criminal mistreatment is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Some of you may be wondering just what a hemangioma is. Here is its Wikipedia entry:

A hemangioma of infancy (or haemangioma of infancy) is a benign self-involuting tumor of endothelial cells (the cells that line blood vessels). In most cases it appears during the first days or weeks of life and will have resolved at the latest by age 10. In infancy, it is the most common tumor.

[…] Hemangiomas are the most common childhood tumor, occurring in approximately ten percent of Caucasians, and are less prevalent in other races. Females are three to five times as likely to have hemangiomas as males. Hemangiomas are also more common in twin pregnancies. Approximately 80% are located on the face and neck, with the next most prevalent location being the liver.

So it’s not an uncommon thing for a child to experience and most of the time it’ll clear up on its own, but every now and then there are complications that require medical intervention. If left untreated it can get progressively worse:

Alayna had a small mark over her left eye at birth.

The area started swelling, and the fast-growing mass of blood vessels, known as a hemangioma, eventually caused her eye to swell shut and pushed the eyeball down and outward and started eroding the eye socket bone around the eye.

It’s rare to see a child with an advanced hemangioma because the condition typically is treated as soon as it’s detected, said a doctor who testified at a hearing before Van Dyk last week.

“They never get this large,” said Dr. Thomas Valvano, a pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. “This was medical neglect.”

Investigators who interviewed the Wylands noted the grotesque swelling that led DHS to act.

“Alayna’s left eyeball was completely obstructed, and you could not see any of it. The growth was multiple shades of red and maroon and appeared to me to be between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball,” said Clackamas County Detective Christie Fryett in a search warrant affidavit that included pictures of the growth on Alayna’s face.

Depending on how much damaged has been done to her left eye the child may very well be blind from this point on. All because her parents thought their faith was more than enough to cure her of her condition.

What’s really amazing about this is the fact that several people involved in this case agree that the child should be returned to her parents:

The Wylands’ attorneys, John Neidig  and Thurl Stalnaker Jr., offered a plan they said would guarantee the child would receive medical care recommended by doctors, with options such as regular visits from state workers, having a trusted individual occupy the Wyland home and monitoring the family with Skype, an Internet program used for video conferencing.

Attorney Michael Clancy, who represents Alayna, also urged that the girl be sent home.

Clancy, however, was skeptical that prosecutors or child-protection authorities would accept any plan to quickly reunite the family.

“There is no plan, even if we came up with 100 pages of stuff … that is going to be satisfactory,” he said.

Clackamas County Circuit Judge Douglas Van Dyk noted that doctors treating Alayna haven’t reviewed the Wylands’ plan and said he wouldn’t approve the proposal without hearing from the physicians.

But Van Dyk also said Alayna should be returned home once a plan is in place “that makes the community feel secure about the care.”

He told all the attorneys to submit their proposals to him next week and said he would work out a suitable agreement at a July 30 hearing.

“That’s where this case is going as far as this judge is concerned,” Van Dyk said.

But as it turns out, Oregon law may make that difficult:

Prosecutors said that a child usually is not returned to parents accused of criminal mistreatment. It is not clear whether the district attorney’s office will seek a no-contact order or if one would be granted.

Gilmartin, doctors and DHS workers want assurances that Alayna will get treatment that will minimize damage to her eye and address any complications that arise.

The icing on this faith-based bit of lunacy? The father, Timothy Wyland, is 44 and the mother, Rebecca Wyland, is 23. Oh, and this is his second wife. His first wife died in 2006 of breast cancer:

She had not sought or received medical treatment for the condition, said Dr. Christopher Young, a deputy state medical examiner who signed the death certificate.

Too much faith will make you crazy.

Boy dies from easily treatable condition while family prays for healing.

Here’s a story we’re seeing with more and more regularity. It’s from the Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy file and it involves a young man who’d be alive today if the people purported to care about him would have taken him to a doctor’s office. Instead the opted to pray for God to heal him. God, apparently, had better things to do:

GLADSTONE, Ore. – A 16-year-old boy who, along with his parents, believed in faith healing died as a result of an inflammation in his urinary system that is treatable, a deputy medical examiner said Wednesday.

The boy, identified by authorities as Neil Beagley, was suffering from an inflammation in a tube leading from his bladder – the urethra – that made him unable to urinate, according to Dr. Clifford Nelson, a deputy state medical examiner.

Beagley filled up with urine, and that eventually ruined his bladder and kidneys and resulted in heart failure, said Nelson, who called it “an absolutely horrible way to die.”

A simple procedure with a catheter is all it would’ve taken to save his life, but his folks and his fellow church members figured why go through all that trouble when God promises to heal you if you just ask? Best of all no one is likely to be charged in this unfortunate situation:

It was not clear what transpired between March and this week. Gladstone police said the boy got sick about a week ago and his condition worsened Sunday, causing members of his faith-healing church to gather for prayer rather than take him to a hospital. The boy died Tuesday afternoon surrounded by family members and a board member of the church called authorities.

Police said relatives and church members told them the teenager refused treatment for the illness, as he was entitled to do under Oregon law.

“All of the interviews from last night are that he did in fact refuse treatment,” said Sgt. Lynne Benton of Gladstone police. “Unless we can disprove that, charges probably won’t be filed in this case.

She said state law allows minors 14 and older to make such decisions.

Sounds like an early candidate for next year’s Darwin Awards. Shame someone so young would throw their lives away on a silly superstition, but that’s the risk you take when you choose to have too much faith in invisible sky faeries.

Parents use of “faith healing” results in another dead child.

