Parents Believed In Treating Infant With Prayer, Not Medicine

In February of 2017, parents Joshua and Rachel Piland lost their 3-day-old baby daughter, Abigail. The baby died after being born severely jaundiced.

The parents didn't get medical help for their baby because they say their religion prohibits medical interventions. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter for Abigail's death.

The couple just had another baby, named Verity, who was also born jaundiced. The state immediately stepped in and took the newborn from the parents.

The Pilands from Lansing, Michigan believe that 'God makes no mistakes'. Because of this, they refuse to take their children to the hospital or doctors for medical treatment.

This is why their baby, Abigail, passed away last year. After a home birth, the parents refused to take the jaundiced baby to the hospital.

Jaundice is a fairly common problem in newborns and is usually treatable. If not treated, high levels of the compound bilirubin can build up in the baby's system and cause brain damage, or even death.

Rachel and Joshua have two older children who are healthy. The midwife encouraged the couple to take Abigail to the doctor, but the parents believe that God decides who lives or dies. Instead of getting the baby medical treatment, they decided to pray.

After Abigail died, the couple prayed for God to miraculously resurrect her. Rachel's brother called police. The couple were ultimately charged with involuntary manslaughter; they're both out on bail and are awaiting trial.

On the day their new daughter, Verity, was born, Child Protective Services filed an 'anticipatory neglect' form and had the child removed from the home.

"There are current concerns for the safety and well-being of the newborn baby as the previous concerns which brought this family to the court's attention have yet to be rectified," read the form.

Verity was brought to a hospital and doctors discovered that she, too, is severely jaundiced. She's currently being treated. The infant did not respond to a blood transfusion, so doctors had to perform an exchange transfusion-- a transfusion in which all of her blood is replaced. She is now recovering.

Doctors suspect Rachel might have Rh disease, a condition that comes from a mother's blood and a fetus' blood being incompatible. The mother's body releases antibodies in an attempt to fight off the foreign red blood cells. If treated during pregnancy, the majority of babies will survive this.

"She's still being evaluated and checked. We're hopeful that there are no long-term complications, but I don't think we can say 100 percent yet whether that's the case,' said Aaron Kerr, Rachel's brother.

The Pilands's two older children are in the custody of Rachel's parents because the couple used physical forms of discipline. Separate trials are being scheduled to determine if their custody rights to their three surviving children should be severed. Child Protective Services have moved to terminate all parental rights to Verity, with a hearing being scheduled for August 9.

The parents are also awaiting the involuntary manslaughter trials for Abigail. If they are convicted, each could face up to 15 years in prison for the death of their daughter.

Source: Dailymail
Photos: Lansing Police Department, Facebook

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