GUILTY OR - Newborn David Hickman dies as parents rely on faith healing, Sept 2009

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Missizzy, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Oh, how I wish I didn't have to post this. The Followers of Christ of Oregon City, OR are still making news. This time a couple failed to seek treatment for a premature baby boy:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-ci..._faith-healing_death_of_their_infant_son.html

    Oregon City couple plead not guilty in faith-healing death of their infant son

    "Two members of a church that preaches faith-healing pleaded not guilty Monday to manslaughter charges for failing to provide medical care to their infant son, who died shortly after his premature birth.

    Attorneys for Dale R. Hickman and Shannon M. Hickman entered the pleas...."

    and

    "....The Hickmans' son was born in September 2009, about six weeks premature. He weighed 3 pounds, 5 ounces and lived nine hours. No one with medical training attended the birth, and no one called a doctor or ambulance. An autopsy determined the infant died of staph pneumonia and complications from a premature birth, including underdeveloped lungs...."

    and

    "....The death of the Hickman baby was the third faith-healing fatality involving children from the church in the past two and a half years.

    more at link

    I guess I'll just start a new thread for each child who dies. Isn't that a tragic sentence to write?
     
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  3. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN Active Member

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    It is tragic Missizzy and I hope the state of Oregon takes notice and action to assure nothing else will happen! Religious freedom, does not stand for allowing murder or manslaughter, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  4. momtective

    momtective Lifetime WS Non-Mod

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    Are these people so blind that they cannot see God has provided Doctors and Hospitals where His healing does occur in the majority of cases...:doh:
    So very, very sad.
     
  5. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I've been doing some research into the Followers of Christ for some time. I've lived in Oregon for 17 years this week. It seems that not a year has gone by without a child's death. While I firmly uphold an adult's right to choose medicine or not, I don't believe that we can make that decision for a child, if it puts them in grave danger.

    One thing which has surprised me is that this group does not seem to put much faith in the way of natural or holistic medicines either. It seems that they rely purely on prayer. From an earlier article:

    http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-...aves-trail-of-dead-children-next-trial-jan-11

    "If given a choice to take a child to a doctor, or to spread olive oil on them and pray, members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, Oregon, choose the latter. The church is nothing but a cult of Christian mysticism that allows children to die."
     
  6. noZme

    noZme Active Member

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    It rained for days & the river was rising. Neighbors asked the old crumudgeon to ride with them as they fled. The old guy said " No, God will take care of me."

    The water level rose & flooded the streets. Rescuers came by in a boat but again the old man refused to leave, saying " God will take care of me."

    As the flood waters rose even higher, the old man was forced onto his roof. A helicopter hovered overhead & dropped a harness but again the old man said. "No, God will take care of me."

    The water went above the roof & the guy drowned. He awakened in Heaven & asked God why he had forsaken him in his time of need. God replied, " I came for you 3 times!"
     
  7. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    noZme--Thank you. That is priceless. How I wish these families would recognize that their babies and children do not have to die these terrible deaths. I am the proud parent of 6 children who were preemies. Yes, many of them have challenges. Each is a treasure, however. I wouldn't have these treasures if it weren't for the hard work and incredible gifts of doctors, technicians, nurses, and volunteers who nurtured my babies until they came to me.

    My prayers go out to this little boy and to the families so that they can open their hearts. You are so right. God tried.
     
  8. kileyizzle

    kileyizzle ♥ we have but two lives. The life we learn with, &

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    *sigh*

    I get the whole faith for the healing thing i do - however this is just IMO blatant neglect on that poor child's life.

    Use some common sense. Heavenly father blessed us with medicine for a reason
     
  9. zinc

    zinc Member

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    As difficult as it is to think about this, if you believe that God has commanded that you live a certain way and raise your children in a certain way, and if you believe that God decides the fate of all things, it isn't such a big step to prefer that your children die and be with God rather than that they live while you and they be lost to God.

