An Oregon couple who refused to take their premature newborn to a hospital, and instead prayed over him as he died, have had their manslaughter conviction upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court.
From the New York Daily News:
In their failed plea to the Oregon Supreme Court, the Hickmans claimed that the state had the burden to prove the couple knew their religious beliefs would cause the death of their child.
The state Supreme Court’s decision recounted the minimal steps the Hickmans took to try to save the baby. If they had taken David to a hospital, there is a 99 percent chance he would have survived, a doctor testified at the trial.
“Dale ran into the room where one of his aunts was holding David and anointed David’s head with olive oil and began to pray,” the Oct. 8 state Supreme Court decision read. “He noticed that David was taking short breaths, was minimally responsive, and was lighter in color, so he took David into the bedroom where Shannon still lay. At that point, it was ‘in the back of [DALE’S] mind’ that David would not survive. He sat in a chair by the bed, held David in his arms, and prayed.”
The main cause of David’s death was staphylococcus pneumonia, the coroner said.
During the trial, both parents testified that “they would not have done anything differently.”