Religion

Oregon couple who chose prayer over doctors will go to prison for child’s death

Dale and Shannon Hickman don’t believe in doctors. Because of this religious conviction, set forth by the cult the couple belongs to, Oregon City’s Followers of Christ Church, the Hickmans let their premature infant die after being being born at home rather than seek medical help. As a result of this decision, the couple was convicted of manslaughter in 2011.

The child, named David Hickman, weighed just 3 lbs, 7 ounces at birth. His tragically short life was only 9 hours long. According to reports, the Hickmans went to Shannon’s mother for help when she began having contractions more than two months prior to her due date. The couple says they didn’t notice anything was wrong with the baby until just minutes prior to his death — a claim which an expert on this subject has called a lie. Instead of calling a hospital like most rational people, they prayed over the dying baby and “anointed” his head with oil.

Both halves of the Hickman couple will spend a minimum of 6 years and 3 months in prison for their actions, which is light, considering the fact that their child lost his life over their idiotic beliefs. The judge in the case, Robert Herndon, called one of the cult’s midwives “one of the most dangerous people in Oregon.”

Apparently, this cult is not just in one small congregation in Oregon, either. They have outfits operating in Idaho, Oklahoma, and California. The Idaho branch of the cult has suffered a string of easily preventable deaths as well. The same is true of a similar faith healing cult called General Assembly Church of the First Born.

The Hickmans’ lawyer said that there was no way to prove that the Hickmans acted “knowingly,” and that they knew their refusal of medical help would result in the baby’s death. The court shot that down:

“The inquiry was not whether defendants’ religiously motivated conduct was reasonable. Instead, the inquiry was whether a reasonable person would have been aware of the risk of David’s death.”

Of course they knew, and they’ll go to prison for it.

This cult and their brainwashing has been responsible for 78 child deaths and 10 women, all of whom died in childbirth.

Featured image via the Daily Mail

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Smoke

    October 14, 2015 at 6:18 am

    She wears glasses, so has no problem going to the eye doctor……

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  3. Avatar

    BigAl Granados

    October 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    So how did the prayer go as expected not very well hey maybe if you pray hard you’ll stay out of prison oops don’t think so

  4. Avatar

    Hope They Rot in Jail

    October 14, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Good

  5. Avatar

    Brian O'Connell

    October 14, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Hey right wingers, I gotcher religious freedumb right here.

  6. Avatar

    nreed7

    October 14, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    People are free to believe whatever they want — for themselves. People are not free to impose beliefs on others if those beliefs cause harm to them. Whether it is withholding medical treatment for children who need it, or so-called “conversion therapy” for minors, these parent should indeed be jailed for homicide.

  7. Avatar

    Tommy Ferrugia

    October 14, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    If you’re an adult and refuse medical treatment due to your idiotic superstition, then fine. Good riddance to you because you’re a loser anyway. But any adult who allows a child to die because of his or her own belief in magic doesn’t deserve to live in civilized society. They should’ve gotten 25 years – minimum.

  8. Avatar

    Peggy Shore

    October 15, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Didn’t know? Really? The baby was premature and weighed less than 4 lbs.

  9. Avatar

    Donna Crane

    October 15, 2015 at 1:14 am

    I don’t understand these people who don’t acknowledge that god gave them a brain, and probably expected them to use it.

  10. Avatar

    SquibbleShip

    October 15, 2015 at 1:15 am

    In keeping with their faith, they should pray to get out of jail rather that filing and appeal.

  11. Avatar

    Loura Shares A Story

    October 15, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Why aren’t the midwife, mother, and all others involved in this case (the teachers/pastors/leaders) also being charged? They knew, probably better than the new parents, what was going on. Cut the head off the snake, for goodness’ sake and let’s save and protect lives instead of always reacting to these poor babies’ deaths.

  12. Avatar

    Aaron Gilmore

    October 15, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I wonder if the same tune is used for abortion. If it is, then you are representing a consistent conviction… if not…

  13. Avatar

    Aaron Gilmore

    October 15, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Funny how the tables are turned around when we blame the same religion for advocating pro-life (“anti-choice”) rhetoric.

    One set of parents chose to risk their child’s life because of a superstition, while another set of parents choose to end their child’s life because they simply choose not to have a child. And yet, Christianity is “uncivilized?” It’s a bit inconsistent.

  14. Avatar

    Kelli

    October 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    It’s unfornate that their child died. It is also unfortunate that the author of the article who chooses to sling mud and show ignorance. The parents are being punished by mans law and loosing their own child. Shame of the author.

  15. Avatar

    Mike Parent

    October 15, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Idiots. They deserve jail time.

  16. Avatar

    deekay

    October 15, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, thanks for showing us all that you’re more bothered by grammatical errors than by the death of a child.

  17. Avatar

    Fawne Granby

    October 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Not sure if these parents realize that God equips doctors to take care of patients. So sad! This absolutely could have been prevented.

  18. Avatar

    Arthur

    October 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    yet planned parenthood gets away with far worse. Burns the baby , dissects it in the womb and sells off the parts. where is the jail for those people?

  19. Avatar

    Jess Gingras

    October 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    God doesn’t bless idiots.

  20. Avatar

    Nathan West

    October 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Sounds like a natural process to me. No story here.

  21. Avatar

    Nathan West

    October 15, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    They should take all children from all parents at birth because the state knows best.

