Praying Parents Await Trial for Baby's Death

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Two parents in Oregon are going to trial for using prayer instead of medicine to treat their ill baby.

Carl and Raylene Worthington's 15-month-old daughter, Ava, died March 2 of pneumonia and a blood infection. Doctors said her condition could have been treated with antibiotics.

Her parents are members of a faith-healing church that preaches against medical care.

State authorities said the couple's refusal to take their daughter to a doctor led to her preventable death. If convicted, the parents could spend more than ten years in jail.

Several other children from Oregon's Followers of Christ Pentecostal Church died under similar circumstances in the 1990s.

The state has since created new laws that make it easier to prosecute those parents.

Child abuse Detective Jeff Green of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said the state hadn't "seen any cases of significant medical neglect" since the laws took effect in 1999.

The Worthingtons also lost a baby boy in 2001, but the investigation was closed after police learned the child was stillborn.

The parents have been released on $250,000 bail.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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