Baby dies after parents refuse treatment for jaundice

A Michigan couple’s newborn daughter died after they ignored a midwife’s warning that the baby’s jaundice could lead to brain damage or death.

The mother refused treatment for her daughter, saying, “God...makes no mistakes,” a detective said, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Rachel Joy Piland, 30, and her husband, Joshua Barry Piland, 36, were both charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 3-day-old baby, born Feb. 6.

Rachel Piland’s brother notified authorities that a baby had died at the couple’s home, detective Peter Scaccia said in the hearing that led to the charges.

Scaccia described the circumstances of the infant’s birth and soon thereafter, her death.

The baby girl, named Abigail, appeared jaundiced the day after she was born, according to the midwife.

RELATED: The 7 best and 7 worst breads for your health

Best and worst breads for your health
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Best and worst breads for your health

Read on to see which breads are the best and worst for you.

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The Best

Based on their low calorie count, these are the best seven breads for you.

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Corn Tortilla

Corn tortillas are a great alternative to a heavy bread. With only 52 calories they are ideal for breakfast wraps or an on-the-go lunch.

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Pumpernickel Bread

If you love to build a sandwich with this brown bread you are right on target! Pumpernickel only has 65 calories in every slice, so no need to cut it out of your diet!

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Multi-Grain Bread

Next on our list of healthy breads is multi-grain, packed with tons of nutritious grains with only 65 calories a slice. Serve this for breakfast with a great egg dish and you are in business.

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Whole Wheat Bread

Right next to multi-grain bread, is whole wheat bread with 79 calories. An added bonus is that this bread is a great source of magnesium because of its whole grains! Magnesium helps to control the use of glucose and insulin in your body.

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White Bread

While white bread is highly lacking in terms of nutrition, with as low as 79 calories, it's not going to ruin your diet if you indulge every now and then. Check out this awesome sandwich idea for tomorrow's lunch!

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Rye Bread

Rye bread is rich in fiber which is amazing for a well-balanced diet. It also only has 83 calories, so what's not to love about this tasty bread?

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Flour Tortilla

Similar to corn tortillas, these ones, made of flour, are relatively low in calories with 85 for a regular size tortilla. It is a great way to make a delicious lunch that won't leave you feeling super bloated or over-stuffed.

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The Worst

After checking out the best breads for your health, let's take a look at the worst! You might want to beware of these high calorie carbs.

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Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread

Even though everyone is following the gluten-free trend, sometimes the alternatives are not the best! Most gluten-free breads have around 130 calories. It may be better to just stick with the real thing if you can.

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English Muffin

As tasty as they are, english muffins pack in a few calories as well. This type of bread might not be the best for your diet with 134 calories per muffin.

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Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Moving even further up the calorie ladder is cinnamon raisin bread with 160 calories per slice. Plus, it can be packed with unwanted, added sugars which are not beneficial for your waistline.

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Pita Bread

Although seemingly light and healthy, pita bread has about 165 calories and over 320 grams of sodium. This may not be the ideal bread to choose for your next sandwich.

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Hard Roll/Kaiser Roll

Everyone loves a great deli sandwich, but with 167 calories per roll, a kaiser roll is not the healthiest bread option.

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Even though these are a great southern classic, they might not be worth the 212 calories. And that is just for a regular size one. If you opt for the larger biscuit (like most restaurants serve) you will end up devouring over 300 calories just from your choice of bread!

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With even more calories than a biscuit, bagels are a real diet ruiner. Most bagels contain 310 calories and lack many nutrients and vitamins that you could get from whole grains. Think of it this way: a bagel is equivalent to three or four pieces of bread.

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She advised Rachel Piland to take the child to the emergency room, warning that the baby could suffer brain damage or die if not properly taken care of, Scaccia said during the hearing, the Lansing State Journal reported.

“Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating God makes no mistakes,” Scaccia said. “She indicated to the midwife that the baby was fine.”

Rachel cancelled subsequent appointments with the midwife.

