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OREGON CITY, Oregon — A couple who tried to heal their sick newborn son with prayer and olive oil will stay in prison after a judge upheld their conviction in the baby’s death.
Daily Mail reports that Dale and Shannon Hickman were convicted back in 2011 and were each sentenced to six years in prison. They appealed the conviction.
The couple’s son, David, died nine hours after he was born premature at his grandmother’s home in 2009. Experts said in court that David had a bacterial infection, and his lungs were not fully developed so he was having trouble breathing after he was born.
The couple said in court that they didn’t call 911 after he was born because they were praying. They also rubbed olive oil on their son’s head in an attempt to heal him.
The two are members of the Followers of Christ Church. Daily Mail reports that the church is known for rejecting medical care for children and relying on ‘faith-healing’ which involves using prayer and oils to heal the sick.
The couple’s attorneys said there is no evidence the baby would have survived if he would have been taken to the hospital.
“I think it’s God’s will whatever happens,” the mother testified.
Doctors said in court there was a 99 percent chance their son would have survived if he had been taken to the hospital.