The Oregonian is reporting that the manslaughter trial of Dale and Shannon Hickman, members of Oregon City's Followers of Christ church, is set to begin again on Tuesday, September 27. The Hickmans are the latest in a string of church members to face criminal charges in cases of religion-based medical neglect.
There have been so many of these trials in Clackamas County (many of which I reviewed in my book When Prayer Fails) that it's almost tempting to treat them as old hat. But the chilling testimony in the Hickman prosecution should remind us of these cases are anything but ordinary -- and that the problem of religion-based medical neglect isn't going to vanish anytime soon, particularly in Oregon.
Last week, for instance, midwife Lavona Keith testified about the circumstances of the birth of David Hickman, the newborn who died without receiving conventional medical treatment. Explaining why the child wasn't taken in for such care, she stated that "it wasn't God's will for David to live."
Steve Mayes of The Oregonian is once again doing a great job of covering the Followers in court, and his latest effort is accessible here.