On Feb. 8. Abigail wasn’t eating and coughed up blood, according to Scaccia.

Rachel allegedly put the two-day-old child “near a window wearing just a diaper utilizing a hair dryer to keep her warm,” Scaccia said.

Even Rachel’s mother, Rebecca Kerr, warned the Abigail’s skin was off-color.

“Rachel told Rebecca about (the midwife’s) concern,” the detective said. “And then Rachel went to listen to sermons.”

Kerr reportedly urged her daughter to seek help, but “Rachel would not allow her,” Scaccia said, the Lansing State Journal reported.

By the morning of Feb. 9, Kerr had noticed that Abigail wasn’t eating or breathing well, and that blood was coming out of her nose.

Around 11 a.m. Rachel found her daughter “lifeless and not breathing” in a bouncy seat, Scaccia said.

RELATED: US News ​Pharmacists' picks: Top recommended health products

US News ​Pharmacists' picks: Top recommended health products
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US News ​Pharmacists' picks: Top recommended health products

The first step to accessing the recommendations is to select from among the following broad product groups. Here are the 13, along with standout winners.

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Cough, Cold and Allergy
  • Cold Remedies: Cepacol
  • Oral Antihistamines: Claritin
  • Oral Decongestants: Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)

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Diabetes Health
  • Diabetic Neuropathy Products: Capzasin
  • Diabetic Multivitamins: Nature Made
  • Oral Glucose Products: Glucerna

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  • Blood Sampling Devices/Lancets: OneTouch
  • Blood Pressure Monitors: Omron
  • Peak Flow Meters: Omron
Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat 
  • Contact Lens Solutions: Opti-Free 
  • Saline Nasal Moisturizers: Ocean
  • Sore Throat Liquids, Sprays and Strips: Chloraseptic

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First Aid
  • Adhesive Bandages: Band-Aid
  • Topical Antibiotics and Antiseptics: Neosporin
  • Sun Burn Relief: Solarcaine (Cool Aloe Burn Relief Formula Pain Relieving Gel)

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Oral Care

  • Cold Sore Treatments: Abreva
  • Toothpaste (general use): Crest 
  • Therapeutic Mouthwashes/Oral Rinses: Listerine

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Pain and Inflammation
  • Headache Products: Advil
  • Migraine Headache Products: Excedrin Migraine
  • Anti-Inflammatory Products: Advil

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  • Children’s Cough and Cold Combinations: Children’s Dimetapp
  • Infant Formula: Enfamil
  • Children’s Sore Throat Products: Chloraseptic Kids Sore Throat Spray

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Stomach and GI

  • Upset Stomach Remedies: Pepto-Bismol
  • Antacids: Tums
  • Nausea Remedies: Emetrol

Image Credit: Alamy


  • Sunscreen: Neutrogena
  • Lip Balms: Carmex
  • Acne Products: Neutrogena

Image Credit: Getty

Vitamins and Supplements

  • Nutritional Supplements: Ensure
  • Multivitamins: Centrum
  • Prenatal Vitamins: One A Day Prenatal

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Women's Health

  • Menstrual Pain Relief: Midol
  • PMS Symptom Relief: Hyland’s PMS
  • Urinary Pain Relief: AZO Standard

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More Health Products

  • Sleep Aids: Unisom
  • Smoking Cessation Aids: NicoDerm CQ Patch
  • Snore Aids: Breathe Right

Image Credit: Getty


Kerr brought the baby to her father who tried unsuccessfully to revive her.

The pair then brought their child upstairs to “pray for her,” inviting friends to jointhem and pray for Abigail’s resurrection. They never called police, the detective said.

Police later arrived at the home and found people praying for the dead baby.

A medical examiner found that Abigail died from unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus, conditions related to jaundice.

The medical examiner said the baby would likely have lived if she’d been treated, Scaccia testified.

The girl’s parents were each charged with involuntary manslaughter and released on a $75,000 bond on Sept. 21. They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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