Schaible children get court-ordered medical care

The Philadelphia Inquirer/May 7, 2013

The remaining children of the Northeast Philadelphia faith-healing couple who chose prayer over medicine in two child deaths are receiving court-ordered medical care, defense attorneys said Monday.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible's seven children were placed in temporary foster care after the couple told police they did not bring their 8-month-old, Brandon, to a doctor when he showed serious signs of illness last month.

The Schaibles - members of a church that shuns medical care - are on probation for the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son, Kent.

While authorities await the results of Brandon Schaible's autopsy, child welfare workers are monitoring the medical needs of the seven other Schaible children, said Mythri Jayaraman, a lawyer for Catharine Schaible, after a probationary status hearing Monday at the Criminal Justice Center.

At a Family Court hearing last week, a judge ordered Department of Human Services workers to ensure the children's "routine and special" medical needs were being met, Jayaraman said.

Neither parent objected to the city agency's supervising their children's medical and dental visits, said Jayaraman and Bobby Hoof, who represents Herbert Schaible.

All of the children have received medical examinations and any needed immunizations, and appear to be healthy, Hoof said.

The Schaibles have been able to visit their children during DHS-supervised visits held twice a week at a DHS location.

The children, who range in age from about 3 to 18, have been split up in three foster homes, Jayaraman said. One goal of future Family Court hearings will be to place all of the children in one home, she said.

The permanent custody of the children will be determined after any possible criminal charges against their parents are settled, the lawyers said.

Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner ruled last month that the Schaibles "knowingly" and "intentionally" violated the terms of probation in Kent Schaible's death when they decided not to get medical help for Brandon.

He allowed the Schaibles to remain free, saying they did not pose any risk to their other children.

At Monday's hearing, he said he would review the Schaible case at a hearing scheduled for June 6.

By then, authorities will likely have the results of Brandon Schaible's autopsy, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said.

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