Christian Couple Face Manslaughter Charge After Refusing To Take Sick Newborn To Hospital

By unchecked /
Until this February, Rachel and Joshua Piland were a happily married Christian couple living in Lansing, Michigan with their two children, but tragedy struck after they refused to take their newborn baby to hospital when she began to suffer from jaundice.

The Piland’s daughter Abigail was born on February 6 at their home. She was a healthy newborn, and the midwife who delivered her initially had no concerns about her welfare. But that all changed when she returned a day later for a routine check-up.

The midwife noticed that Abigail was suffering from jaundice – a condition common in newborns – and told her parents that she had to go to the hospital immediately for treatment. Jaundice is caused by a built up of bilirubin, which causes yellow skin.

Lansing Police Detective Peter Scaccia said, “[The midwife told Rachel the baby could suffer brain damage or die if not properly cared for.” Rachel, however, told the midwife that there was no need to take Abigail to hospital because “God makes no mistakes.”

Because jaundice is a common condition, with the right treatment it rarely has complications, but the risk is high without it. Jaundice babies who are properly cared for usually improve within 3 to 12 weeks. But, baby Abigail’s condition wasn’t improving…

As a result of the Piland’s refusal to have their daughter treated, Abigail began to cough up blood on February 8. But this event was still not enough to prompt the couple into seeking medical treatment.

Rachel reportedly put Abigail “near a window wearing just a diaper utilizing a hair dryer to keep her warm,” Detective Scaccia revealed.

Seemingly in an attempt to help her daughter, Rachel then began to listen to religious sermons. She also informed her mother, Rebecca, that Abigail was unwell.

The next day, blood began to come out of Abigail’s nose, and the couple noticed that she wasn’t eating or breathing properly. It was at this point that Rachel’s mother stepped in and told them to take the sick baby to hospital.

Rachel, however, still refused to seek professional help for her ailing daughter.

At 11am that day, she found Abigail dead in her bouncy seat. Joshua attempted to revive her with one breath, but to no avail. He was reportedly reluctant to attempt CPR because he did not know how to perform it on children.


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