Yeah, I’m going to beat on that “What’s the harm in religious belief?” meme again. This time the harm befell a 15-month-old girl named Ava Worthington who died from a combination of a benign cystic hygroma on her neck that impeded her breathing and pneumonia. Both of her parents are on trial charged with criminal mistreatment and manslaughter for failing to provide their daughter with adequate medical care. When detectives asked the father why he didn’t take his baby girl to a doctor he gave them the following explanation:

“I don’t believe in them,” Carl Worthington said of doctors. “I believe in faith healing.”

Raylene Worthington said that her religious beliefs do not encompass medical care and that she would not have done anything different for her – daughter, who died at home of pneumonia, a blood infection and other complications.

Here’s what they did instead:

Ava’s father, who goes by Brent, his middle name, described what happened:

Ava came down with what appeared to be a cold or the flu on a Tuesday. By Saturday, her breathing became labored and the family turned to its traditional faith-healing rituals, praying, fasting, anointing the body with oil, administering diluted wine and laying on of hands.

By Sunday, Brent Worthington said he thought there was “a possibility” his daughter was so sick she could die. Then, after a final session of laying on of hands at about 5 p.m., “she perked up,” he said. She grabbed her bottle and “took some food.”

“She was peaceful; she was rested,” Worthington said.

She died two hours later. Suddenly their religious beliefs don’t seem so harmless anymore. Unfortunately the harm didn’t befall the people who held the beliefs, but to their innocent child. When you buy into your delusion so much that you abandon proven techniques for pointless rituals this is the result you end up with. The really sad part is that Worthington doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong:

Brent Worthington said that forgoing medical treatment is probably difficult for outsiders to understand. For him, medical treatment “is not a question. It’s not even thought.”

When the detectives told Worthington that the law requires a parent to provide adequate medical care, he said he had provided care.

“I did everything I could do for her,” Worthington said. “What I was doing was working,” he said. “She was getting relief.”

The fact that she’s dead in no way interferes with this man’s belief that what he was doing was working. Facts don’t tend to influence the delusional.

Believe whatever nonsense you want, pray all you want, but try to keep enough common sense in your head to take your kids to the doctor when they get sick. Otherwise don’t be surprised if you end up in jail for your idiocy.

Thousands of idiots believe this Preacher can heal them and raise the dead.

Continuing on the topic of delusional True Believers™ brings us to this news item about a Canadian faith healer by the name of Todd Bentley who’s apparently enjoying quite a bit of popularity in Florida. He claims God has given him the power to heal the sick and raise the dead and the overly credulous are showing up in the thousands:

When Bentley performs healings, often wearing jeans and a T-shirt, aides bring the sick up both sides of an elaborate stage. The preacher’s assistants tell the audience each person’s condition and how far they came to be cured: from Europe, the West Coast, up to the Northeast and beyond.

Like a psychic, he will proclaim someone in the crowd has a particular kind of tumor, growth or affliction.

“Someone’s getting a new spinal cord tonight!” Bentley yelled in one service.

Apparently God will hand out a new spine, but so far there’s no reports of miraculous amputee limb regenerations. Which, honestly, would be very convincing indeed if it were to happen.

Instead what we get is a sideshow with a man who apparently can do anything to his followers and get away with it:

Critics circulate a YouTube video from Lakeland of him kneeing a supposed terminal stomach cancer patient in the abdomen, saying God told him to. In another clip, Bentley explains how he kicked an elderly lady in the face, choked a man, banged a crippled woman’s legs on a platform, “leg-dropped” a pastor and hit a man so hard it dislodged a tooth.

The criticism has grown so acute that Bentley addressed it directly on stage earlier this month. He said he has used those extreme methods only about 20 times in 10 years of preaching, and those cases were taken out of context. Each person was healed, not hurt, Bentley insisted.

“People just can’t understand why God would tell me something like, ‘Kick that woman in the face,’ who was not injured and hundreds were healed,” Bentley said. “Or the incident where I did hit a guy so hard one time that he did hit the ground and his tooth popped out.

“But what people don’t know is that he was a dentist. There’s a whole miracle that took place in his body. He was healed of cancer and he became a (ministry donor) after the incident of knocking his tooth out, because he knew it was God. And he said, ‘I never felt a thing.”’

You know you’re deep in the crazy when you get your tooth knocked out and think it somehow healed you of cancer. Maybe if it was tooth cancer and was confined to that one tooth I suppose, but otherwise you probably need your head examined. Though if getting your tooth knocked out didn’t knock some sense into you then psychiatry probably won’t do much for you either.

Bentley makes a lot of big claims and says he has victims believers whose cures have been medically verified. Needless to say such proof is hard to actually track down:

The claims of healing range from disappeared tumors to a man who says he can now see out of a glass eye. In more than 20 cases, Bentley says, his revival has even literally resurrected the dead. Such claims have been made by revivalists in the past, but they are not common and some Pentecostals reject them.

Expecting critics, Bentley’s ministry distributed a list of 15 people it said were cured, and vetted by his ministry, with all but three of their stories “medically verified.”

Yet two phone numbers given out by the ministry were wrong, six people did not return telephone messages and only two of the remainder, when reached by The Associated Press, said they had medical records as proof of their miracle cure. However, one woman would not make her physician available to confirm the findings, and the other’s doctor did not return calls despite the patient’s authorization.

Wow, 15 people with 12 supposed verifications out of how many thousands of fools that show up to his revivals? Even if he was actually healing people that’s not much of a success rate.

Not that that’ll stop the True Believers™ from flocking to his tent and throwing money at him in hopes of curing what ails them. Just a shame they don’t realize their real problem lies between their ears.