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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Couple Who Believe in Faith-based Healing Convicted of Killing Son by Not Giving Him Medical Care

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2015 Oct 14
  • Comments

An Oregon couple who believes in faith healing has been convicted of second degree manslaughter for neglecting to give their infant son proper medical attention.


The Daily Beast reports that Dale and Shannon Hickman, who belong to the Oregon-based Followers of Christ Church, do not believe in using medical means for healing, but instead turn to prayer and faith-based healing. 


Members of Followers of Christ Church believe that getting medical care is a sign of weak faith.


The Oregon State Supreme Court, however, believes otherwise. The Court has convicted both Dale and Shannon Hickman of second degree manslaughter for failing to give their newborn son proper medical care when he was born prematurely.


The Hickman’s son, David, died of staphylococcus pneumonia within nine hours of his birth, something one doctor estimated “would have had a 99 percent chance” of being cured had the Hickman’s brought him to the hospital.


The Hickmans said they did not know their son was gravely ill until minutes before his death. They say they maintain their faith-based beliefs and stated that they do not regret their decision.


“We do what the Bible tells us, and we put God first and ask for faith,” stated Shannon Hickman. “If we don’t have the faith, then we seek medical treatment because it is not there, you know.”


Courthouse News reports that Dale and Shannon Hickman will be held in separate state penitentiaries until at least January of 2018.


The Daily Beast reports that Oregon is one of the few states that does not allow exceptions for parents who do not want to use medical treatment on their children because of their religious beliefs.



Publication date: October 14, 2015