Faith Tabernacle Parents Claim 'God's Will' When Toddler Dies From Lack of Medical Care

DA John Adams
DA John Adams (Courtesy)

Parents claimed "God's will" allowed their toddler to die when they refused her medical treatment. The two were charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Police found the 2-year-old, a little girl named Ella Grace, on the family's couch, dead of pneumonia.

Jonathan and Grace Foster belong to the fundamentalist sect Faith Tabernacle Church in Pennsylvania. "As part of their faith they do not believe in any medical treatment," including medication and doctors, according to court documents. 

A forensic pathologist told investigators Ella would have had a 95 percent chance of surviving if she had been given a routine course of antibiotics. But Jonathan Foster told police "it would be frowned upon and against their religion" to have taken Ella to a doctor, ABC reports

"Our laws recognize that you have a duty to care for your child's health and welfare, and we cannot justify a parent not seeking health care for their children when their children are ill," Berks County District Attorney John Adams told ABC.

More than two dozen child deaths have been linked to Faith Tabernacle and similar churches. 

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