LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A Lansing couple trying to keep custody of two children can argue that legitimate religious beliefs prevent them from seeking medical care for their children.

(Credit: ehrlif/
(Credit: ehrlif/

The Michigan Supreme Court says Rachel and Joshua Piland can request that jury instruction if they present sufficient evidence during a custody trial in Ingham County. The Pilands say their beliefs trump any allegations of neglect.

The court released a brief order Thursday, six weeks after hearing arguments.

Two children were removed from the home after a newborn girl died of jaundice after an at-home birth in 2017. A midwife who had assisted them suggested the baby be taken to a doctor, but the Pilands declined, saying the child’s health was in God’s hands.

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