About a month and a half ago, I became aware of the case of Ezekiel Stephan, a 19-month-old Canadian toddler living in Alberta who in 2012 developed bacterial meningitis. Unfortunately for Ezekiel, his parents, David and Collet Stephan, were believers in alternative medicine. They didn’t take Ezekiel to a real doctor. Instead, they relied on herbal remedies and consulted a naturopath while their child suffered and died. As a result, they were put on trial for failing to provide the necessaries of life for Ezekiel. During the trial, they raised money by appealing to the worst quacks, claiming they were being persecuted in a plot by the Canadian government to impose forced vaccination.

Last night, after a long trial, a verdict was rendered:

A packed Lethbridge, Alta., courtroom erupted with emotion on Tuesday afternoon, after two parents accused of letting their son die from bacterial meningitis were found guilty.

David Stephan, 32, and Collet Stephan, 36, were charged a year after their nearly 19-month-old son Ezekiel died in March 2012, under Section 215 of the Criminal Code which deals with “failing to provide the necessaries of life.”

There was a gasp in the courtroom as the decision from the four-man, eight-woman jury came down. People in the courtroom’s gallery started to cry and Collet Stephan broke out sobbing uncontrollably while her husband and others rubbed her back.

The Stephans will not be held in custody at this time, but will have to return to court on June 13 when the date for sentencing will be set.

One of the reasons I got into blogging about quackery is because of how often I’ve seen stories of children victimized by it. I might repeat till I’m blue in the face that I firmly believe that a competent adult has the right to pursue any medical treatment he wishes, even if it’s quackery or even if he decides to accept no treatment at all. Obviously the flip side of that is that quacks do not have the right to lie to these competent adults; that, as far as I’m concerned, is fraud. Children, however, are different. Because they are not considered competent to make their own medical decisions, they rely on the judgment of their parents. Those parents have a duty to provide adequate medical care for their children.

Of course, parents are generally given wide latitude for making decisions about what is best for their children, and great deference is generally granted to parental authority and parental “rights.” It is this deference that can become a problem in protecting children from their parents’ belief in quackery when they become seriously ill. The example that I tend to cite most frequently comes from Philadelphia and the case of Herbert and Catherine Schaible. The Schaibles were a couple who chose prayer instead of antibiotics to treat their two year old son Kent in 2009. Kent ultimately died from his bacterial pneumonia.

In spite of this horrific failure of parental duty, thanks to the deference courts have towards parental rights and, of course, religion, the Schaibles didn’t lose their surviving children, nor were they sentenced to prison. Instead, the Schaibles were sentenced to ten years’ probation, during which they, in essence, promised to take their surviving children to a doctor when they became ill; in other words, they promised to be good parents. That meant that four years later, in 2013, they were able to do the same thing again when their seven month old son Brandon Scott became ill in the same way. He, too, died of bacterial pneumonia because his parents chose prayer over antibiotics.

So when I learned of the Stephans’ trial, I wasn’t particularly optimistic that they would be convicted. I realize that Canada is a different country with a different legal system, but I know from past cases that it suffers from the same tendency that the US legal system does to defer to quackery-loving parents. I wasn’t sure what verdict to expect, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Stephans had been acquitted. Not in the least. I can only guess that perhaps some of the horrific evidence of just how much Ezekiel suffered untreated before the end, with accounts of how he could no longer drink on his own and was being given fluids through an eyedropper and how his body was so stiff that he couldn’t be placed in a car seat.

As I read about this case, I noticed something once again that I’ve seen time and time again. David and Collet Stephan are antivaccine as hell. They didn’t vaccinate their children, and, as I mentioned before, David Collet tried to blame his prosecution on a government plot to bring about universal forced vaccination.

Unfortunately, antivaccine beliefs very frequently go hand-in-hand with the sort of quackery-filled beliefs held by people like the Stephans. Similarly, the medical neglect antivaccine parents subject their children to by failing to protect them against serious diseases can sometimes presage more serious medical neglect, like that of the Stephans. There are many reasons for this. Certainly, the distrust of big pharma that feeds a belief in quackery like naturopathy contributes, given that vaccines are pharmaceutical products, but that’s not enough. Also certainly rejection of modern scientific medicine as being “unnatural,” coupled with a belief that “natural” is inherently better, even the attribution of magical levels of efficacy to “natural remedies.” Not surprisingly, such people often believe that the immunity produced by vaccination is somehow “unnatural” and therefore inferior to “natural immunity.”

Indeed, antivaccine beliefs seem to be part of pretty much every form of quackery you can imagine. Homeopaths tend to be antivaccine, believing that homeopathic nosodes can produce the same sorts of results. Chiropractors are heavily antivaccine, which is not surprising given that chiropractic rests on a foundation of prescientific vitalism. And, of course, naturopaths are very much antivaccine. Indeed, for some naturopaths, much of their business is based on the belief that vaccines cause autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. They sell various nostrums to “detoxify” autistic children from the “toxins” in the vaccines. Some of them even use chelation therapy, even though chelation therapy can be dangerous and, in some cases, even kill. Indeed, the naturopath whom Collet Stephan consulted about Ezekiel and from whom she got some sort of herbal concoction to use to treat him, Tracy Tannis of the Lethbridge Naturopathic Medical Clinic, offers IV chelation therapy, along with a cornucopia of other quackery (such as ozone therapy), as I mentioned before.

It’s pretty clear from what I’ve read about the trial that Tannis provided Collet Stephan with an herbal remedy to treat her child without having examined Ezekiel. At the time I couldn’t help but observe how naturopaths have been so strongly lobbying for laws that allow them to function as primary care providers, the equivalent of family practice physicians, internists, or pediatricians. Yet, Tannis, even though she didn’t actually see Ezekiel, provides us with a compelling reason why naturopaths should never be given that status. When faced with a report of a child who was ill and who might have meningitis, Tannis provided an herbal remedy to the child’s mother without having done most basic thing a real physician is obligated to do before treating a serious disease, which is to examine the patient.

Then, of course, naturopathy is a belief system that is infused to its very core with antivaccine beliefs. Very rare indeed is a pro-vaccine naturopath. Indeed, the one naturopath I’ve found who claims to be pro-vaccine revealed herself to have some antivaccine proclivities when examined more closely. Indeed, that one self-proclaimed pro-vaccine naturopath claimed that there were naturopaths who are “vocal supporters of rigidly following the CDC schedule.” Now, personally, whenever I come across a claim like this, I always say that I’d love to meet these naturopaths who try to out-Offit Paul Offit. I’ve always been disappointed, as I’ve never encountered a naturopath who advocates “rigidly following the CDC schedule.” Ever. And I’ve looked. If they exist, they appear not to blog or maintain websites. Whenever I see what naturopaths have to say about vaccines, it’s either a whole lot of easily shot down antivaccine tropes, or it’s a mush, wishy-washy false equivalence between the antivaccine and pro-science-based medicine viewpoint.

There’s more promising news, too. It turns out that Tracy Tannis is facing an investigation after the parents’ conviction in response to a letter by 43 Canadian physicians echoing my thoughts on this whole case:

By any objective measure of a healthcare professional licensed to care for children Dr. Tannis did not meet the standard of care. According to what has been given as evidence in the Stephan trial, Dr. Tannis did not physically examine Ezekiel, who was so stiff from meningeal inflammation that he could not sit in his car seat when his parents took him to the Lethbridge Naturopathic Medical Clinic. Dr. Tannis has stated that she did not communicate with Collet Stephan, yet two other people have given statements that Dr. Tannis did in fact discuss viral meningitis with Collet, and gave her echinacea anyway. At no point did Dr. Tannis advise Collet that a lumbar puncture (typically performed by an emergency or pediatric physician) is the only way to distinguish between viral and bacterial meningitis. It’s unclear if Dr. Tannis is aware that bacterial meningitis is fatal if not treated with antibiotics and can cause permanent brain damage if treatment is not initiated promptly.

Regardless of how much direct communication occurred between the Stephans and Dr. Tannis, they left the Lethbridge Naturopathic Medical Clinic with an echinacea tincture they felt had been recommended by a registered naturopath. Dr. Tannis has stated that she was aware a woman was in her clinic that day requesting a treatment for a child under the age of 2. She was involved in some way in the sale of this medication yet never examined the child it was intended for. It is up to the CNDA to determine to what degree Dr. Tannis engaged with the Stephans about their very sick toddler, and to what extent she was aware that they thought he had viral meningitis. She has stated in court that the Stephans simply purchased an over the counter herbal remedy, yet they chose to go to a naturopathic clinic to make this purchase. If patients are drawn to buying treatments from a clinic rather than a health food store it is because they have a greater sense of security in doing so. That security comes with an attendant responsibility on the part of the clinic.

The degree of responsibility that Dr. Tannis bears for the tragic outcome Ezekiel Stephan suffered is a matter for the CNDA to explore and publicly address.

Exactly. If you want to be a physician, then be a doctor. Don’t just play at it. You can’t have it both ways. If you’re a doctor, you can’t go around selling herbal remedies as a treatment for suspected meningitis without taking responsibility and examining the patient and doing an appropriate workup. It’s called professionalism. Live it. Learn it. Love it. Oh, wait. I’m talking about naturopaths. They can’t and they won’t.

Unfortunately, upon reading about the investigation being opened by the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta (CNDA), my thoughts immediately echoed those of Britt Hermes, the naturopath who realized that she had entered a profession rooted in quackery and left naturopathy. My first thought was that the CNDA will likely find that Tannis did nothing wrong. The reason, of course, is that there is no naturopathic standard of care—for anything. How can there be? Naturopathy isn’t based in science; pretty much anything goes. If you don’t believe me, I will simply remind you again that The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, is an integral part of naturopathy. It’s a large part of the curriculum in naturopathy schools, and the NPLEX, the naturopathic licensure exam, tests freshly minted naturopaths on homeopathy along with all the other quackery. Basically, you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy. Hermes, knowing more about naturopathy than I, proposes another reason why Tannis likely has nothing to worry about:

I suspect the CNDA will find no wrongdoing, not because Tannis sold an herbal product to Ezekiel’s mother who intended to use it to treat his meningitis. Rather, the CNDA will probably close the case because naturopaths were only licensed in Alberta months after Ezekiel died. Therefore, the college has no jurisdiction over Tannis’s actions at that time because she and other naturopaths in Alberta were not yet licensed.

