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Parents Found Guilty In Toddler’s Death For Not Providing Proper Medical Care


The parents of a 19-month-old boy, who died in 2012, have been convicted of their son’s death because they failed to provide him with proper medical care. David and Collet Stephan of Alberta, Canada did not take their son, Ezekiel, to a medical doctor nor did they take him to a hospital when he became ill with bacterial meningitis.

The Stephans treated their son with home remedies and a product made by a naturopathic doctor, reported IFL Science. The defense argued that the Stephans thought that Ezekiel had croup or the flu – it was not known that he had bacterial meningitis until after his death.

Bacterial meningitis is a diagnosable and curable infection. A vaccine to prevent contracting the illness is also available.

After their conviction, the little boy’s father took to Facebook to address the jury that delivered the verdict. CTV Lethbridge posted his letter on Twitter:

In the letter Stephan stated that an “ill equipped ambulance resulted in Ezekiel’s brain death” and added, “How many parents have lost children for various reasons, all of which could be concluded that the child’s life was endangered and that the parents should have been able to foresee it?”

The Stephans argued in court that they assumed their son had a different illness, however they never received a diagnosis and did not take their son to a medical professional until the boy stopped breathing.

The couple treated their 19-month-old son with hot pepper, garlic and onion smoothies for two and a half weeks before he died,

The couple treated their 19-month-old son with hot pepper, garlic and onion smoothies for two and a half weeks before he died, according to The Calgary Herald.

In a letter to the President of the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta (CNDA), a group of Canadian physicians and surgeons expressed concern regarding the conduct of the naturopath involved in the case, Tracey Tannis. The letter asserts that the little boy was “so stiff from meningeal inflammation that he could not sit in his car seat when his parents took him to the Lethbridge Naturopathic Medical Clinic.”

Tannis denies communicating with the mother of the boy, but according to two witness statements, mentioned in the letter, Tannis discussed viral meningitis and then prescribed echinacea.

A brother-in-law told CTV Lethbridge that the boy’s parents are “beautiful people” and that the family was “very disappointed”. He also noted that the Stephans were wrongly convicted.

The naturopath that treated the sick boy is expected to be investigated by the CNDA, according to CBC News CanadaIt is unclear at this point if the naturopath will also be charged.

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