These Parents Are on Trial For Treating Toddler Who Died of Meningitis With Home Remedies Instead of Medicine

Ezekiel Stephan
Ezekiel Stephan. Photo: Stephan Family

Two Canadian parents are in court over the 2012 death of their 19-month old son from meningitis. David and Collett Stephan of Alberta own a nutritional supplements company and treated their son with various home remedies including maple syrup, juice with frozen berries, olive leaf extract and whey protein, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The CBC also reports that as his condition worsened, his parents gave him a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horse radish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root.

The Stephans only called for an ambulance when their son Ezekiel, who had been ill for two weeks, stopped breathing. He was airlifted to the  hospital in Calgary but it was too late. Doctors removed him from life support after five days.

David and Collet Stephan, aged 32 and 35, are accused of only seeking medical treatment when Ezekiel stopped breathing, thereby denying him the necessities of life. They have pleaded not guilty.

Stephan family feat
David and Collet Stephan with their surviving children, holding a photo of Ezekiel. Photo: Facebook

The Canadian prosectuor in this case, Clayton Giles, told the court that the couple did love and care for their son, just not in the right way.

“I’m not saying they killed him, abused him or ignored him – they loved him,” Mr Giles said. “They didn’t take him to a doctor until it was too late, far too late.”

As the case continues in court this week, my heart hurts for these parents, but I also hope that their case will continue getting publicity so that more tragedies like this can be avoided. Natural remedies are great, but there are some illnesses that DO require medical intervention, and vaccines DO save lives.

What do you think of this family’s approach to health? Do you think they are being unfairly prosecuted, or should they face consuquences for their son’s death?


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.