Of course, Tannis herself isn’t the problem. It’s naturopathy itself. The licensing of naturopaths legitimizes their quackery, making it easier for irresponsible quackery-loving parents like the Stephans to medically neglect their children.

Naturopathy is quackery. No quackery is too quacky to be rejected by naturopaths, who embrace homeopathy, acupuncture, energy medicine, chelation therapy, intravenous vitamin C, applied kinesiology, and many more. The world view from which naturopathy springs, namely beliefs in vitalism and that nature is always better than “artificial” or “scientific” medicine (hint: it ain’t), is not unique to naturopaths. It’s the same world view that drives parents like David and Collet Stephan to treat their dying child with “natural” herbal remedies instead of taking their child to a real doctor before it was too late. It’s the same world view that leads people to say things like this in response to the conviction of the Stephans:

Couple that magical thinking at the heart of alternative medicine like naturopathy and embraced by the Stephans with the all too common view that sees children more as property than independent beings for whom parents are but stewards, and tragic cases like that of Ezekiel Stephan are the result. As tragic as his case is, it’s a good thing that this publicity surrounding this trial is reminding people what can happen when parents rely on quackery instead of medicine.

ADDENDUM: Steve Novella has also discussed this case.

Comments

  1. #1 DrRJM
    Oz
    April 27, 2016

    Excellent result.

    I presume they will appeal?

    What of their other children?

  2. #2 Amethyst
    The Crystal Gem
    April 27, 2016

    What are the odds that CNDA is actually going to do anything? Any negative finding would mean they would have to admit to the quackery of their entire profession after all.

  3. #3 Marcus Hill
    UK
    April 27, 2016

    Whenever one of these tragic cases comes up, there are always people urging leniency because “they have already suffered enough with the death of their child”. Bullshit. That’s exactly the same argument as in the old joke about the guy who murders both his parents and asks for leniency because he’s an orphan. Besides, one of the purposes of the law is deterrence. If the Stephans get a harsh sentence and have their other kids taken away, and this encourages even one person to get their sick kid treated with real medicine out of fear of conviction, it will be well worth it.

  4. #4 Chris Hickie
    April 27, 2016

    They are guilty. But unrepentant. I hope that is taken into consideration at sentencing.

    43 MDs from Canada wrote a joint letter to the CNDA. Publicly the CNDA cannot ignore it, but I’ll wager as already noted not much will come of it. It will be similar to when the Arizona Board of Osteopathy refused to do anything (despite 38 separate complaints) to quack “paleo cardiologist” Jack Wolfson when he was unprofessionally viciously (and very publicly on national news) anti-vaccine during a measles outbreak in Arizona. Somehow the board found Wolfson proclaiming medically dangerous advice publicly as a licensed physician was completely protected from professional sanction by his First Amendment right to free speech. Although Tannis is clearly guilty of malpractice by treating without examining, I suspect the CDNA will find some similar wiggle clause, especially given the letter came from non-naturopaths.

  5. #5 Robert Gauthier
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    April 27, 2016

    I have followed this case from the beginning, and it is clear the Crown has chosen to make an example of these people and frankly it is about time. Canada has Universal Healthcare, so there wasn’t any reason at all why these parents should not have had their child seen by a legitimate medical professional, other than an ideological one. I suspect more heads will roll in this case before it is over. We will see what the Crown’s position is during pre-sentencing arguments in June.

  6. #6 GiJoel
    Mobile command bunker
    April 27, 2016

    I hope the damn quack goes to jail as well.

  7. #7 Michael Finfe, MD
    Edison, NJ
    April 27, 2016

    It should be noted here that malpractice and misconduct are generally considered to be two different things. Malpractice includes things like cognitive errors that harm patients and that do not rise to the level of misconduct. Plus, in the realm of malpractice, there are no consequences unless a patient or a patient’s family files a lawsuit. Misconduct, however, only requires a regulatory body to notice and take action, and the consequences can be more than just financial.

    This naturopath, in my opinion, is clearly guilty of misconduct. She did not see the patient, and if she had, one would hope that she would have immediately realized that a trip to the ER was necessary. I wonder if that hope is misplaced. It’s hard to know.

  8. #8 DrRJM
    Oz
    April 27, 2016

    Although nothing would make me happier than seeing that quack naturopath go down, I doubt it will happen.

    Naturopaths are licensed in Alberta, however unlike MDs, RNs etc. there is essentially NO standard of care that their actions/non-actions can be measured against.

  9. #9 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    April 27, 2016

    Given the victim and entitlement mentality of the Stephans over killing their own son, my bets are on them doing a runner before sentencing.

  10. #10 The Smith of Lie
    April 27, 2016

    I wonder if in the long run it wouldn’t be actually better if CNDA were to try and sweep the whole thing under the rug. Depending how much they weasel about it, the inability or unwillingness to take Tannis to task could convince future lawmakers that licensing Naturopaths was a mistake or it could be used to dissuade such attempts in other places.

    On the other hand, they could spin it to further legitimize themselves. If they make a big show of how Tannis was unfit to be Naturopath and make big deal of the large, “formal” misconduct – failing to see the patient, doing her work without proper thoroughness and at the same time taking focus away from the lack of scientific base for any actions she could have taken… Well it could make for a decent PR for Naturopathy.

    And we can be sure, that if they were to do something it won’t be admitting that she lacked the proper ability, rather they’d blame her for misapplying all that “life saving Naturopathic treatments” due to personal laziness…

  11. #11 NH Primary Care Doc
    April 27, 2016

    I agree completely with your comments about Tannis. As a real physician, I never, ever give medical advice without establishing a relationship with a patient. If someone calls my office to make an appointment and tries to start discussing symptoms over the phone, my receptionist is instructed to stop the patient, remind him or her that she is not the doctor, and all complaints need to be addressed with the doctor. If it is something that can’t wait, they need to proceed to the emergency room.

  12. #12 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    I’m glad you referenced the Schaibles. The Stephans love their children. They just love their ideology more. I have no doubt that they’d do the very same thing, all over again.

    Mr. Delphine and I became parents late in the game, after spending our lives doing pretty much what we wanted to do. Probably the most difficult adjustment has been dealing with the fact that it’s no longer about us. That’s the thing with David and Collet. This was never about Ezekiel.

    Sentencing is in June. I doubt they’ll get the full 5 years. But I still feel as though some measure of justice was served yesterday. I feel sorry for the Stephans other children.

  13. #13 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    When Delphinette was <2 years old, we were in NY when she developed an ear infection. I knew what it was because a. she was grabbing/bending the offending ear and crying "eaaah!" b. she'd recently had a cold and c. she'd already had several bouts of otitis media.

    We put her in the stroller and walked to NY Presbyterian. Do you think I could just say, "look, I'm her mother, and I know what this is, and a couple of days of Ceftin will clear this right up, so no need to examine her, just write me a scrip?"

  14. #14 Eric Lund
    April 27, 2016

    Naturopaths are licensed in Alberta, however unlike MDs, RNs etc. there is essentially NO standard of care that their actions/non-actions can be measured against.

    I would expect that a naturopath who developed a habit of sleeping with his patients would lose his license, as is the case for MDs and such. That technically qualifies as a code of professional conduct. But yes, the licensing is an implicit guarantee that the practitioner will follow best practices in treating patients. The situation with naturopaths is like allowing a civil engineer to build a highway bridge out of balsa wood–which of course a licensed engineer would never do. The implicit guarantee that a licensed naturopath won’t do the medical equivalent has nothing to back it up. It’s just an oral promise which, as Sam Goldwyn would remind us, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  15. #15 harriet huestis
    Canada
    April 27, 2016

    #9 Science Mom
    “Given the victim and entitlement mentality of the Stephans over killing their own son, my bets are on them doing a runner before sentencing.”

    The Crown asked their passports be taken but the judge refused. The Stephans moved to BC from Alberta. I wondered if this was to avoid the removal of the other children. Hopefully social services will act quickly for the children’s sake.

  16. #16 Orac
    April 27, 2016

    Yeah, I was going to mention the bit about the passports. Why the judge refused to take the Stephans’ passports, I’ll never understand. Now, basically nothing’s stopping them from leaving the country.

  17. #17 Cameron
    Canada
    April 27, 2016

    Finally a reasonable outcome, but I’m afraid that it won’t have much effect on folks who believe in the quack methodologies. Although our healthcare system is universal and there’s no good reason for this family to have not used the healthcare system, there are systematic problems in our healthcare system that make this sort of thing nearly impossible to stop. While having universal healthcare provides healthcare to all, it also has the effect of reducing the overall quality of healthcare. We have shortages of doctors and diagnostic tools all over the country. The GPs we do have are often limited to roughly 7 minutes a session (as told to me by my GP) to speak with patients, so there isn’t much time to delve into anything. Most of the time we’re provided referrals to specialists who can provide more attention, but you’ll have to wait 6 months or more to see them. Unlike the average GP, a naturopath or other quack can spend a heck of a lot of time with a patient, bill their private insurer and the patient comes out of the session feeling satisfied. How can a stressed healthcare system compete with that? Now, in Ontario, doctors are having their funding cut because of a handful of MDs bilking the system for huge amounts of money. It’s only going to get worse and this ruling will only provide fuel for the “alt-med” pundits.

  18. #18 harriet huestis
    April 27, 2016

    The Naturopath College in Alberta is only investigating Tannis because of the letter the physicians wrote is being taken as a complaint. Given the circumstances of this case and the publicity going back years, one would have that a diligent regulatory organization would have already completed an investigation.

