Oregon Faith-Healing Parents Plead Guilty In Newborn’s Death

Oregon Faith-Healing Parents Plead Guilty In Newborn’s Death July 10, 2018

Faith-healing kills: Oregon faith-healing parents plead guilty after allowing their infant daughter to die by choosing prayer over modern medicine.

KPTV reports:

Travis Lee Mitchell, 22, and Sarah Elaine Mitchell, 25, both pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and first-degree criminal mistreatment Monday.

The faith-healing couple was sentenced to more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide for the death of their newborn baby.

New York Post notes:

Two members of an Oregon church that shuns traditional medicine in favor of prayer and anointing the sick with oils pleaded guilty Monday to negligent homicide and criminal mistreatment in the death of their newborn daughter, who struggled to breathe for hours as family and friends prayed over her but did not seek medical care.

As previously reported, Sarah Mitchell gave birth to 2 girls at her parents’ home March 5, 2017. One of Mitchell’s newborn daughters developed breathing complications and died a few hours later.

No trained medical professionals were present for the birth, or for the after birth complications. Only family members and church midwives were present for the tragic birth and subsequent death of the infant.

The Oregonian reports no one, none of the midwives or family and church members who witnessed the birth, called 911 as the helpless infant suffered and died.

Sarah and her husband, Travis Lee Mitchell, are members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City. The church preaches faith-healing and rejects modern medicine in favor of prayer and other spiritual practices such as anointing the sick with oil.

The church is notorious for allowing sick children to suffer and even die rather than seeking medical attention.

Sarah Mitchell’s sister, Shannon Hickman, is also a member of the Followers of Christ Church. Last year the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the manslaughter convictions and prison sentences for Dale and Shannon Hickman whose newborn baby died after they chose faith healing over medical treatment.

The Followers of Christ Church is a collection of small and secretive Christian fundamentalist congregations that make a habit of watching their children die rather than seek medical attention. The church teaches that modern medicine should be shunned in favor of prayer, and the consequences of church doctrine have been tragic: the preventable deaths of many innocent children.

Bottom line: Faith-healing kills. And, as always, it is the children who suffer.

 

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