Oregon Takes Custody of Faith Healers' Baby

Timothy Wyland, left, 44, and Rebecca Wyland, center, 23, stand in Clackamas County District court for their arraignment by Judge Robert Herndon, charged with criminal mistreatment after their infant daughter, Alayna May Wyland, was discovered with an untreated mass growing over her left eye. The Wylands are members of the Followers of Christ church, which rejects medical care in favor of faith healing, including anointing with oil, laying on hands, prayer and fasting.
AP Photo/Pool, Randy L Rasmussen
(CBS/AP) The Oregon Department of Human Services won custody Tuesday of a 10-month-old Oregon City child facing blindness in one eye.

The girl's parents, Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, believe in faith healing and are facing trial in January on charges of failing to provide adequate care.

The Oregonian reports the state has had temporary custody of the girl, Alayna Wyland, since July. She was initially placed in foster care but allowed back in the Wyland home last month under a court order requiring close medical supervision.

The ruling Tuesday in Clackamas County Circuit Court assures a treatment plan and gives the state power to act on the girl's behalf.

The couple is charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment and goes to trial in January.

The Oregonian quoted John Neidig, an attorney representing Rebecca Wyland, who accused Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) of persecuting the Wylands and "trampling" on their religious rights.

He said, "If these people had been Jewish, Catholic ... even Muslim, DHS would have treated them in a different fashion."

But Clackamas County Circuit Judge Douglas Van Dyk said there was no evidence that DHS discriminated against the Wylands .

"It is unhelpful to this case to point fingers," Van Dyk is quoted in the paper as saying. "It is not a church that is before this court. It is the Wylands."

What do you think about this case? What issues of religion versus law are at play here? We welcome your thoughts.

  • CBS Interactive staff

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