|A divisive trial that drew strong opinions from both sides of the naturopathic medicine debate came to a tearful conclusion Tuesday as an eight-woman, four-man jury found an Alberta couple guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life for their toddler son.|
David and Collet Stephan, whose family started a nutritional supplements company, were convicted in the death of 19-month-old Ezekiel from meningitis in March 2012.
|The trial heard the couple thought the boy had croup or the flu, so they treated him for 2 1/2 weeks with remedies that included hot peppers, garlic, onions and horseradish, even though a family friend who was a nurse told them she thought Ezekiel had meningitis.|
The jury was also told Collet Stephan drove the little boy from their rural home to a naturopathic clinic in Lethbridge, Alta., to pick up an echinacea mixture, although he was too stiff to sit in his car seat and had to lie on a mattress on the way.
Truehope Nutritional Support founder Anthony Stephan
|David Stephan is vice-president of his father's company "Truehope Nutritional Support". The company says one of their products, EMPowerplus, helps treat bipolar disorder, depression and even autism. Stephan said he heard stories about vaccinations causing autism in children so he and his wife decided they wouldn’t vaccinate their own kids, adding that still held true for their three remaining boys.|
The maximum penalty for failing to provide the necessaries of life is five years in prison. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com