Health and Medicine

Toddler Dies After "Anti-Vax Parents" Allegedly Failed To Seek Proper Medical Treatment

March 9, 2016 | by Tom Hale

Photo credit: Rates of meningitis have dropped this decade, thanks to vaccinations. ADfoto/Shutterstock

A Canadian couple are in the midst of a court case after they allegedly allowed their unvaccinated toddler to die by not taking him to the doctor after he contracted meningitis. Instead, CBC reported that they attempted to treat his illness at home with maple syrup and other natural remedies. The couple have since vehemently denied this, and have threatened legal action against CBC.

Ezekiel, their 19-month old son, suffered the two-week illness in March 2012. During this time, the parents apparently only sought official medical attention when he stopped breathing. There were at least two occasions when the parents were aware of indications the toddler had meningitis, the court also heard. 

Following their call to the emergency services, he was immediately airlifted to a hospital in Calgary, where he was put on a life support machine and eventually died five days later.

An autopsy later confirmed the boy had contracted meningitis – an easily preventable infection that people can be immunized against by a vaccination. However, the court heard the couple on tape explaining to the police that they favor “naturopathic remedies” because they had previously received negative experiences from the Canadian medical health system.

These remedies included maple syrup, juice with frozen berries, apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic, and ginger root, CBC claimed.

But the family has since released a statement on Facebook saying many of the claims were “complete misrepresentation.” In regards to the claim that they tried to use maple syrup to cure their child, the family said: "anyone in their right mind would see how ridiculous this is, and if it wasn’t such a serious matter, it would be laughable. The idea of boosting an immune system with maple syrup, juice and frozen fruit is so illogical that I am left here shaking my head."

According to BuzzFeed, the couple also said on Facebook: "The situation that [we] find ourselves in, is that there is an organization that is attempting to offer our family up on the sacrificial altar of the vaccine industry."

The couple are pleading not guilty on all charges.

The "anti-vaccination movement” is based on a belief that vaccinations can be linked to an array of health conditions. Most notoriously, it has been claimed that MMR vaccinations can cause autism. This claim has disproved by a wealth of studies as well as an extensive major study, and has since been called “the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years."

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