In 2012, 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan got a case of croup. His parents decided to treat him strictly with natural remedies, but his condition got worse. Their nurse friend suspected it was meningitis. After giving him natural remedies like mashed onions, water with maple syrup and ginger root, they decided then to go to a naturopath to get medicine. They had to get him there on a mattress because he was too stiff to sit in his seat. They got him the medication and he seemed to be getting better, and took a nap. During the nap, however, he stopped breathing and was then finally airlifted to hospital.
Five days later, he was taken off life support. The hospital then notified the RCMP as they were concerned the parents were negligent and could have done a lot more for this child. They were charted in February 2013 and the trial started this week.
His parents plead not guilty and claim they loved him and cared about him but they just didn’t get him to a doctor to treat the viral meningitis until it was too late. The parents themselves had bad experiences with the Alberta healthcare system and they had someone in the family in the naturopathic business.
At what point should he have been brought to hospital? Are the parents right to be charged? What are your thoughts?