- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 11:30AM
A Christian couple let their newborn daughter die of jaundice after they refused treatment, telling the midwife "God makes no mistakes."
Rachel and Josh Piland, from Michigan in the US, refused treatment for baby Abigail, who died just three days after being born.
They have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Baby Abigail was born on February 6 and appeared healthy but, the following day, the midwife noticed her yellow skin, the main symptom of jaundice.
Jaundice is common in newborns and is caused by an overproduction of bilirubin, a pigment in red blood cells.
Baby Abigail died three days after being born, from jaundice. Photo / Facebook
While most cases don't require any treatment (sunlight often helps break down the excess bilirubin), some more extreme cases require hospitalisation as excessive jaundice can cause brain damage.
The midwife told the parents Abigail needed to be taken straight to hospital for treatment.
"Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating God makes no mistakes," Detective Peter Scaccia said, quoted by local media.
The next day, baby Abigail started coughing up blood.
The midwife had reportedly arranged another appointment for the following day but the mother cancelled it.
The mum placed the newborn "near a window wearing just a diaper utilising a hair dryer to keep her warm," the detective added.
The parents are now awaiting trial. Photo / Lansing Police Department
As baby Abigail's condition continued to worsen, her grandma wanted to take her to hospital but her mother continuously refused.
She died on February 9.
Police were only contacted by the mother's brother, who was in California, and arrived at the house to find baby Abigail's body surrounded by people praying.
A post-mortem revealed Abigail died from unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus, both related to jaundice.
The couple were arrested and, after posting $75,000 bail, were released and are now awaiting trial. Their next court hearing is scheduled for October 15.
They have both continued to update their Facebook accounts with religious quotes.
Rachel and Josh Piland both face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.
This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.