  19. #19 Chris
    April 27, 2016

    Despite some of the valid criticism of Canada’s healthcare, hubby’s relatives have never been denied emergency health care. One of his cousin’s gave birth to a very premature baby girl on Vancouver Island north of Nanaimo. That child was taken by medical helicopter to the City of Vancouver. (That child is now an adult, and has been served by special services long with health care through out her life.)

    Even in Alberta that child would have received immediate medical care if the parents had high tailed it to a hospital the moment their neighbor uttered the word “meningitis.”

  20. #20 kruuth
    April 27, 2016

    Five years isn’t enough for the two of them. I doubt that they’ll flee, since it’s doubtful anyone is going to be interested in dealing with these two nuts in their borders but then again, only time will tell.

  21. #21 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    Cameron, Ezekiel had never in his life seen a physician. These aren’t folks who were jaded by the system and rejected it (though they did try to play that card at one point with “we thought we’d get sent home if we took him to the ER” bullpucky) — they are people who believe that their entire ethos is superior to the mainstream.

    7 minutes is a long time for a GP to be talking to most patients, most of whom present for reasons that don’t require 7 minutes of conversation. I think GPs need to do a better job of recognizing addiction/mental health issues, but that’s a whole other ball of wax. I don’t need 7 minutes of conversation to diagnose and treat my URI or UTI, or refer out for my sciatica. With that said, in my experience GPs and NPs tend to spend more time with children than they do with adults, even for garden-variety ailments.

    I agree with you that our healthcare system has major issues. But having lived in both the UK and USA, I maintain that on the whole, ours is as good, if not better in some areas. We are a geographically huge country and we tend to fail our most remote and vulnerable. The Stephans didn’t not take Ezekiel to a doctor because they were looking for a different opinion. They didn’t take him to a doctor because their ideology mattered more than his life. This little guy was tremendously sick and they knew it and they let it happen.

  22. #22 Denice Walter
    April 27, 2016

    OT but is theatrical, grandstanding, attention wh0ring by a well-known woo-meiser ever TRULY OT @ RI?

    It seems that dear old Mikey Boy, in his tireless efforts to save the public from SBM’s dastardly deeds, is now donating free vitamin C to “victims’ of cancer care who may have been injured by Dr Fata and others.

  23. #23 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    Unlike the average GP, a naturopath or other quack can spend a heck of a lot of time with a patient, bill their private insurer and the patient comes out of the session feeling satisfied. How can a stressed healthcare system compete with that?

    A. I can’t get much relief from throwing up during pregnancy and I feel as though my GP is minimizing my plight. So I turn to acupuncture. I feel like I’m doing something, I like the practitioner, who is thoughtful and spends a half hour with me, and I feel better.

    B. Collet Stephan has no antenatal care. Not one blood test or ultrasound. Delivers at home with a family friend, a registered nurse. Never takes her child to the doctor, not once.

    I get what your’e trying to say — but do you see the difference, Cameron?

  24. #24 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    *you’re

  25. #25 palindrom
    April 27, 2016

    Slightly O/T, but the picture of that beautiful little smiling boy makes me sad and angry every time I see it. I really hope everyone responsible for this horrible incident gets theirs.

  26. #26 Takiar
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    April 27, 2016

    If the CDNA tries to weasel out of the case through the fact that the death occurred before licensing came in Alberta (the jurisdiction issue), then the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons could take up the case, and pursue a practice of medicine without permit type of investigation, if they have the will to do so.

  27. #27 Takiar
    April 27, 2016

    “CNDA

  28. #28 Meg
    April 27, 2016

    @17 Cameron

    The GPs we do have are often limited to roughly 7 minutes a session (as told to me by my GP) to speak with patients, so there isn’t much time to delve into anything.

    On an number of occasions, I accompanied my mother to her GP (rural Nova Scotia). The doctor spent as much time with my mother as my mother needed and even spent time with me discussing the likelihood of my inheriting my mother’s condition and what steps I should take to minimize my risk. And I’m not even Canadian.

    My PCP here in the U.S. who is paid by my HMO, has also always spent as much time with me as I’ve felt I needed.

    I realize anecdotes aren’t evidence but neither I nor anyone I know has described an experience where they felt their regular doctor consistently shortchanged them on time. I sometime feel that this is another excuse used by people who are trying to rationalize woo.

    Of course, being the kind of person I am, I’d rather have 7 minutes of a properly trained person prescribing the right treatment than an hour of chitchat with someone sticking needles in my for no good reason.

  29. #29 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    I sometime feel that this is another excuse used by people who are trying to rationalize woo.

    Yes. I witnessed this and even did it myself, as an old fertility patient. It goes like this — I don’t like hearing I’m old and that’s why I’m not getting pregnant, because a. it hurts and b. there’s nothing that can change it. But that nice acupuncture lady up the road, she listens, and she believes in me. She has the answers I’m seeking when the answers you’re giving me aren’t what I want to hear. All for the low, low price of $100 a treatment.

  30. #30 Eric Lund
    April 27, 2016

    The Stephans moved to BC from Alberta.

    I don’t know about Canadian law, but in the US this is generally grounds for revoking bail. One of the factors used in determining whether to grant bail is flight risk. I’d say that moving to another province (especially from an area not close to the border–Lethbridge is nowhere near the BC border) demonstrates that the Stephans are flight risks. Confiscation of passports in cases like this should be routine.

    I would hope that the Crown at least had the presence of mind to alert US authorities so that the Stephans could be placed on a watch list. Whether the watch list would be enforced for people of the Stephans’ ethnicity is another question.

  31. #31 AR
    April 27, 2016

    You might find the buzz surrounding this on the Not-So-Thinking Moms’ sight intriguing. In a post clearly meant to elicit sympathy for the Stephans, even many of the commentators aren’t having it. Now that’s saying something.

  32. #32 palndrom
    April 27, 2016

    Eric — In discussions with colleagues, I have taken to describing faculty members who are “hot” and might be headhunted by other schools as “flight risks”.

  33. #33 shay simmons
    April 27, 2016

    The subject has been raised over on Dr Novella’s post — did the family friend who advised the Stephans that Ezekiel might have meningitis have a duty, as an RN, to follow up on the situation and determine if the parents were taking appropriate steps?

    (can you imagine what Lilady would have done if she were this RN?)

  34. #34 Politicalguineapig
    April 27, 2016

    Delphine: 7 minutes is a long time for a GP to be talking to most patients, most of whom present for reasons that don’t require 7 minutes of conversation.

    When I had Bell’s Palsy, I spent about ten minutes in each appointment- the first one was Urgent Care, the second one was with the neurologist. And three or four minutes of that first appointment were just reassurances that I hadn’t had a stroke.

  35. #35 Ross Miles
    Barrie ON
    April 27, 2016

    Eric @30

    Lethbridge is only about 165 Km or 100 miles from the BC border, and they lived in Glenwood AB which is roughly half way to BC. David Stephan worked at his father’s company, Truehope, located in Raymond AB, about 75 Km from Glenwood. Short answer to moving, as a general rule, Canada does not have laws where an issue becomes Federal in the USA, as for example with inter-state transportation of stolen goods. Policing structure is also somewhat different. Rest assured that most probably border services is aware of their situation, and entry to the USA would be denied based on the conviction alone.

    Also note that the June 13 date is only a set date for a sentencing date. Kind of a “when is everybody free” to get going on sentencing procedures. My guess, no sentence until late August or September. On the dark side of it, I read the judge as having a lenient view as to punishment when the passports were not revoked or surrendered.

  36. #36 Pedro
    April 27, 2016

    @AR

    It has somewhat restored my faith in humanity reading the comments on the Thinking Moms’ posts. Basic human decency trumps ideology.

  37. #37 Old Rockin' Dave
    April 27, 2016

    Eric Lund: “I would expect that a naturopath who developed a habit of sleeping with his patients would lose his license,”
    No way. He’s just practicing Chakra Energy Healing. Anyone well versed in naturopathy will recognize it in an instant.

  38. #38 sadmar
    April 27, 2016

    The ‘fix’ was in on this case from the get go, as the Crown and the Canadian press chose to ignore the elephant in the room. David Stephan is a ‘Vice President” and “Director of Marketing” of the Stephan family business, a disgusting supplement scam operation called Truehope. Ezekiel is the grandson of Tony Stephan, a ‘natural health’ con artist who makes Mike Adams look like a saint by comparison. Naturopathy should be illegal, not licensed, but it has nothing directly to do with Ezekiel Stephan’s death, and as bad as naturopathy is, Truehope is orders of magnitude worse. likely being responsible for more deaths (yes, DEATHS) than all the naturopaths in North America combined. It’s seriously fukked to read this OP – which like the press accounts of the conviction I’ve seen so far – doesn’t even mention Truehope, and repeats as ‘fact’ claims about what happened with Ezekiel that are contradicted by testimony and documents from the Stephan trial.

    They consulted a naturopath while their child suffered and died. Tannis provided Collet Stephan with an herbal remedy to treat her child without having examined Ezekiel. When faced with a report of a child who was ill and who might have meningitis, Tannis provided an herbal remedy to the child’s mother without having done most basic thing a real physician is obligated to do before treating a serious disease, which is to examine the patient.

    Just. Plain. Wrong. Ezekiel had been ill for a couple weeks. During that time, the Stephans were treating him with some home-brew remedies AND a ‘natural immune system booster’ sold by Truehope -– Olive Leaf Extract (OLE). A day or two before the Stephans called 911, Collet Stephan called Lethbridge Naturopathic, and asked receptionist/remedy-clerk Lexie Vataman for a recommendation for ‘something to boost the immune system’. There is no evidence any of the Stephans had ever visited this clinic, or purchased anything there before. Collet didn’t ask to speak to the ND. This is crucial. Given the autopsy results, Ezekiel would have been critically ill by then, and what Collet Stephan did is comparable to walking into a Walgreens and asking the cashier to point her toward a homeopathic cold remedy.

