Please verify

Blaze Media
Watch LIVE

They let their newborn die. When police arrived, they were praying over her body

Joshua and Rachel Piland face a charge of involuntary manslaughter, for allowing their newborn daughter to die, and not taking her to the hospital for jaundice treatment. (Image source: Lansing Police Dept. screenshot)

Baby Abigail Piland died on the fourth day of her life, because her parents had too much "faith" to take her to the hospital for jaundice treatment.

"God makes no mistakes," the mother, Rachel Piland, said according to court testimony by Lansing Police Detective Peter Scaccia.

No, He doesn't. But sometimes, parents do.

The warning signs

Abigail was born in her parents' Lansing, Michigan, home at 9:50 p.m. on Feb. 6. Everything appeared fine on that first night. But the next day, the midwife noticed the baby's jaundiced skin, and recommended they take her to see a doctor for treatment.

The parents, Rachel and Joshua, declined.

By Feb. 8, Abigail wasn't eating well, and was coughing up blood. Rachel's mother, Rebecca, voiced her concerns about Abigail's health to her daughter. Rachel still wouldn't take her to the hospital. Instead, she went and listened to sermons.

On the morning of Feb. 9, Abigail was struggling mightily. She couldn't breathe properly and was bleeding from her nose. Still, no one took her to the hospital and no one called authorities on behalf of the helpless and dying newborn.

By 11 a.m., Abigail was dead. Rebecca found her lifeless body in a bounce chair.

Joshua attempted mouth-to-mouth, and after that failed they brought the baby's body upstairs, reached out to friends and church members, and prayed for a resurrection.

It wasn't until Rachel's brother, who lives in California, finally called the police that authorities learned of the death.

Rachel and Joshua now face a charge of involuntary manslaughter, and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

'Faith healing'

Jaundice is a relatively common condition in newborn babies, and it's often mild and goes away on its own. But serious cases can lead to brain damage or death, so parents should always consult with a medical professional if their newborn has jaundice.

Rachel and Joshua Piland believed in faith healing, and Joshua was active in ministry with an organization called Faith Tech Ministries, which emphasized a "strong message in the area of divine healing."

The doctor who performed the autopsy on Abigail said that if they had simply sought treatment for Abigail, it's likely that she would be alive today. Instead, Abigail paid the ultimate price because her parents failed to take responsibility for her wellbeing.

This writer's perspective

This kind of story makes headlines far too often. People essentially sacrifice the lives of their children because they believe that faith in God means they can pray and do nothing. God works in mysterious ways; but one way that's not so mysterious is that he often works through doctors and medicine.

Please, if you see anyone you know endangering their children by refusing to give them necessary medical care, put your respect for their religious beliefs aside and call the police immediately before lives are lost.

(H/T USA Today and Lansing State Journal)

Most recent
All Articles