David and Collet Stephan were convicted in April in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, for failing to provide the necessities of life for their 19-month old son, Ezekiel, who died in March 2012. However, the couple is placing the blame on the ambulance workers who tried to save the toddler (video below).
The Stephans, who are to be sentenced this week, recently spoke with Del Bigtree, the producer of "Vaxxed," an anti-vaccine film, notes Raw Story.
It’s becoming quite a parental rights issue for medical choice, for how we deem to treat our children, and ultimately, what it comes down to [is] whether we have the right to vaccinate or not to vaccinate without being held liable, or whether or not we have to rush our children to the doctor every time they even get just the sniffles, in fear that something may just randomly happen, and then we’re held liable.
So this is a parental right issue that's really stretching across the nation and we need to get people out to the courthouse (for the couple's sentencing) to take a stand for this.
The National Post noted in April that the Stephans testified that they thought their toddler had the flu or croup and they treated him for more than two weeks with natural remedies that included hot pepper, garlic, and horseradish.
Ezekiel stopped breathing and had to be rushed to a hospital, where he died five days later from meningitis.
Meningitis can be caused by viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as other conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic, which recommends "immediate medical care."
This is about everybody, this isn’t the way that the media has played it out to be. They’ve tried to distance us from the average person by trying to say that he was too stiff, stiff as a board, to get in his car seat, he had to be fed somehow through an eyedropper, he was being treated for meningitis with maple syrup and fruit and berries — that’s not the case at all.
We were treating our child with different homeopathic remedies, different herbal remedies like tens of thousands of people do, nothing out of the ordinary, and he wasn’t severely ill, and then everything just came to a crash on an evening and we ended up in an ambulance that didn’t have the right equipment, and subsequently [he] ended up brain dead. And so we're in a bit of predicament here, but this isn’t just our battle, this is everyone’s battle.
Bigtree asked how the toddler specifically suffered a lack of oxygen, and David replied: "Well, unfortunately the ambulance that ended up taking our son off our hands after he was getting CPR for a little while, while we were in transit, did not have the proper equipment and so he went for over eight minutes without any oxygen whatsoever, which was found to be the cause of brain death."