    What happened during that phone call is in dispute. Collet apparently told Vataman that a nurse/midwife (Terrie Meynders) has taken a brief look at Ezekiel the night before, and mentioned the possibility he might be suffering from viral meningitis, and at some point in the conversation Vataman recommended an echinacea formula called BLAST. The reports aren’t definitive, but this was almost certainly Master Formulae BLAST, an OTC product sold at health food stores, which, unlike Truehope OLE, is approved by Health Canada. Among the things we don’t know is whether Vataman recommended BLAST before or after Collet mentioned meningitis.

    When Vataman heard the word ‘meningitis’ she thought she should check with Tannis. Here Vataman’s and Tannis’s testimony vary dramatically. Again, the press reports are vague, but Vataman’s story appears to be that she asked Tannis if BLAST was indeed ‘an immune system booster’ WITHOUT citing the meningitis, and receiving affirmation on that query relayed that to Collet and added her own suggestion that Collet might want to take Ezekielto see a real doctor. Tannis testified that Vataman interrupted a patient session to inquire about what she should tell a woman on the phone who mentioned her infant son might have meningitis, and that she (Tannis) ordered Vataman to tell the caller to take the boy to the emergency room immediately, left her patient to accompany Vataman back to the phone and made sure Vataman delivered the message. Tannis also flatly denied recommending BLAST.

    The Stephans told the RCMP and the pediatrician who filed the physicians report on Ezekiel’s death that earlier during the day he stopped breathing and flatlined, they had driven into Lethbridge to run errands, placing Ezekiel on a mattress in the back of their car as he was too stiff to get into his car seat. During that trip, among other things Collet picked up some BLAST at Lethbridge Naturopathic. It’s not clear whether the Stephans said anything suggesting they were ‘taking Ezekiel to see a naturopath’ but regardless, that’s not what they did.

    Collet went into the clinic, picked up the BLAST, did not ask for anyone to examine Ezekiel, and there’s no evidence whatsoever she even mentioned that the boy was outside in the car. In fact, Tannis testified Vataman introduced her to Collet at that point, and the two spoke briefly, but she had no idea Collet was the mother who had called with the meningitis query. “I really thought that woman went to emergency.”

    The Stephan’s story here is hinky to say the least. They had been treating Ezekiel for weeks with Treuhope’s allegedly superior ‘immune system booster,’ a product that <i.competes with BLAST. Ya’ think the Director of Marketing in charge of shilling OLE might know plenty about Master Formulae BLAST, including what’s in it and where it’s sold? So why would his wife call a naturopathy clinic that late in her son’s illness for a recommendation, and go to that clinic to pick up something she could get at the health food store? During the Crown’s presentation of witnesses, defense attorney Shawn Buckley tried to lay groundwork to scapegoat Tannis in Ezekiel’s death, but didn’t follow through with that at all in presenting his case, I’d guess having realized it wasn’t going to fly at all. Buckley had been Truehope’s attorney in all of it’s many legal problems with Health Canada and various lawsuits, His law practice is devoted to acting “primarily for manufacturers of Natural Health Products,” and he is “president of the Natural Health Products Protection Association (nhppa.org).” Check out that site, tinyurl.com/j8gj54m, and other hits from Googling ‘Shawn Buckley Truehope’ if you want to rage and vomit.

    As for the letter from the 43 physicians:

    At no point did Dr. Tannis advise Collet that a lumbar puncture (typically performed by an emergency or pediatric physician) is the only way to distinguish between viral and bacterial meningitis.

    Pathetically disingenuous since she testified meningitis of any type is out of her scope of practice, and that she had Vataman instruct Collet to take Ezekiel to the emergency room.

    It’s unclear if Dr. Tannis is aware that bacterial meningitis is fatal if not treated with antibiotics and can cause permanent brain damage if treatment is not initiated promptly.

    It’s clear she testified she knows meningitis is a serious illness she can’t handle, and requires immediate attention by a real medical doctor..

    The Stephans left the Lethbridge Naturopathic Medical Clinic with an echinacea tincture they felt had been recommended by a registered naturopath.

    Maybe, but unlikely, and irrelevant anyway.

    If patients are drawn to buying treatments from a clinic rather than a health food store it is because they have a greater sense of security in doing so.

    Unless, maybe, if they (and their whole family) make a very cushy living selling ‘natural’ treatments promising miracle cures for serious health issues directly on the web, are so DIY in healthcare that they’ve never even visited a natuopath in their lives, discover their son near death, consult the paterfamilias about what to do, and are told to draw somebody else into this crime to give Shawn Buckley someone he can pass off some of the blame if worst comes to worst.

    Two other people have given statements that Dr. Tannis did in fact discuss viral meningitis with Collet, and gave her echinacea anyway.

    Citation required. The press accounts of Vataman’s testimony don’t indicate she even overheard Tannis’s brief conversation with Collet, but do note she testified her memory of these events isn’t so hot. She also has her own butt to cover. I haven’t read anything about any witnesses, and Google isn’t showing anything. So who are these two other people, and where and what are these statements?

    Look, I’m not defending naturopathy. While the letter from the 43 makes some highly dubious claims, the testimony regarding Lethbridge Naturopathic’s role in Ezekiel’s death is murky enough that’s there’s justification for calling for an investigation by the CNDA. Among things I’d hope they check:
    Was Collet Stephan’s call to Vataman indeed the family’s first contact with the clinic? Do Tannis’s files show any history of either prescribing natural remedies for patients presenting with symptoms of serious disease on one hand, or proper referral to medical doctors in such instances? Tannis might be able to document that she’s encountered other cases that might be meningitis and in every case said “See an MD!” if not “Go to the ER now!”. Or not.

    So the bottom line for me here is what the 43 signees have NOT done. They have remained silent about Truehope. If they’re concerned about protecting the public from ‘natural remedies’ harm, that’s simply unconscionable. There’s this bit of prime WTF in the letter: “The CNDA also needs to decide whether or not it is appropriate for a naturopath to sell treatments out of their own clinic.” Uh, how is this going to help if the patients can just amble over to the health food store, toss a bottle off the self into the basket and head to the checkout counter? This crap ought to highly regulated, Truehope ought to be put out of business, and Tony Stephan ought to have every dime of his fortune paid to his victims and wind up in jail. Where the fukk is the outrage about that?

    The experts on Truehope are Terry Polevoy, MD, author and mental health advocate Marvin Ross, and Ron Reinhold, a former Health Canada inspector now working as private investigator. Read this blog post by Ross on the death of Ezekiel Stephan. Now. tinyurl.com/zfur6k9

  39. #39 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    When I had Bell’s Palsy, I spent about ten minutes in each appointment- the first one was Urgent Care, the second one was with the neurologist. And three or four minutes of that first appointment were just reassurances that I hadn’t had a stroke.

    What is your point here, PGP?

  40. #40 Old Rockin' Dave
    April 27, 2016

    In the US, flight before arrest, trial, sentencing, or reporting to prison, or to avoid testifying is “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution” and is a federal crime even if no state line is crossed, under the Fugitive Felon Act (Federal fugitives come under a different title.). Often the US Marshals Service forms a joint task force with local and state law enforcement just for that purpose.
    In addition, bail jumpers are relentlessly hunted for by the bail bondsman’s employees and/or freelance “bounty hunters”. If the sum at risk or the reward for return is big enough, the search will be relentless, and the searchers can get away with some things that the police can’t.

  41. #41 Wzrd1
    United States
    April 27, 2016

    #9 Science Mom
    “Given the victim and entitlement mentality of the Stephans over killing their own son, my bets are on them doing a runner before sentencing.”

    Well, they’re welcome to hide out here. It rained heavily last night and the alligators are hungry.

  42. #42 RLM
    Canada
    April 27, 2016

    Here’s a funny wrinkle that didn’t get much notice in the trial – the Stephans are Mormon (David is one of 10 siblings). The town they’re from, Cardston, Alberta, has been tied to Fundamentalist LDS and is about 80% Mormon. At one point, the paternal grandfather came to give a “blessing” and annoint little Ezekiel with oil.

    So this makes me wonder how much of this predeliction for quack medicine in religiously based. Not all Mormons are into it, but there are some sub-sects that eschew medicine for things like energy healing and other forms of woo. I also have to wonder how much prayer was relied to to relive the little fellow. That, the family business being “nutritional supplements” that claim to cure bipolar disorder. There are just some flags that popped up for me that made me suspect this wasn’t just crunchy-granola hippiness gone off the rails.

    I also imagine that the Crown prosecutors would not want to go down that road if they could avoid it. However, their concern about passports aren’t misplaced, as the Stephans may be tied into a larger FLDS network that may help them avoid imprisonment.

    Speculation on my part, just things that made me go “Hmmm…”

  43. #43 Ross Miles
    Barrie ON
    April 27, 2016

    Old Rockin’ Dave @40

    In Canada, bail bondsmen and bounty hunters are illegal. It is also not legal to make a profit (or ask for compensation) from posting a bond. If not cash, there are surety bonds.

  44. #44 sadmar
    April 27, 2016

    How bad is Truehope? This should give you some idea.

    As the toddler lay unconscious at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, RCMP Cpl. Ryan Bulford conducted separate lengthy interviews with the Stephans. [David Stephan told Bulford] “And then when he was sick there, we were giving him, above and beyond that, the olive root extract, which is an antifungal, antiviral, it’s a very powerful one,”

    There’s a massive journalistic fail here, as that should read Olive Leaf Extract, a product sold by (ta da!) Truehope.

    the antibacterial, antifungal effects of Oleuropein are well-known and are even thought to help reduce the need for pharmaceutical antibiotics. Boost immune system function … using Truehope OLE. ,

    Yup, his son is lying brain dead in a hospital, and Truehope’s Director of Marketing is pimping one of his products.

