A couple who are part of a religious group that practices an extreme form of faith-healing have been sentenced to almost seven years in prison after refusing medical treatment for their newborn daughter. Sarah and Travis Lee Mitchell pleaded guilty to counts of negligent homicide and criminal mistreatment in the death of Ginnifer Mitchell, who died on March 5, 2017, as a result of complications resulting from her premature birth.
The Oregon couple are members of the "Followers of Christ Church" that teaches against the use of traditional medicine in favor of prayer and anointing the sick with oil. This is the fifth criminal case in the past decade that has involved this controversial group of believers. At a recent hearing, the Mitchells' defense attorney, Stephen Houze, read a statement that simply advised: "Everyone in the church should always seek adequate medical care for our children."
According to Oregon Live, the statement will be signed by Sarah Mitchell's father, who is a key figure in the church, and prominently displayed within the church building.
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