In a case that raises a time old question, which has been effectively silenced for thousands of years, society is now being forced to face it head on.

Prayer or Medicine?

Everybody has heard of cases where a person in need of medical help, passed away because the religion they believed in preached prayer, going so far as to call medical intervention blasphemy.  For someone like myself, who does not believe in a religion or God, the answer is easy, and the anger when someone is lost due to their extremist beliefs is overwhelming. However, this reaction is not reserved only for people as myself, the vast majority of religious people, share this same belief.

Prayer has it’s time and place.  It is comforting to people, and it provides hope and faith.  Prayer does many things, it does not however, physically save lives.

When someone on becomes ill, obtaining medical help is the smart and right thing to do.  Break a leg? – go to the doctor and get a cast.  Have an infection? – go to the doctor and get antibiotics.  Have a severe allergy?  Go to the doctor and get an epi-pen.  I think you get the point.

Now when my children are sick, I take them straight to the doctor.  I don’t believe in waiting and allowing them to only get sicker.  I can admit that when I had my first son, every sneeze or cough had me going into 911 panic mode, driving to the doctor believing my son was dying.  Eventually I calmed down, and was able to determine fairly easily when it was a cold one of my sons needed to just wait out, or if they had become so sick that they are dehydrated and I can’t get their fever down, then we would head to the hospital.  Most parents reach this level of knowing your child’s limits, and knowing when you need help to make them better.

Herbert Schaible

Herbert Schaible

Herbert and Catherine Schaible are NOT two of these parents.

The Schaibles belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes in faith healing.  This belief killed not just one of the couples 9 children, but TWO.  In 2009, Kent Schaible died after his parents chose to rely on prayer instead of medical care.  Kent, 2, died from bacterial pneumonia.  Kent’s death resulted in the Schaibles being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.  The two were sentenced with a slap on the wrist and received10 years probation.  Part of the conditions of their sentence was that the parents were ordered to take their children for medical check-ups and obtain medical care immediately if one of their children became ill.  Brandon was seen once when he was 10 days old, and never again.  In the first year of their life, babies should be attending check-ups every couple of months, not to mention the vaccinations they should be receiving at that critical time.  The couple had distinctly committed to calling for medical help and not waiting for prayer if one of their children were to become sick.

Catherine Schaible

Catherine Schaible

Eight month old Brandon, died after suffering through diarrhea, vomiting and breathing problems for more than a week before he stopped eating.  This next little tidbit really gets to me.  When baby Brandon died, his parents did not call the police or medics.  They instead called a funeral home and then went about their lives.  I just don’t understand how you can watch your baby dying and not care enough to call someone for help.  Clearly God wasn’t picking up the phone when they were calling him, so make another call – TO 911.

Catherine Schaible’s attorney, Mythri Jayaraman, called the couple good parents who were deeply distraught over the loss of another child.  During a hearing presided over by Judge Benjamin Lerner, he told the couple that they had violated the terms of their probation, noting that the Schaible told investigators that they prayed to God to make Brandon well instead of seeking medical attention.  “You did that once, and the consequences were tragic.  You are a danger to your children.”

The First Century Gospel Church which the Schaibles attended, posted a sermon on their website titled “Healing – From God or Medicine?”.  The sermon quotes Bible verses which forbid Christians from visiting doctors or taking medicine.  “It is a definite sin to trust in medical help and pills; and it is real faith to trust on the name of Jesus for healing.”  Hmmmm, makes me wonder what the Bible says about infanticide.  The Schaibles’ pastor, Nelson Clark, says that the couple lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives. *Cough* WTF?  I want to punch this guy in throat!

Herbert and Catherine Schaible

Herbert and Catherine Schaible

Herbert and Catherine Schaible have been charged with murder in Brandon’s death.  Considering the death of Kent 4 years prior, the Schaibles are left without excuses for Brandon dying.  Herbert’s lawyer, Bobby Hoof, argued that Brandon died only three days after coming down with cold and flu like symptoms and said there was no evidence of malice, as required with third-degree murder.  Judge Lerner was smart enough to disagree, “They learned in the worst possible way … exactly what these symptoms could lead to in a child, especially a young child, if not medically cared for.  We have been here before, under strikingly similar circumstances.”  Brandon’s autopsy, conducted by chief medical examiner, Dr. Gary Collins, showed that the baby suffered from a sunken eye socket, dry lips and a rash on his scalp.  He was able to determine that the baby boy died of bacterial pneumonia in combination with dehydration.  Brandon would have survived if he had been given fluids and antibiotics.

The 7 remaining children, 4 boys and 3 girls, received court-ordered medical care after being placed into foster homes.  Since charges were laid, the Schaibles have been allowed to visit with their children twice a week with DHS supervised visits held at a DHS location.

Herbert remains in jail with his bail set at $250,000.00, while Catherine was able to post bail in late June.  She is on electronically monitored house arrest.  No trial date has been set as of yet, but we will keep you posted when new information is released.

UPDATED, NOVEMBER 18, 2013 ~ Herbert and Catherine Schaible have pled no contest and been convicted of child endangerment, conspiracy, and third-degree murder for Brandon’s death.  Their sentencing is scheduled for February 19, 2014, at which time the Schaibles could face 20 – 40 years in prison.  We will keep you updated when the sentencing is held.




~ by LTWH on September 5, 2013.


  1. God guides the hands of doctors and blesses their minds to remember what they learned in school. We can pray for our children first and then take them to a skilled doctor. We can even pray for their doctors. If it is our children’s time to go God will take them but we have the responsibility to do everything in our power to help. Doctors are a blessing not evil.

  2. What happened to people’s god given right? Everyday we are stripped of more and more of are rights. Since when did being a Christian and putting your faith in our creator become a crime. Medicine does not always work and there’s been plenty of cases where nothing else works except god, so to punish those people is a slap in gods face. The bible says you should follow the laws of the land except when they go against the laws of god, so these people are in violation of nothing. You cannot force someone to receive medicine if they do not believe in it. Wake up people they could care less about these peoples kids it’s about taking more of our god given rights away. When you have no rights what does that make you a slave.

    • Really, If the parents decided to to accept medical treatment, more power to them. A child can not make those decisions thus they should be protected by the law. Now you feel you do not want treatment for an ailment, I call it a win win situation.

  3. 3 1/2 to 7 years. These sick bastards will be free to kill the rest of their kids in 3 years……

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