  45. #45 Chris
    April 27, 2016

    Also, the RCMP have greater leeway than US law enforcement for surveillance. Unfortunately their tactics in Canada are being used to try to get some evidence removed for a conviction in the USA:
    http://www.lawnow.org/whatever-happened-us-v-burns-extradition-death-penalty/

  46. #46 Ross Miles
    Barrie ON
    April 27, 2016

    Sadmar @38

    “Canadian press chose to ignore the elephant in the room”

    There was a partial publication ban in effect during trial so certain things could not be reported until the jury was sequestered, which is fairly typical for Canada. More is coming out in the press now. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/stephan-david-collet-lethbridge-meningitis-police-interview-toddler-death-1.3537887

    The Calgary Herald has some to say: http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/fortney-parents-on-trial-for-toddlers-death-take-fight-to-social-media

    There is also a long history with Truehope, where their junk is legal to sell. It also includes a court case, a cabinet minster letting them off the hook on the advice of an MP who was loose with the truth, young earth creationist chiropractor by the name of Lunney, plus a Harvard prof M.D. just to add a little international flavour.

  47. #47 harriet huestis
    Canada
    April 27, 2016

    #42″ So this makes me wonder how much of this predeliction for quack medicine in religiously based. Not all Mormons are into it, but there are some sub-sects that eschew medicine for things like energy healing and other forms of woo. ”

    It’s hit and miss in that area and many Mormons are into crunchy stuff. Where I am from, and where the Stephans pretrial occurred, the vaccination rates are about 40%. There’s Dutch Reform but not that many so would have to include a large number of Mormons. I remember at a Mormon friend’s house the buckwheat pancakes and no sugar. This was remarkable in those days, almost exotic in 1980s rural southern Alberta.

    I also have to wonder how much prayer was relied to to relive the little fellow.

    The grandfather changed his testimony in court. 2012 testimony the reason he came over was to pray over Ezekiel. 2016 I came over for business, prayer afterthought.
    I

  48. #48 Delphine
    April 27, 2016

    On March 13, Ezekiel’s mother performed a medical test on him called Brudzinski’s sign of meningitis — where a patient’s severe neck stiffness causes their hips and knees to flex when the neck is flexed — which she had learned from the website, WebMD.

    The test seemed to be another indication he had meningitis, she told the officer.

    The sheer fucking arrogance of these people beggars belief.

    • #49 Wzrd1
      April 27, 2016

      Well, as far as Brudzinski’s sign, I’ve used that and similar signs to ascertain how quickly a patient got to see (or even if some patients got to see) doctor in military clinics.
      But, in our team’s case, it was triage, not deciding whether or not to even bother seeking definitive treatment at all.
      When our kids were sick, each and every one of our team members took their kids to the doctor.

      So, to be honest, I’m not certain if it’s arrogance or sheer willful ignorance. Regardless, it reached criminal levels, per the decision of a jury.

  49. #50 Narad
    April 27, 2016

    You might find the buzz surrounding this on the Not-So-Thinking Moms’ sight intriguing.

    I’m not finding it. There’s a choice comment from the AoA commentariat, though:

    “Yesterday the parents of Ezekiel Stephan were found guilty by the Canadian system of justice. The jury apparently found no reasonable doubt by the fact that the child had viral meningitis as declared by Dr. Anny Sauvageau, [former] Chief Medical Officer. I read witness accounts that found the judge Jerke to be very obviously biased in this case. G[]d help us all that we will have to run our child to the doctor with so much as a sniffle and that the medical system is not held to the same standard. I hope there is an appeal and re trial. It also makes me wonder if the medical board will now find more complaints and suing. I know a family who are victims of a medical ‘mistake’ and they will not play nice, especially when this kind of travesty is allowed to happen. Yes, be very afraid of socialized medicine America.”

  50. #51 Ross Miles
    Barrie ON
    April 27, 2016

    Found what I was referring to in 46. Get a box of tissues, large popcorn bowl, and check if analgesics / tranquilizers are on hand. It is the judgement of The Honourable Judge Meager who bought into the Truehope story.
    http://www.healthcanadaexposed.com/_docs/court_transcripts.pdf

    Double feature is Charles Popper, M.D. partly at Harvard who edits his own journal to put on his publication record, and star in the trial noted above.
    https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/78900

  51. #52 DrRJM
    Oz
    April 27, 2016

    Kernig’s and Brudzinski’s signs were first described in the pre-antibiotic era.

    They are neither specific nor sensitive enough to rule in/rule out meningitis in adults, and there is virtually no published data on their performance in the paediatric setting.

    It truly horrifies me that a parent who has no medical training, and in fact who eschews mainstream medicine, would look this up on line and perform these tests themselves.

    I’m an ID physician and Microbiologist. I always teach my trainees: “Once you’ve raised the question, you have to answer it”. Once meningitis is suspected, the only way to rule it in or out is CSF examination.

    • #53 Wzrd1
      April 27, 2016

      Although that CSF would be negative in viral or autoimmune meningitis. Although, for autoimmune, there should be antibody findings.
      The realistic standard is, an unimproving cold should be reviewed by a qualified physician in a clinical setting, not a vitamin merchant for any person, especially a child, whose reserves are far too low to tolerate a significant infection.

  52. #54 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    April 27, 2016

    The death of children whose parents seek naturopathy is tragic and the companies that suggest and promote unsubstantiated immune-health from their products should be illegal.

    Example:

    Ester-C (The Better Vitamin C) from The Ester-C Company advertise 24-hour immune support.

    http://www.ester-c.com/

    The U.S. patents teach NOTHING about 24-hour immune support. ( 6,197,813 and 6,878,744)

    As protection, in very small print, they state, ” These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    Caring loving parents are being manipulated by companies that distort truth in advertising.

    “Nothing else works like it” should be a phrase the judicial system uses to shut down these companies deceptive advertisements.

  53. #55 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 27, 2016

    I should have asked this before: If this child had died in a hot (or cold) car what charges would at would at least one of the parents be facing?

    The best use for these so called parents is to be spare parted to give life to deserving people.

    I know this is harsh but when child safety is concern I tend to be harsh towards the abusers.

    • #56 Wzrd1
      April 27, 2016

      @Rich Bly, as harsh as you are, I’m harsher.
      Sixteen pregnancies and only two live births makes me extremely harsh when it comes to the safety of a child.

  54. #57 AR
    April 27, 2016

    Turns out the all-knowing admins at TMR actually took the post down. I guess they couldn’t handle the fact that the comments weren’t in their favor.

  55. #58 capnkrunch
    April 27, 2016

    DrRJM@52

    They are neither specific nor sensitive enough to rule in/rule out meningitis in adults, and there is virtually no published data on their performance in the paediatric setting.
    And they’re painful. But of the suffering the parents caused that’s rather minor.

  56. #59 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    So, to be honest, I’m not certain if it’s arrogance or sheer willful ignorance

    This: It truly horrifies me that a parent who has no medical training, and in fact who eschews mainstream medicine, would look this up on line and perform these tests themselves.

    That’s arrogance. It’s like me watching Mick Taylor on Youtube and then picking up a guitar and thinking I can play Can’t You Hear Me Knocking with any proficiency whatsoever. Only worse. Much worse.

    G[]d help us all that we will have to run our child to the doctor with so much as a sniffle Or, you know, with so much as strange neurological disturbances, wheezing, stiffness….

  57. #60 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    March 6, 2012: Ezekiel suffers a setback. He is “unusually lethargic,” lays in bed the entire day and his only response is to moan unhappily. He doesn’t eat or drink and is exhibiting unusual neurological symptoms.

    Raise your hand if you’re a parent or HCP who cares for young children. How many of you would take your toddler to the doctor in this instance? Scratch that, how many of you wouldn’t? How many of you HCPs would turn away a toddler who presented thusly? I already know the answers.

    Five years. I hope the judge defies expectations.

  58. #61 Gray Squirrel
    April 28, 2016

    The defendants’ sobs were the sounds of their “paradigm” getting smashed on the rocks of reality. But we’re civilized people so we believe in humane punishment: they should get “all-natural” raw food for the duration of their hopefully lengthy prison sentences. Ditto their naturoquack.

    Re. Chris Hickle @ 4: First Amendment right to quack loudly:

    There was a time when I was a 1st A absolutist. That came to a halt as of the Supreme Court decision that going on TV to call for others to assassinate a sitting President, was protected speech since it was not an “imminent” threat.

    So now we have: stochastic terrorism (such as the aforementioned case, going on TV to encourage someone to assassinate a public official), other forms of incitement to violence, fraud in reporting (a Florida FOX station won the right to overtly lie in the news), cyber-bullying (leading to suicides), and last but not least, the right for board-certified MDs to quack it up in public, thereby contributing to an outbreak of a preventable life-threatening disease.

    Enough is enough. Hopefully President HRC’s Supreme Court picks will enable overturning some of those horrors and putting sane and reasonable limits on “free speech.” There should be no right to incitement of violence, least of all in broadcast media. There should be no right to claim that a deliberate lie is objective journalism (call it “entertainment” or “editorial”). There should be no right for a member of a licensed profession to endanger the public via statements that are wholly at odds with well-established facts in their field. There should be no right to stalk and harass.

    There is no way in hell that the Founders intended the 1st A to be used for those kinds of things. So even right-wing “originalists” should be on-side with this (so far they haven’t been: interesting weasel-wiggle going on there).

    Hopefully, 1st A reform could go so far as to ban the kinds of fraudulent claims that are made by naturoquacks and their fellow travelers. That stuff should already be subject to regulation as commercial speech. If someone wants to open up a Church of Homeopathy or some such and make a religion claim, fine: that will at least have the effect of deterring numerous people who might otherwise have availed themselves of magic water and power placebos.

  59. #62 Narad
    April 28, 2016

    Turns out the all-knowing admins at TMR actually took the post down. I guess they couldn’t handle the fact that the comments weren’t in their favor.

    Mind you, they’re censorious asshats in the first place. Did you save the original URL, or might it live on in your browser’s history? I doubt that G—le caches the site very often, but one never knows.

