Two Michigan parents refused to go to a doctor for their newborn daughter’s jaundice even after their midwife told them that the infant was in danger of brain damage or death, The Lansing State Journal reported.
“God makes no mistakes,” Rachel Joy Piland, 30, allegedly said to the midwife, two days before her infant daughter Abigail died from complications with jaundice.
If the jaundice had been treated “most likely she would’ve been alive,” said Peter Scaccia, a Lansing Police detective, in court last week.
Piland and her husband, Joshua Barry Piland, 36, were charged with involuntary manslaughter after their daughter died in early February.
The Pilands are part of a group, Faith Tech Ministries, that preaches faith healing. Joshua was even a speaker at a Divine Healing Conference that the ministry organized.
The midwife, who had previously delivered two of Piland’s children, urged the family to take the baby to a hospital after noticing her jaundiced skin a day after Rachel gave birth.
"Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating God makes no mistakes," Scaccia said. "She indicated to the midwife that the baby was fine."
The midwife then tried to make another appointment for the following day, but Rachel canceled it.
On February 8, two days after Abigail was born, she began coughing up blood. Rachel’s mother told her daughter that Abigail’s skin wasn't the right color. Rachel responded by telling her mother about the midwife’s worries.
“And then Rachel went to listen to sermons,” Scaccia said.
The next day, Rachel’s mother saw blood coming out of the infant’s nose. The girl wasn't eating and had difficulty breathing. Rachel wouldn’t allow her to call for help.
By 11 am that day, the infant wasn’t breathing. Joshua administered one round of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it wasn’t effective.
"They then brought Abigail upstairs to pray for her," Scaccia said. "Joshua continued to massage Abigail, attempting to get her good air. Both Josh and [Rachel] reached out to friends and fellow church members to come to their home and pray for Abigail’s resurrection but never called the police.”
Police only learned that the baby had died after Rachel’s brother called them. Authorities found the dead infant surrounded by three people, praying for her to return to life.
[Image: Lansing Police]