    Think of Abraham and Isaac. The angel of the Lord stays Abraham's hand at the last minute. But had God allowed Isaac to be slain by His orders, Abraham as a righteous man would have been expected to praise God's name or at least accept God's decision. Job praised God. When "God's laws" and "common sense" clash, if you are part of a religious cult, it just becomes further proof to you that the world's "common sense" belongs to evil.

    I don't really know where I'm going with this — the needless loss of children is terribly sad, but I guess if I step into the shoes of a religious group member for a moment, I can see why it happens.
     
  10. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Can anyone speak to the fact that this little one died of staph pneumonia. I'm just wondering from a medical standpoint, how complicated the intervention and care for this infant would have been. He passed only 9 hours after his birth. What sorts of procedures could have been done to save his life?
     
  11. mom2six

    mom2six New Member

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    I would guess that the reason this little one was born too early was due to an infection, which would explain the staph pneumonia. Possibly, the amniotic sac had ruptured prematurely and exposed the baby to the bacteria, or possibly the infection was already inside the uterus and caused the premature rupture and birth. Whether this child would have lived with appropriate medical care is questionable, if the baby was already infected in utero. Staph is a truly devastating bacteria if it turns into an infection. Frankly, the mother is lucky she didn't become septic herself.

    My gripe about these sects is actually with Protestants and their Bibles. Generations after the Reformation, the protestants decided to strip the Bible of several Old Testament books. Among them is a wisdom book, called Sirach. Read Sirach chapter 38, half the chapter is devoted to respecting the high calling of the physician, including this little gem: "He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor."

    If this chapter remained in all Bibles, it would be clear to any Christian that God has provided physicians for our good, and proper care should be sought in time of need.
     
  12. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    mom2six--Thank you, that was my exact take on things. I'm assuming that there was either a premature rupture of the sac or the mother suffered a serious infection. Either way, a crisis was at hand. If the family had sought medical care, I believe that the mother's and baby's health might both have been preserved. Presumably, the mother is doing well but she could have died. It's highly possible that she might now be infertile. I agree, staph is a nasty bug.

    BTW, my aunt used to quote that verse!!

    I'm well aware of the book you site and agree whole-heartedly. There is just no reason for the two approaches to healing to not go hand in hand.
     
  13. passionflower

    passionflower Just 1 tip to find a killer

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    This happened in my own family 50 years ago.
    My great aunt and uncle belonged to some church (cult) like this in Kentucky.
    They prayed over a son for days...........he just had simple pneumonia.
    No medicine, no doctor! Just church (cult) help.
    My grandparents had to kidnap and reprogram them to get them out of these beliefs.

    I was a little kid and remember the whole mess.
    Yes cults..............
     
  14. joe jones

    joe jones New Member

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  15. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    I've always known God to heal in conjunction with modern medicine, not without it.
     
  16. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    We have two separate threads about these deaths. I'll see if the mods can merge them.
     
  17. pinkfly

    pinkfly Active Member

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    These cases are agonizingly painful. In other aspects I pull back and tell myself to not impose my views on others but when kids are close to death......aarggh
     
  18. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    This judge is not fooling around:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-city/index.ssf/2011/10/dale_and_shannon_hickman_of_fo.html

    Dale and Shannon Hickman receive 6-year sentence, harshest yet for faith-healing church
    October 31, 2011

    "A Clackamas County judge stunned a courtroom packed with supporters of Dale and Shannon Hickman Monday when he sentenced the couple, members of an Oregon City faith-healing church, to prison for six years and three months. The Hickmans received the mandatory minimum prison term under Measure 11 sentencing guidelines, even though defense attorneys argued that their clients qualified for little or no prison time. Once released, they will be on post-prison supervision for three years. "This is a sentence you have justly earned," said Presiding Judge Robert D. Herndon. He called incarceration "a modest penalty for causing the death of a vulnerable person. ... This was so preventable. After Herndon left the courtroom, about 100 church members remained, sullen and many sobbing, as deputies handcuffed the Hickmans and led them away...."