  60. […] I’ve discussed many times before and reiterated yesterday, competent adults have the right to decide their own medical care. They can choose science-based […]

  61. #64 Ross Miles
    Barrie ON
    April 28, 2016

    Alberta father convicted in son’s meningitis death on Facebook: “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.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/father-convicted-sons-death-fears-for-other-parents-1.3556405

    I now side with Rich Bly @55

  62. #65 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 28, 2016

    @Ross Miles. After reading the article at your link, instead of a possible maximum of 5 years, I personally don’t think 55 years would be too harsh as they are still denying all responsibility in their sons death.

  63. #66 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    Collet and David have had 4 years to come to terms with accepting responsibility for Ezekiel’s death — I wouldn’t expect a conviction in the matter to alter their perspective one single iota.

  64. #67 Siva Canjeevaram
    Canada
    April 28, 2016

    He he he, and Canadians call us ignorant and illiterate third worlds?…nobody is so stupid like this in India or Africa. These are the problems of developed countries, dying from bungee jumping, etc etc

  65. #68 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 28, 2016

    @Narad

    This might be the TMR post referred to.

  66. #69 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 28, 2016

    And here’s their tweet about it, which they have not yet scrubbed. I fed that to the Wayback Machine.

  67. #70 MI Dawn
    April 28, 2016

    @Delphine: that’s because their son’s horrible death “wasn’t THEIR FAULT!!” It was all the fault of the ambulance for not having the right size intubation tube. After all, the horseradish/whatever/whatever was making him better. And the TrueHope supplements! (why not use them? They were free to the parents, I’m sure).

    It’s all the fault of the EVIL VACCINES! If not for the mandatory vaccine pushers, their son would have lived, right? Because even the knowledge that vaccines exist cause death, since he hadn’t had any.

    As a mother, I can’t imagine letting my child suffer like that. Sure, a cold, croup for a day or so I’d let go. Longer? Nope, to the doctor!

    One has to wonder…if they’d take poor Ezekiel to the hospital when the nurse friend suggested meningitis – would he be alive now? Instead of the parents playing doctor and knowing better than those trained in caring for children.

  68. #71 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    The chronology of Ezekiel’s final weeks: http://www.680news.com/2016/04/26/a-look-at-the-final-days-of-19-month-old-ezekiel-stephan-and-how-he-was-treated/

    I can understand how, in the immediate aftermath, they might have looked around for someone to blame. To admit that your actions/inaction killed your child — I can hardly
    imagine coming to terms. But 4 years later, they can’t admit responsibility. That says all you really need to know about Collet and David.

    And yes, one wonders. Whether it’s bacterial or viral (as the nurse allegedly suggested) the word “meningitis” should strike fear, even more so after consulting the internet. But even if the nurse had never offered advice — what else did this poor little boy have to do to let his parents know he needed medical care? I guess “stopped breathing” is the answer.

    Reject medical care until the sh!t hits the fan. Then blame the providers for failing to save the child whose life you held in your hands.

  69. #72 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    August 20, 2010: Ezekiel Stephan is born at home with the assistance of birthing assistant Terry Meynders, who is also a registered nurse.

    February 27, 2012: Ezekiel takes ill at the family home in Glenwood, Alta. His mother describes him as having a cold, stuffy nose and trouble breathing. “The sound he was making was heartwrenching. This isn’t the kind of sound you want to hear from your child,” she testifies later at the trial.

    February 28-March 5, 2012: Ezekiel is treated for what his parents believed to be croup, an upper airway infection that leads to a barking cough. In addition to regular smoothies, they give the boy olive leaf extract, garlic, hot peppers and horseradish. They also attempt to help his breathing with cool air and a humidifier.

    March 5, 2012: Ezekiel seems to improve. His father says the boy is not 100 per cent, but he no longer has any difficulty breathing and is able to go to preschool. He plays with his toys and manages to eat some solid food.

    March 6, 2012: Ezekiel suffers a setback. He is “unusually lethargic,” lays in bed the entire day and his only response is to moan unhappily. He doesn’t eat or drink and is exhibiting unusual neurological symptoms.

    March 7, 2012: Ezekiel seems to improve again. His abnormal movements stop and he can watch TV, but still isn’t playing normally.

    March 8-10, 2012: Ezekiel’s parents note he seems to be gradually improving. He regains a bit of his appetite, but is not active or playful.

    March 11, 2012: Ezekiel’s symptoms worsen again. He refuses to eat or drink and is lethargic. His parents notice his body is very stiff.

    March 12, 2012: Ezekiel’s body is so stiff that his back is arched. He is getting fluids through an eyedropper because he will not drink on his own. Meynders comes to the home and checks his vitals. She suggests he could possibly have viral meningitis and says she tells the mother she should take the boy to a doctor. “It did not jump out at me that he was that seriously ill,” Meynders testifies.

    March 13, 2012: The Stephans head to Lethbridge to pick up an echinacea mixture from a naturopath. Ezekiel is too stiff to sit in his car seat and has to lie on a mattress in the vehicle. Back at home that evening, the boy stops breathing on a couple of occasions before his parents leave home to meet an ambulance. The breathing equipment in the ambulance it too large to properly help a small child. The boy is taken to hospital in Cardston and then to Lethbridge for transport to Calgary by air.

    March 14, 2012: Ezekiel arrives at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary where doctors tell the parents the boy is showing very little brain activity and the prognosis is bleak. He is put on life support.

    March 16, 2012: Ezekiel dies.

    I’ve bolded the part where I would have taken my toddler to the doctor, which was on the first day of his illness. Cold? Lots of them. Stuffy nose? Bog standard. Trouble breathing? Not so much.

  70. #73 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 28, 2016

    @Delphine

    Ugh! Two and a half weeks of suffering! The poor boy.

  71. #74 MI Dawn
    April 28, 2016

    @Delphine: nice work! Wonder if the jury had a chronology as clear?

    As far as the trouble breathing the mom reported – I’m a nurse, so that’s too vague. We don’t know what she meant by that. What I consider trouble breathing (thanks, all those years working in newborn and high risk nurseries) and what a layperson considers trouble are probably different.

    Of course, we know that Colet hadn’t/hasn’t a clue anyway. But, I may not have reacted to 1 day of trouble breathing depending on what my child looked like. I’m fairly calm with wheezing, rhonchi and retracting for short term (but I’ll be watching for worsening and/or cyanosis), but most normal parents would have the kid in the ER. And certainly, after a day of the illness as reported, the kid would have at least been at the doctor’s, if not in the ER.

  72. #75 Renate
    April 28, 2016

    If my cat would make heartwrenching noises, I wouldn’t wait long, to take it to the vet. And I defenitly wouldn’t try to ‘cure’ it the way Ezekiel’s parents did.

  73. #76 Chris
    April 28, 2016

    Delphine: “’ve bolded the part where I would have taken my toddler to the doctor, which was on the first day of his illness. Cold? Lots of them. Stuffy nose? Bog standard. Trouble breathing? Not so much.”

    Yes, this is the point we did call the doctor, and then take him to the emergency room. Once, it was Thanksgiving and we just left grandparents house (thinking the warm house was not help), but he was so bad we skipped going to our house to call the doctor (no cell phones then), and went straight to the hospital.

    His blood oxygen level was under 70%. Not good.

    This was “just” croup. I had tried the shower, open window, everything each time, but he ended up in the hospital at least three times. It may have been four, it was a blur — there was also the seizure bit when he had another now vaccine preventable disease. Plus I was either very pregnant or had a small infant (his little brother).

  74. #77 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    March 12, 2012: Ezekiel’s body is so stiff that his back is arched. He is getting fluids through an eyedropper because he will not drink on his own. Meynders comes to the home and checks his vitals. She suggests he could possibly have viral meningitis and says she tells the mother she should take the boy to a doctor. “It did not jump out at me that he was that seriously ill,” Meynders testifies.

    A couple of years ago, my husband suddenly became quite ill from what was undoubtedly influenza. After about a week, he got better. Then, he got much, much worse.

    We visited our local walk-in clinic. Pain in his chest and back, noticeable pallor, fever, cough, extreme lethargy. The physician who saw him was very young, the clinic was quite busy, and he was in and out of the room in about 2 minutes. When we reached the car he told me that she had not examined him but had suggested this was a viral illness and to visit his family physician if he didn’t improve within a day or two.

    That night he was very sick. He would cough until he vomited. Finally, he passed out at dawn on the bathroom floor.

    When he awoke, his breathing seemed very funny and he was no better. I called my mother, a retired GP. She came over, did some tapping/listening, and said, “I think he might have pneumonia, and I think we should take him to the ER.”

    As a physician posted upthread — once the question is raised, you have to answer it. And answering the question no longer involves consulting the internet.

  75. #78 See Noevo
    April 28, 2016

    Lots of outrage expressed here by many who feel the parents didn’t sufficiently protect their child’s health.
    Questions abound, including ‘Should the parents be punished?’, ‘How about the doctor?’, ‘What should the sentence be?’

    All because the parents put *at risk* the health of their child, and the *risk didn’t pay off.*

    Yet, ironically, Orac and probably over 95% of the people posting here believe a parent *should* be allowed to consciously and *deliberately destroy* the life of their child. You’re upset when a parent risks the death of their child, but OK when a parent *guarantees* the death.

  76. #79 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    MI Dawn, I agree with you. Your training and experience would alter your course of action. For parents who lack that training and experience, trouble breathing in a toddler should probably warrant a visit to the doctor. I hear you, though. I practically had to barf a lung as a kid to be taken seriously. 🙂

    Chris, croup sounds frightening. Delphinette has never had it, fortunately. The truly terrifying thing about little kids when they’re sick is how quickly they can go south. The amazing thing is how fast they can recover. We had a horrible bout of noro go through our house in January. Mr. Delphine and I were feeling like a$$ for the better part of a week. Delphinette was her normal self one day after puking her brains out.

  77. #80 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    All because the parents put *at risk* the health of their child, and the *risk didn’t pay off.*

    Wow, were you following the same trial as the rest of us? I thought the charge was failing to provide the necessities of life. I could have sworn this was about Collet and David’s failure to seek medical attention for their son, leading to his death.

  78. #81 Delphine
    April 28, 2016

    It’s great that you’re trying to use the death of a child to score points against abortion, though. You seem like a nice person.

