It’s Immunization Awareness Week… So What Have We Learned From the Tragic Passing of Ezekiel?

What We Think of the Convicted Alberta Father's Response

It’s National Immunization Awareness Week, so this story, while devastating, is timely and deserves our attention… Click here to listen, or read on…

David Stephan and his wife Collet have been convicted of “failing to provide the necessaries of life” to their 18 month old son, Ezekiel, who died of meningitis.  Evidence showed that the Alberta couple, who were treating their song with natural remedies, did eventually suspect that their son had meningitis. But, instead of going straight to a hospital, they went to a naturopath for an “immune-boosting” concoction.

It wasn’t until their son passed out that they called an ambulance…

Ezekiel’s father has responded to the verdict by saying, in part:

“The floodgates have now been opened and if we do not fall in line with parenting as seen fit by the government, we all stand in risk of criminal prosecution. […]May heaven help us all!”

As a parent, I’ll say to Mr. Stephan, get off your high horse!

Parenting style is one thing; medical science is another. Want your kids to have a free-range childhood? Go for it! Gosh, if you want to treat with ‘natural remedies’ do so, up to a point.

If you know enough to know that there is viral meningitis and bacterial meningitis, that there is a difference between the two and how they are treated, you should damn well know enough that it’s a serious diagnosis. And, if you think he may have either form of meningitis, you get your child checked by a medical doctor.  Don’t just assume you know… assume that you can figure it out from a check list you found on the internet!

In a country where it costs you nothing at the point of access to go to a hospital emergency room or your doctor’s office… there is no excuse except hubris. 

And, when you’re a parent, you put your pride aside to make sure your children are well.

The government isn’t trying to interfere with your parenting style. The government is just trying to hold parents to a minimum standard of care for children who, like Ezekiel, “wasn’t old enough to speak for himself” as Crown prosecutor Lisa Weich said.