A vegan mother has been charged with child neglect after reportedly refusing to get medical help for her 12-day-old baby, even after doctors told her the newborn was dehydrated, had lost weight and needed to be hospitalized, reports the Daily News.
Sarah Anne Markham, 23, was arrested Tuesday because she ignored her pediatrician’s instructions and, instead of taking her baby to be treated for malnourishment, brought him home. The Florida mom said her strict vegan beliefs prevented her from giving the child baby formula provided by her doctor because it contained animal products. She says she bought soy formula instead, but it’s unclear whether she gave it to her baby when they returned home.
Markham had a difficult time believing her child was dehydrated because, she said, the baby was having bowel movements, reports the Daily Mail. She claims she wanted to consult a holistic doctor before proceeding with treatment.
Doctors called the police when Markham, who is a Seventh Day Adventist and says her vegan beliefs are tied to her religious ones, didn’t show up at the hospital. But when they knocked on her door, the mom refused to answer, reports WKMG. Cops had to use a locksmith to enter her apartment.
Even after police questioned the mom at her home and she vowed to take her baby to the hospital – but only because she was being “forced” to do so – she failed to show up at the medical treatment facility. She also claimed a holistic doctor had prescribed her a soy formula, but she reportedly didn’t have a prescription to prove this. She was placed under arrest that evening.
Police say Markham had a “carefree” attitude on her way to the police station, even after she was told she wouldn’t be able to see her baby until she stood before a judge. She has been released on $2,000 bond.