Judge Says it Isn’t Neglect to Withhold Medical Care For Religious Reasons!

June 1, 2019 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
The Pilands are accused of neglecting their infant because they chose to forgo medical intervention in the name of their religious beliefs.

This case has been in the spotlight from the moment it began. As people all over the nation draw lines to stand behind, on all kinds of controversial issues, from abortion to politics, this one has captured the public imagination because it addresses another linchpin issue – religious rights. Specifically, whether or not your religious beliefs give you the right to make medical decisions on behalf of your children that could cost them their lives.

This story has a controversial beginning…

Joshua and Rachel Piland had a baby daughter, born last year in early 2018, with jaundice. The couple refused medical treatment for their daughter, citing their religious beliefs, and the baby died as a result. At the time, CPS investigated the family and took their remaining three children into custody. But Rachel Piland became pregnant shortly after their daughter died, and the cycle started all over again.

The second baby was born with jaundice as well…

The Piland’s second daughter, Verity, was also born with jaundice just like her deceased sister. And just like last year, her parents refused any medical assistance for her, preferring to wait until God healed her. However this time, after arguing with the family about Verity’s need for life-saving medical intervention,

CPS took their baby and forced medical care on her…

Child Protective Services seized the baby. Medical staff were given permission by the state to provide her with whatever she needed to survive, which in this case was blood transfusions. And so they did. And then they petitioned the court to have the baby removed from her parent’s care forever, on the grounds that they were seriously neglecting her medical needs.

CPS claimed they were negligent, but the court has ruled differently…

According to the Michigan Supreme Court in a recent ruling, It’s not child neglect to withhold medical care from your children if parents are doing so because of their legitimate religious beliefs. Why? Because Michigan law clearly states that “A parent or guardian legitimately practicing his religious beliefs who thereby does not provide specified medical treatment for a child, for that reason alone shall not be considered a negligent parent or guardian.”

The prosecution fought hard, but were overruled…

Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kahla Crino told the Supreme Court that “This was a gravely ill child who was in need of emergency medical treatment. They watched her suffer. They did nothing, and she died. This is child abuse in the first degree. This is not mere negligence.” However, the case is far from over. The Pilands still have a long way to go in fighting to keep their family together.

Fighting child abuse allegations can be extremely difficult…

Cases like this one highlight how contentious and drawn-out this sort of process can be. Fighting to protect your family against the invasive tactics of CPS and the state can be exhausting, and you’re going to need all the help you can get. Which is where we come in. At The Kronzek Firm, our skilled child abuse and neglect defense attorneys have spent decades fighting CPS. We know what it takes to win, and our track record speaks for itself. So call 866 766 5245 today. We’re here to help.