• Parents Lose Children After Son Dies While Practicing Faith Healing

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    Source: Huffington Post – Laura Hibbard

    After 16-year-old Austin Sprout lost his life when his parents, Brandi and Russel Bellew, opted for prayer instead of medical treatment, their remaining six children are now wards of the state, the Register-Guard reports.

    According to the paper, the couple can still see their children under a new “in-home safety plan” which dictates a state “safety-provider” must be present during the visits, and mandates the “immediate notification” of the state Department of Human Services if any of the children have and medical illnesses.

    The couple also face charges of manslaughter in the second degree, according to the Associated Press.

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    Religion News Blog notes that, in response to multiple preventable deaths resulting from “faith healing,” Oregon’s legislature passed House Bill 2721 into law in June, hoping to eliminate “reliance on spiritual treatment as defense to certain crimes in which victim is under 18 years of age.”

    Last year, KVAL-TV reported that the family belonged to the General Assembly Church of the First Born, a congregation known for their practice of faith healing.

    Brian Sprout, Austin Sprout’s father and Brandi Bellew’s first husband, died in 2007 of sepsis after seeking prayer instead of medical treatment for a leg injury.

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