    and

    "....Pediatric experts testified that the baby almost certainly would have survived if he had been taken to a hospital. The Hickmans sought no medical intervention even as the baby turned gray and struggled to breathe. "As the evidence unfolded and the witnesses testified, it became evident to me and certainly to the jury . . . that this death just simply did not need to occur," said Clackamas County Presiding Judge Robert Herndon...."

    and

    "...Had the Hickmans conceded at trial that David was sick -- but not gravely ill -- and that they relied on faith-healing rituals to cure him, they might have fared differently at sentencing. But instead of invoking a religious defense, the Hickmans said they saw no reason to call 9-1-1 or seek medical assistance because there was nothing wrong with their son, even as he grew weaker and died...."

    and

    "...the jury reached a unanimous verdict in a "stunningly" short time...."

    and

    "...Defense attorneys Mark Cogan and John Neidig urged Herndon to give the couple probation, assuring Herndon that the parents would take their children to the doctor and get training to help them determine when a child needs a doctor's care. Shannon Hickman tearfully appealed for Herndon not separate her from her two children, a 7-year-old daughter and an infant son. Dale Hickman, emotional but composed, asked the judge to "find in your heart mercy for my wife and above all else, our children...."

    and

    "...Prosecutor Mike Regan said the sentence sends a message to the church. The Followers are not fundamentally different from a black-robed pagan group that sacrifices a sick child in the dead of night, Regan told the court. In the Followers, "we have a religious group sacrificing children's lives, year after year, decade after decade," he said. "We have to do something...."

    and

    "...Recent juries have seemed generally unsympathetic to the Followers. Jurors displayed a clear-eyed focus on the legal question underlying all the cases: What would a reasonable person do in the same situation? Their short answer: Call a doctor...."

    more at link
     
  19. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    Two things really stand out to me in this case:

    One, I don't believe the mother was well during the pregnancy OR she truly didn't know how pregnant she was. 3lbs is not normal for a baby that is only 6 weeks early. So something was wrong even before he was born, and they didn't do anything about it.

    Two, I just do not understand how heartless you have to be to watch a newborn suffocate to death by drowning in the fluid in his own lungs. That had to be agonizing and horrific.

    6 years in prison is a gift. Only when we truly value our most helpless citizens will the jail sentences for their deaths be fair.
     
  20. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    3 lbs. 5 oz is not abnormal for a 32 week pregnancy. It's not the healthiest, but that's what both my two younger children weighed according to estimates at about 32 weeks. The last month of pregnancy is the most important time in determining weight, at least from what I've been told by my doctors. My daughter was about 3 pounds, 8 ounces at that stage, and my youngest was less than that at 32-33 weeks.

    NOT THAT THIS IN ANY WAY MEANS THAT I DON'T THINK THEY ARE AS GUILTY AS SIN. I just wanted that to be clear. What they did was terrible. If you give birth to a child, it doesn't matter if they come out blue and still, you call the doctor, and get yourself to a hospital. Like I said, I can excuse the fetal weight, it doesn't seem that badly off. However, what I don't believe is that it took 9 hours for the baby to show signs of serious trouble, and that makes them guilty. They knew he was sick. They did nothing. He died. That's their fault, plain and simple.

    How do the hierarchy of the Followers keep explaining to their flock why this is happening? Do they somehow keep them from the media coverage of all the children that have died from these practices, or do they engage in further brainwashing when a case like this comes to light? How do they keep people from saying, "Yes, I believe...but, this is my child?"
     
  21. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    n_m_ks--I don't think their reality is our reality. You and I would be dialing 911 as we raced to the hospital. I DO believe in prayer, and yet I'd have that baby in professional hands in a heartbeat....praying all the way.

    I agree that the weight is not alarming. I have 1.5 lb twin preemie survivors born at 27 weeks and 2 children who were 6-7 weeks early that weighed in at around 3-4 pounds. (I'm approximating these dates and weights as my children are adopted and I don't have their full medical records). It's not the weight, it's the fact that this little guy needed very special care. Bless his heart. I hope he's in a better and safer place.
     

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