  79. #82 MI Dawn
    April 28, 2016

    @Delphine…you forgot your /sarcasm tag at the end of #81…

    I’m sorry I’m on my work computer right now (lunch break). At home I don’t have to wade through SN’s excrement and use of a major tragedy to force his agenda on women.

  80. #83 Chris
    April 28, 2016

    SN is a troll. It is best to ignore the misogynist.

  81. #84 Marry Me, Mindy
    April 28, 2016

    My PCP here in the U.S. who is paid by my HMO, has also always spent as much time with me as I’ve felt I needed.

    Late to the party, but the key word in your comment is “needed.” See, it’s not about what is needed, it’s about what they want. They want to talk about things that are irrelevant. Friendly banter and conversation. It’s what you do when you have a good personal relationship.

    Doctors focus on talking about what needs to be talked about, and discussions about your trip to Glacier National Park aren’t part of it.

    When my wife was pregnant, and with our kids’ appointments, and with MY appointments, it’s always been about, “OK, what other questions do you have?” If there were no more, out the door they go.

  82. #85 Cate K
    April 28, 2016

    I’ve had an online argument with a self-proclaimed naturopath over whether pathogens exist before. I guess if you don’t believe in bacteria or viruses as agents that cause disease (or dis-ease as he insisted on) then there’s no way that vaccines or indeed any medicine based on science can work? I don’t know if that belief is shared by all naturopaths though.

    This case is truly horrible and I find it very strange that anyone can publicly declare sympathy for the parents.

    I looked for the TMR post and also found this which I thought I’d just post as a bit of light relief: https://heartruth.info/2013/06/11/the-truth-about-tetanus/

    I particularly like the usual anti-vaccine logic that starts out asking why children can’t have a single vaccine against tetanus but descends into some kind of rabbithole that denies *anyone* could possibly get infected with tetanus, that all such puncture wounds are from rusty nails rather than say a dogbite, and of course that H2O2 cures everything. What is it with the H2O2? Is it just reassuringly close to water in formula?

  83. #86 AR
    April 28, 2016

    @Narad
    Yep, that was the post. Unfortunately, it appears the comments did not remain. I find it blissfully ironic that TMR has cried ‘Censorship!’ over the pulling of ‘VAXXED’, yet have no issue censoring their own site of dissidence. Though I do not know how many of the commentators might have been outsiders who stumbled upon the post when looking up info on the story. I only go so far as to read TMR comments when I’m feeling particularly masochistic.

  84. #87 300ZXNA
    April 28, 2016

    My anecdote about the culture of Cardston, AB:

    I used to be a ‘jammer driver’ in Glacier National Park giving tours to people through the park. We had an extended tour that lasted several nights and took guests through all of the major lodges in the Glacier Park/Waterton complex. We would stay at Glacier Park Lodge for the first night and then at the Prince of Wales hotel across the border in CA for night two.

    From there, we would go to Cardston to visit the carriage museum there. Cardston has an LDS temple, and you cannot buy alcohol or tobacco at any of the stores. The movie rental place doesn’t even rent out R rated movies!

    Point being that they live in their own puritanical fantasy world there and I can see how that would facilitate the Collet’s warped worldview…

  85. #88 Old Rockin' Dave
    April 28, 2016

    Despite a good grounding in pediatrics and peds ER, I only relied on my own judgment twice that I can think of with the Young Rockin’ Kids..
    The first time was in Orlando airport waiting for our delayed flight. Young Rockin’ Son, about eight at the time, was complaining of severe abdominal pain. I did an impromptu abdominal exam on a table in the lounge. No stethoscope, but I percussed and palpated, and decided it could wait until we got home. He got better on his own by the time our flight was called. Some months later he had abdominal pain so severe that he could only walk into the house on tiptoe. That was so unusual for such a stoic kid that we went to the ER at North Shore. The only finding was mild dehydration for which he received some D5 1/2 normal, after which he felt better. The ER staff and his pediatricians all said that given the obvious finding I made the single right choice.
    Except for emergencies and pressing circumstances, professionals shouldn’t treat their own, and most I know would not. How much more so for someone whose only medical training came from the Faculty of Medicine at Bat Shit University (BSU)?
    The only other time I decided to entrust my child to my skills was when Young Rockin’ Son had an absolutely classic textbook case of the Fifth Enanthematous Disease of Childhood, AKA Fifth Disease, for which I did what is usually called for in such cases – not a damned thing.
    On another topic I notice that See NoEvo Think NoThoughts is back among us. It was about time this thread had some comic relief. His Sergeant Schulz impression is a classic – “I see nussink, I see nussink!”

  86. #89 sadmar
    April 28, 2016

    The timeline Delphine pasted has at least one mistake. Collet did the Brudzinski tests on the 12th, not on the 13th. More later.

  87. #90 Narad
    April 28, 2016

    What is it with the H2O2?

    C. tetani is an obligate anaerobe, so of course hydrogen peroxide will clear it right up. Except for that whole germination of the spores thing.

  88. #91 herr doktor bimler
    April 28, 2016

    His father says the boy is not 100 per cent, but he no longer has any difficulty breathing and is able to go to preschool.

    Life-threatening illness is too good to keep to yourself, it’s something to be shared with others.

  89. #92 SBP
    NY
    April 28, 2016

    These people put their investment – both financial and emotional – in their woobiz above the life of their child. Turning to SBM would have been bad for business – an admission of failure.

  90. #93 has
    April 29, 2016

    @SBP: Not just bad for personal business but downright catastrophic for personal ego.

    This is what separates the sociopathic sCAMmer (who is not above raging hypocrisy when it suits them) from the absolute True Believer, who will send not only others to a premature grave but even herself rather than ever admit she’s wrong. See also Adams, Wakefield, etc. vs Maggiore, Ainscough, et al.

    This is why trying to save the TBs from themselves is largely a waste of time, and what’s really needs is stronger laws for feeding the SSers into the woodchipper one foot at a time. Still won’t help the absolutely committed self-deceiver but will at least stop unaccountable scumbags and tools constantly assisting their self-destruction by amplifying manipulatively pleasing lies over hard but inescapable truths.

  91. #94 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    April 29, 2016

    Narad:

    C. tetani is an obligate anaerobe, so of course hydrogen peroxide will clear it right up. Except for that whole germination of the spores thing.

    Even if it wasn’t, hydrogen peroxide could do a very good job of killing it. In sufficient concentrations, it’ll kill a lot of things, which is why I’m horrified at the way quacks use it as a cure-all. It’s a powerful oxidizer, so powerful it’s been used as a rocket propellant. (Even individually. H2O2 monopropellant, where it’s passed over a catalyst to speed its decomposition, was used for the X-1 and X-15 reaction control systems. Main downside is it freezes slightly below where water does, which is pretty inconvenient for spaceflight.)

  92. #95 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    April 29, 2016

    Calli Arcale @ 94:

    You don’t have to go that far back. The turbopumps of the Soyuz launch vehicle are still powered by peroxide steam generators, just like the V2. Plus the spacecraft’s attitude control is by peroxide jets.

  93. […] ADDENDUM: Orac has also discussed this case. […]

  94. #97 John Phillips
    On the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    @Callie Arcale, Britain also used high test peroxide oxidiser in some of the stages of its launch vehicle programs as well as for reaction control systems. Sadly, to date, we have the distinction of being the only country to have successfully developed and then abandoned a satellite launch capability, which was done in 1971.

  95. #98 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 29, 2016

    Yet, ironically, Orac and probably over 95% of the people posting here believe a parent *should* be allowed to consciously and *deliberately destroy* the life of their child.

    Every parent takes actions guaranteed to ultimately destroy the life of their children. It’s called “giving birth”.

  96. #99 Emma Crew
    oh, man
    April 29, 2016

    If we needed more proof that certain factions only cares about forcing people to give birth and doesn’t give a flip about anything that happens after, #78 is a perfect demonstration.

    Pleasantly surprised these sad excuses for parents are being made an example of even if they don’t appear to have learned a thing.

  97. #100 has
    April 29, 2016

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien: Yeah, well, the difference is that while nobody here may like the concept or practice of abortion, we are at least willing to accept that the hard reality of human existence may be a bit more complicated and messy than all that. Whereas Squeaky Mouse sees absolutely no confusion in blindly fetishizing clumps of cells or the clinically brain-dead while happily damning anything more sentient to a living hell. If they hand out gold stars for proving who can be the most death cult-y of all the death cult, SN must be blinged out brighter than Liberace.

  98. #101 See Noevo
    April 29, 2016

    To has #100:

    “Yeah, well, the difference is that while nobody here may like the concept or practice of abortion, we are at least willing to accept that the hard reality of human existence may be a bit more complicated and messy than all that. Whereas Squeaky Mouse sees absolutely no confusion in blindly fetishizing clumps of cells or the clinically brain-dead…”

    Dear clinically brain-dead:

    No.
    EVERYBODY here LIKES the concept or practice of abortion.

    Why else would you fight tooth and nail to protect the concept or practice of abortion?
    No one fights tooth and nail to protect things they do NOT like.

    But just hypothetically, even if you did NOT like the concept or practice of abortion, WHY wouldn’t you like it?
    You’d just be destroying “clumps of cells”, right?

    What’s not to like about destroying, say, an operable clump of cancerous growth, or removing a wart?

    It shouldn’t be a difficult choice at all.

    Which is why I’m amazed that pro-aborts sometimes bemoan the “difficult” choice.

    Can you explain this “difficulty” in a way that the non-brain dead can understand?

  99. #102 John Phillips
    On the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    Those who fight for it do so because they believe it is the right of the woman to choose and not for some man to proscribe her actions based on bronze aged mythology. Though ironically, your god isn’t that bothered about abortions, treating the death of a foetus as property damage and not even assault, let alone murder. Not to mention that if you believe god designed humans, his poor design spontaneously aborts far more than are done deliberately by humans.

