Faith-Healing Couple Found Guilty In Infant Son’s Death

OREGON CITY, Ore. (September 30, 2011)—Dale and Shannon Hickman of Oregon City, Ore., who prayed for their ailing prematurely born son rather than seeking medical care, have been found guilty of felony manslaughter.

A Clackamas County jury was unanimous in convicting the two, who are both 26.

They're members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, which has a history of rejecting medical care for congregants' children and relying instead on prayer and anointing the sick with oils.

Prosecutors claimed Shannon Hickman never sought prenatal care and the couple never considered taking the premature infant to the hospital.

The child was born with a bacterial infection and underdeveloped lungs and died within nine hours after he had trouble breathing.

The Hickmans' attorney claimed religious persecution and said there was no evidence that medical care would have saved the baby.

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