Saturday, September 17, 2011
Faith Healing Kills Again
Wednesday morning marked the beginning of the trial of Shannon and Dale Hickman, who are charged with second-degree manslaughter in the September 2009 death of their newborn son. David Hickman died less than nine hours after being born, of staph pneumonia, pulmonary immaturity, and chorioamnionitis, which affects fetal membranes through a bacterial infection.
The Hickmans belong to the Followers of Christ Church, an Oregon City congregation that believes in faith-healing over medical care. The church has a long history in Oregon of child deaths involving treatable illnesses, which has led to multiple legislative changes eliminating faith-healing as a defense against criminal charges.
In less than three years, four couples, including the Hickmans, have gone to trial for failing to provide adequate medical care to their children. Three of those cases have involved deaths.