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Parents win appeal in rights dispute after child's death

Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 16, 2021

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has ordered a new trial for a Lansing couple who lost parental rights to three children after the death of a newborn.

Rachel and Joshua Piland had declined to get medical care for their daughter who had jaundice-related complications.

They cited their religious beliefs.

The appeals court says a jury wasn't allowed to consider those beliefs as a legitimate defense when the Pilands lost their parental rights.

The court says a parent shall not be found negligent if “legitimately practicing” his or her religious beliefs when denying care.

Separately, the Pilands are facing criminal charges in their daughter’s death.