An anti-vaccine Canadian couple has come under fire after their 19-month-old son died from meningitis. The toddler died in 2012, but the couple, David Stephan, 32, and Collet Stephan, 35, are currently fighting a legal battle for allegedly not providing proper medical support to the child.
This week the couple is appearing in court for charges of "failing to provide the necessaries of life," according to CBC.
In 2012 the Stephans' 19-month-old son fell ill. As his condition deteriorated his parents, who own a nutritional supplements company, reportedly treated the boy at home.
CBC reports that the couple allegedly gave the boy numerous homemade remedies in the days leading up to his death including maple syrup, frozen berries, apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root.
The couple told police that they treated their son in this way because they "prefer naturopathic remedies because of their family's negative experiences with the medical system."
As his condition worsened the parents sought advice from a friend who is a registered nurse. The friend, Terrie Meynders, told the couple that the 19-month-old could have meningitis and to seek medical attention.
According to reports, the couple didn't do as advised until the boy stopped breathing the next day. Only then was he airlifted to a hospital. The toddler was unresponsive in the hospital for five days before the doctors took him off life-support.
After a detailed investigation, the parents were charged in the death of their son and according to social media the trial will run throughout the month of March.
The family operates a Facebook page, where they have expressed that they are being unfairly prosecuted and ask for donations to help fight their legal battle.
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