Travis and Wenona Rossiter, an Albany couple are members of the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist sect that believes traditional medical treatment is sinful, and instead trust in God to heal them through faith,
Syble Rossiter, 12, was deprived of life-saving medical care, and her parents instead resorted to faith-healing rites. Sybie Rossiter died. They knowingly denied her access to basic medicine because their religion said so.
And currently they seek to strike the record of the above belief as their defence attorney believes that said evidence of religious belief would cause prejudice. The rationale is that the defence wishes for them to be tried for their actions rather than beliefs.
In another defence request? They wished to exclude the testimony of a paediatrician specialising in childhood diabetes. Sybie died of diabetic complications. A common cause of death in children of faith healers as life saving medication is easily available and a long life can be had despite having the disease.
In the month leading to her death she suffered from serious weight loss due to the diabetes and a lack of medication.
And it’s just tragic, that children and adults will keep dying for a flawed and tortuous belief in faith healing even in our more educated world.
While the parents should face jail terms, what good will that do? They and the faith healers will see themselves as martyrs and fear of prosecution will only make faith healers less likely to come forwards.
It’s just sad, there are no winners here. Only victims.