They’re denying the allegations and pleading not guilty on all counts.
A Canadian couple is currently in the middle of a court case after being accused of allowing their unvaccinated 19-month-old son to die of meningitis by not seeking appropriate medical care back in 2012, as CBC News reports.
Instead of reaching out to doctors, the couple allegedly tried to treat his illness with home remedies like maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, juice with frozen berries, hot peppers, horseradish root, mashed onion, garlic, and ginger root, according to CBC.
Since these allegations have surfaced, the couple has aggressively denied them and even threatened legal action against CBC. They released a statement on Facebook a few days ago saying that these claims were a “complete misrepresentation” and that “the majority of the article is truth” but that the CBC distorted it.
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However, the court has heard that there were at least two occasions when the parents were aware of indications that their toddler had meningitis — including once when a friend who is a nurse told them that the boy likely had the infection — but they failed to take any medical action until the boy stopped breathing. After they called emergency responders, he was airlifted to a hospital and put on a life support machine but tragically died five days later.
An autopsy report later confirmed that the toddler had contracted meningitis, an infection of the brain and spinal cord that can easily be prevented with a vaccination. While some cases of meningitis pass in a few weeks, others are life-threatening. It is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention to identify the type of infection and to prevent complications including permanent brain damage.
The court heard the couple on tape explaining to police that they preferred naturopathic remedies because of previous negative experiences with the Canadian medical health system.
The couple is pleading not guilty on all of the charges.
The “anti-vaccination movement” is hinged on the belief that vaccines are linked to a number of health conditions, and there are even claims that they can cause autism. Overwhelming evidence has disproved the claim that vaccines cause autism, but many people still aren’t convinced.
As of now, it seems to be the couple’s word against the prosecution’s until any evidence-based convictions are made. However, no matter what the outcome is, this tragedy should serve as an unfortunate reminder of how important it is to seek out proper medical attention when it’s needed — and quickly.