  22. Avatar

    Jessica Miller

    October 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I don’t agree with this nor would I recommend anyone not to seek medical attention. God uses doctors to heal people as well. I do however find this ridiculous that we allow abortions and no one is punished and abortions can take place just a few weeks prior to when this baby was born premature. Yet we have a double standard here and they are going to prison for 6 years!! I am sorry but this shows a problem with our country.

  23. Avatar

    djskagnetti

    October 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    They should have only got 3 months max.

  24. Avatar

    Barbara Long

    October 16, 2015 at 12:22 am

    If they don’t believe in doctors then why did she go to the eye doctor for her vision and get glasses….. My grand daughter was born 10 weeks early….I thank God for giving the medical field the brains ability to heal others !

  25. Avatar

    Faust

    October 16, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Well the courts have a bible there also, maybe they all start reading proverbs.

  26. Avatar

    Herrata

    October 16, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Sounds like the problem is taking care of itself if their kids and women are dying. Natural selection at work.

  27. Avatar

    John

    October 16, 2015 at 3:51 am

    You know, these people did do an implorable thing. But they did do what they believed, in their misguided thinking, to be the right thing. Just like so many right-wingers in congress attacking Planned Parenthood do. At what point do we allow personal religious beliefs to override the good of another person, and how do we draw a line between what is a valid belief and what is not valid? This is why we need to draw a strict line between religion and state. We will either end in ungovernable anarchy if we do not, or a non-religious government that can at least function, even if it does not reflect fundamentalist religious views of some of our citizens if we do. I prefer the latter. I feel sorry for this misguided couple.

  28. Avatar

    sarah331980

    October 16, 2015 at 6:40 am

    If they get jail time they should make room for all the women aborting their children as well!!

  29. Avatar

    dtactim

    October 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

    When will we stop drawing this fictitious line between cults and mainstream evangelicalism.. then by extension, mainstream religion

  30. Avatar

    InEvolutionWeTrust

    October 16, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Natural selection will eventually cleanse the Earth of these creatures…it’s for the best in the end…

  31. Avatar

    Nic

    October 16, 2015 at 10:49 am

    If she doesn’t believe in Doctors. Then why is she wearing glasses? Do eye doctors not count?

  32. Avatar

    John

    October 16, 2015 at 11:20 am

    THey say they don’t believe in doctors, but she sure seems to believe in optometrists.

  33. Pingback: What a Difference 9 Hours Makes | Politics and Religion

  34. Avatar

    eff that

    October 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    All religions are cults.

  35. Avatar

    jitaame

    October 16, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    you really are a load of judgmental sheep , told what and how to think and baaaaah along , theses people made a stupid judgement call , they spent their lives being brainwashed into thinking was right , bit like you morons and being brain washed into thinking the horrible things you said about them where right , i forgive them for not thinking my baby needs help i can not give it , and i forgive you lot for not understanding they are humans that made human mistakes they have to live with , they lost their child , but why am i even talking , you got to have a heart to understand they are hurting , they did not want the baby to die and you guys clearly do not understand that

  36. Avatar

    itsme

    October 16, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Didn’t opbamafullash!t sign into law that “doctors” were permitted to allow a baby to die if it survived an abortion.? What’s the difference?

  37. Avatar

    Jeremy Parker

    October 17, 2015 at 4:23 am

    “The couple says they didn’t notice anything was wrong”

    Well, other than being massively premature and under 4 pounds…

  38. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 17, 2015 at 5:42 am

    what about abortion?

  39. Avatar

    Lynda

    October 17, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I don’t understand why these cults don’t believe in medicine. If they believe in God then they have to believe that God is smart enough to give the ability to man to learn how to save lives? God helps those that help themselves!

  40. Avatar

    Lynda

    October 17, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Good point

  41. Avatar

    Lynda

    October 17, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I have to agree

  42. Avatar

    Symptomy1

    October 18, 2015 at 7:04 am

    I feel so much for this child. They chose to pick their faith over science. I respect that. However, science does offer the gift of knowledge that should be respected & considered. Personally, this is why I believe they failed as parents. Ignorance is a moral flaw.

  43. Avatar

    Sympyomy1

    October 18, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Technically prayer wouldn’t get you out of prison. Rather, it should give you the strength to endure the situation.

  44. Avatar

    symptomy1

    October 18, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I agree, a child isn’t technically able to have an informed position regardless of their apparent level of maturity. This is empirical. Faith is a tricky concept however, the understanding of the world around you can outweigh the reality in which we live. This is a learned behavior sadly.

  45. Avatar

    Willow C. Arune

    October 20, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Charge the pastors of this church for promoting the ideas of this couple…

  46. Pingback: A matter of faith: an overview of faith based medicine | drshellblog

  47. Avatar

    DG

    November 7, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Who cares? In both cases humanity won out.

  48. Avatar

    Glenn McMurrian

    February 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    These perents should go to prison and the church as well because more and more people will die.

  49. Avatar

    Glenn McMurrian

    February 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    It is the church that is the killer as this is not the only time that this has happen with this “Church” so why not put the pastor in prison also as he is the “beleave”in me do what I say and only what I so called “Godly” leader in this church.

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    April 17, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    so the law is up to the eighth or so you may end the life of the child but if the child is born 2 months early and in a way you bless it’s departure you are essentially guilty of murder.

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