Parents Face Prison for Delayed Medical Treatment for Kid

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on March 09, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Parents can make most decisions about the health of their children, but not all as a case in Alberta, Canada shows. A couple that gave their child a home remedy for his meningitis is facing five years in prison and the loss of their other children after a 19-month-old with meningitis died, according to Raw Story.

The baby was given supplements with an eye dropper rather than being brought to a hospital. Ezekiel Collet ultimately died from meningitis, or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord caused by infection. Prosecutors say that they are not accusing the parents of failure to love their child, simply failure to acquire the proper care.

Chosen Treatment

Collet Stephan, 35, told police that a friend diagnosed the child with meningitis. She then tried to then boost his immune system using a remedy that she and her husband sell through their nutritional supplement company. The mixture contained apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, onion, garlic, and ginger root.

Collet Stephan and her husband, David Stephan, 32, run Truehope Nutritional Support, Inc. out of their home. The company distributes nutritional supplements that have been criticized by Canadian authorities and in the press. There were even government warnings issued about the supplements that they gave to baby Ezekiel.

Ezekiel was airlifted to a hospital after he stopped breathing and he was kept on life support for five days. Now the parents are being prosecuted for failing to seek medical attention more promptly. While the story arises in Canada, the situation is not unique to our northern neighbors.

Immunizations and More

David Stephan says that there is no evidence that immunization and treatment would have prevented his son's death. He has reportedly written in social media that this prosecution is just a way of bullying parents into vaccinating children even if they are personally opposed to it.

In the US too, the movement against immunization has grown. Increasingly parents are questioning the imposition of certain vaccines that some believe do more harm to children than protect them.

If you are concerned about your legal obligations as a parent, you have been accused of a crime associated with your children, or are being held criminally liable for an act of your child, speak to a lawyer today. Don't delay. Many criminal defense attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.

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