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“Faith Healing” Killed Tragic Parents’ Daughter
 
Adjust font size:   Close Kaiwind  2017-05-03
 

A Faith Tabernacle church couple in Pennsylvania whose faith forbids any kind of medical treatment were charged in the pneumonia death of their 2-year-old daughter, becoming the latest members of their sect to be prosecuted for failing to take a dying child to a doctor.

The Fosters told authorities that Ella began showing symptoms of a common cold two days before she died, including lethargy and a sore throat. Her breathing eventually became labored, then rapid, and she died in her father's arms. A forensic pathologist told investigators Ella would have had a 95 percent chance of surviving if she had been given a routine course of antibiotics. But Jonathan Foster told police "it would be frowned upon and against their religion" to have taken Ella to a doctor, an affidavit said.

The couple lives in Upper Tulpehocken Township, near the village of Strausstown. It wasn't clear whether they have attorneys who could comment on their behalf. The Fosters were released on unsecured bail and are back home with their six other young children. Adams said the parents have agreed to take their children to doctors when they are sick. Child welfare officials are monitoring compliance, he said.

The parents told investigators they belong to the Faith Tabernacle church in Mechanicsburg, and that "as part of their faith they do not believe in any medical treatment," including medication and doctors, according to court documents. In Pennsylvania, at least 10 children whose parents belong to various branches of the fundamentalist sect have died of treatable illnesses in the last several decades. Several church members have been prosecuted for failing to seek medical care.

Jonathan and Grace Foster attributed the death of their daughter, Ella Grace Foster, to "God's will," according to a police affidavit. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. "Our laws recognize that you have a duty to care for your child's health and welfare," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams. Adams said law does not recognize a religious exception to a parents' duty to provide appropriate medical care. He warned that other members of the congregation would face prosecution if they fail to care for their sick children. "I hope that the members of this church understand that authorities, such as our office, will not tolerate children not receiving medical care," he said. No one answered the phone at a listing for a school connected with the Fosters' church.

About a dozen U.S. children die each year when parents turn to faith healing instead of medicine, typically from highly treatable problems, according to experts. At least one state, Oregon, explicitly banned faith healing as a murder defense after a series of deaths.

Related:

A 9-year-old boy was found dead in his Philadelphia home and authorities suspect medical neglect, reports The Philadelphia Daily News.

The deceased child’s father is a member of a group called “Faith Tabernacle Congregation,” which teaches members not to seek medical care or visit doctors.

They boy’s aunt a member of the group said, “You serve Satan if you go to a doctor.”

Faith Tabernacle is another example of the type of destructive fringe groups often responsible for deaths due to medical neglect.

But the group’s members certainly don’t feel responsible.

The dead child’s aunt said when people die “God wants that person. He takes life. He gives life.”

Well, if authorities find out that the boy’s death could have been prevented through proper medical care, someone will be wanted on criminal charges and eventually be taken to jail.

Source:

http://www.startribune.com/prosecutor-pair-charged-in-girl-s-death-cited-faith-healing/412428713/

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