When parents are accused of not seeking medical help for kids
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, April 26, 2016 7:59AM EDT
A couple is on trial in Alberta for failing to provide the necessities of life for their toddler son, who died of bacterial meningitis in 2012. Court has heard that David and Collet Stephan gave 19-month-old Ezekiel natural remedies while he was sick for 2 1/2 weeks. They called 911 after he stopped breathing.
Here are some other criminal cases involving parents accused of failing to seek medical help for their children:
March 2013: Ryan Lovett, 7, of Calgary dies after getting strep throat. Police have alleged his mother chose to treat the infection with alternative medicines instead of taking him to a doctor. Tamara Lovett is charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life. The allegations have not been proven in court. A jury trial is to begin in November.
November 2013: John Clark, 14 months, dies of a staph infection complicated by malnutrition in Calgary. Police says his family had strict dietary restrictions based on their faith and nutritional beliefs. His parents, Jennifer and Jeromie Clark, are charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life. The allegations have not been proven in court. A jury trial is set for June 2017.
December 2006: Shatoya Chatelaine, 17 months, dies in Saskatoon after getting the skin infection impetigo around her mouth. A doctor who saw the baby during a home visit several days earlier had advised her mother to take the child to an emergency room. After the baby dies, it's discovered she was also covered in bruises and had broken ribs. Charissma McDonald tells police she didn't take the baby to a hospital because she worried social workers would apprehend the baby and her older children. McDonald pleads guilty to criminal negligence causing death and is sentenced to two years in jail.
September 1987: Lorie Atikian, 17 months, dies of malnutrition and pneumonia in Toronto. Her parents fed and cared for her based on the advice of an herbalist. Court heard that as the girl withered away, the herbalist told the couple not to take the child to a doctor. A jury convicts Sonia and Khachadour Atikian of failing to provide the necessities of life, but a new trial is ordered on appeal. The charges are eventually dismissed.
October 1981: Christopher Tutton, 5, dies in Ontario after his parents take him off insulin. Several doctors had warned the religious couple not to, but they believed he had been miraculously cured of diabetes. A jury in Kitchener convicts Carole and Arthur Tutton of manslaughter, but a second trial is ordered on appeal and that ruling is upheld by the Supreme Court. The Crown does not retry the case.
September 1964: Bonnie Deabay, 5, dies in New Brunswick of an infection from a cut lip that her mother treated with home remedies. An autopsy reveals the infection caused the girl's death. It spread over several weeks -- destroying one side of her lip, extending up the side of her face, down her neck and into her chest. Bonnie had also suffered other injuries. Her mother and father, Glenna and Omar Deabay, are charged with criminal negligence causing death. A jury acquits them at trial.