  100. #103 has
    April 29, 2016

    @Trolly-troll: Other things we really don’t like include the endless useless dribble that comes from your mouth, yet still we’ll stand by your freedom to spew it*. How does that f*cking work?


    * Even if we do dearly wish you’d upchuck elsewhere.

  101. #104 JustaTech
    April 29, 2016

    Hey look, everyone! It turns out that SN actually is pro-choice! He says so himself!
    “EVERYBODY here LIKES the concept or practice of abortion.”
    SN is here, therefore SN likes abortion.

  102. #105 has
    April 29, 2016

    @John Phillips: I see you’re attempting education; good luck with that. SN is already such a Legend in his own mind, there is very little room free for anything else.

  103. #106 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    @has, it’s OK, I’m well aware of SN for though you might not see me posting for long periods of time for reasons beyond my control, I do follow the blog even then, so I have seen what a little shit, to put it mildly, he is. But I’m bored and can’t sleep so, what the hell :). Plus it might educate some lurker a little.

  104. #107 John Phillips
    On the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    @has, I think I might have triggered the filter with my last post as it is in moderation so I’ll repalce the word that might have triggered it.

    It’s OK, I’m well aware of SN for though you might not see me posting for long periods of time for reasons beyond my control, I do follow the blog even then, so I have seen what a plonker, to put it mildly, he is. But I’m bored and can’t sleep so, WTH :). Plus it might educate some lurker a little.

  105. #108 SBP
    NY
    April 29, 2016

    Not that they can admit it to themselves, anti-abortion nuts understand that a fetus is different than a “person.” If it was not, every miscarriage, every birth defect, would require a criminal investigation. If a woman drank or smoked during pregnancy and it could be shown this caused her to miscarry, it would be manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. That is, if you want to be logically consistent. Which they don’t (see also, “exceptions for…”).

  106. #109 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 29, 2016

    @SBP, there some central and/or south American countries who do go that far. I was reading on the BBC, IIRC, about a teen was sentenced to 30 years for murder after collapsing and having a miscarriage while unconscious. Google El Salvador and abortions.

    I can just imagine SN drooling at the prospect and probably fapping at the thought of it.

  107. #110 Zooyork
    Moncton
    April 29, 2016

    Amazing blog and comments. I am so heartbroken for poor Ezekiel. The arrogance of Collet and David disgusts me to the core. How selfish to send their extremely ill child to daycare and expose other young children. Antivaxxers are sickeningly stupid and selfish. I bet the idiot Stephans have still not vaccinated their other children. When my son was an infant, I was terrified of him getting something awful like polio or meningitis (will still worry about the various forms of meningitis forever) before he was old enough to get the various vaccines. I remember thinking that if he contracted one of those illness while he was a newborn, I would make it my one and only mission to track down all the anti-vaxxers in the area and make them pay for their foolishness.

  108. #111 Zooyork
    April 29, 2016

    Also… even if the arrogant Stephans thought they could cure his meningitis with “hot dog condiments” (as I saw one commenter on a different site refer to the horseradish, etc)… UM… they also RISKED HIS LIFE BY DRIVING AROUND RUNNING F-ING ERRANDS WITH HIM NOT IN A CAR SEAT!!!!!! Did they ever worry about what would happen to Ezekiel if they got in a car accident?
    (I know that the gut wrenching reality is that he was to STIFF to sit in a car seat- how sad is that for the poor tyke– if my son was ever in that condition I would be screaming into the phone with 911) But anyway.. these idiots still galavanted about with him in the car without a car seat! That’s illegal isn’t it? Why didn’t one of them stay home with the baby? Isn’t that enough for a child endangerment charge on its own?
    And.. having a toddler myself… if your toddler can’t even drink on his own and you are using an eye dropper….. holy shit…

  109. #112 See Noevo
    April 29, 2016

    I’ll repeat:
    I’m amazed that pro-aborts sometimes bemoan the “difficult” choice to abort. Can ANYONE explain this “difficulty” in a way that the non-brain dead can understand?

    As I knew, none of you here can.
    …………………
    Oh, and on that murder thing…
    Camille Paglia is a well-known lesbian, feminist, pro-abortion, liberal academic.

    But she’s the *most honest* and intelligent lesbian, feminist, pro-abortion, liberal academic I know of.

    For Camille has said…
    “I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful.”

  110. #113 Opus
    Back to my regular position
    April 29, 2016

    has @ 103: @Trolly-troll: Other things we really don’t like include the endless useless dribble that comes from your mouth, yet still we’ll stand by your freedom to spew it*. How does that f*cking work?

    * Even if we do dearly wish you’d upchuck elsewhere.

    Interesting how that works – I’ve aways thought that SN’s occasional appearances were due to the fact that his ordure was blocking the flow of oxygen into his lair, so he ventures into the sunlight to empty his packed lower colon.

  111. #114 Chris
    April 29, 2016

    “I’ll repeat:”

    Feeling ignored, dear misogynist? I dedicate this little ditty to you:

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Head em’ up
    (Move ’em on!)
    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Rawhide!
    Cut ’em out
    (Paste ’em in!)
    Paste’em in
    (Cut em’ out!)
    Cut ’em out
    Paste ’em in,
    Rawhide!
    Keep trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
    Though they’re disaprovin’
    Keep them comments trollin”,
    Rawhide
    Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope, laugh, and ignore ’em
    Soon we’ll be discussin’ bright without ’em

  112. #115 Opus
    just north of the buckle on the Bible Belt
    April 29, 2016

    That is TRULY amazing!

    While I was typing my comment SN backed out of his den, emptied his bowels on the internet and went back inside!!

  113. #116 Narad
    April 29, 2016

    Even if we do dearly wish you’d upchuck elsewhere.

    Oh, he routinely makes a colossal fool of himself at Starts with a Bang and managed to get banned (twice) at EvolutionBlog.

    He’s just attention-whoring. Ignore him, and the attempted threadjacking will cease.

  114. #117 Opus
    Just north of the buckle on the bible belt
    April 29, 2016

    Sometimes I think not enough attention has been paid to the obvious parallels between SN and Martin Luther.

    For example, SN shows up to sh!t on a thread occasionally, and Martin Luther said, “I am cleansing my bowels and worshipping God Almighty; You deserve what descends and God what ascends.”

    [after a pause for reflection}

    My apologies to all. Martin Luther’s sh!t was more intelligent than SN on his best day.

    I withdraw this comment.

  115. #118 See Noevo
    April 29, 2016

    And so this thread will end with the liberals losing the argument, as always.

    But perhaps not always,
    because liberals generally don’t engage in the argument at all.
    Because they know they’ll lose.
    At least the less dense ones do.

    So, it ends with the losers ladling out ad hominems,
    perhaps the least of which is accusing the winner of being a “troll” (i.e. Anyone who disagrees with the point of view of the ScienceBlog posted article and its slew of supporting sycophants.).

    Losers, in more ways than one.

    • #119 Wzrd1
      April 29, 2016

      @SN, it’s a truism that “It’s far better to remain silent and be thought the fool, rather than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”.
      You’ve been removing a great deal of doubt.
      Ad hominem, fact free claims, some bullshit about liberals in a matter of pure criminal negligence that resulted in parental conviction for neglect, that doesn’t reflect very well upon whether or not you are permitting any doubt remaining.

      In this specific case, someone is dead, through criminal neglect, as attested to by a conviction in a court of law for that neglect. They even were criminally negligent in driving an unrestrained child, when they couldn’t shoehorn him into a car seat, risking a catastrophe if there was an accident, rather than finally call an ambulance for him in his final hour of life. All, to go to a quack.
      While they were fucking around risking his life further via the significant risk of a major injury in an automobile accident, while his brain was being quite literally eaten away by bacteria, sensible people would have long before summoned an ambulance, had their child professionally transported to a hospital and likely still have a child alive today.

  116. #120 Narad
    April 29, 2016

    And so this thread will end with the liberals losing the argument, as always.

    I was just about to note over at Ethan’s that S.N. effectively rejects the Copernican principle.

  117. #121 Delphine
    April 30, 2016

    Camille Paglia??! That’s what you’ve got, Camille Paglia? Are we back in 1991?!

  118. #122 sadmar
    April 30, 2016

    Rules Of Argument:

    1.Citing Camille Paglia with a straight face: Automatic Default.

    2. Referring to Camille Paglia as a “liberal feminist”: Automatic Default.

    3. Two Defaults = 1 Year Suspension

  119. #123 Delphine
    April 30, 2016

    Zooyork (your nym has forced an Alicia Keys “New York” earworm into my cranium) the law in Alberta with respect to car seats:

    According to the law in Alberta, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that passengers under 16 years of age are buckled up correctly. For children under 40 lb (18 kg) or under 6 years of age, the law states the following:

    An appropriate child safety seat must be used.
    The child safety seat must be correctly installed in the vehicle.
    The child must be properly secured into the seat

    So yes, Ezekiel should have been restrained, preferably in a rear-facing seat. I wonder if he was accompanied by both parents and not one due to their concern over his condition.

    Never mind, what am I thinking.

    • #124 Wzrd1
      April 30, 2016

      @Delphine, as one who has driven without a car seat, with a child far from in the in extremis of that poor child, but seriously ill and mom had the car with the car seat, yeah, it happens.
      However, when the kid is wandering between opisthotonos and Meningism and driving, it ain’t happening.

      That said, I’ve been colored by handling cases with unrestrained children in motor vehicle accidents and had to deal with one of my military medics being incapable of duty, as he was responding on the way to military duty and responded to his volunteer EMT EMS call (we didn’t object to that diversion, within some multiple hours of reason) and he handled an infant decapitation, through the windshield.
      I spent an hour ensuring his condition, while calling his vollie chief and psychological support.
      He was away on the civilian rehab side so long, we were considering a compassionate discharge for him, then he returned.
      Only to D&A out a year later.

      As for a day without alcohol… I have heights a fair bit beyond regular 3.5 liters of whiskey consumption. My lows are tea toddler, although that is now a rarity, it’s present. When I have a choice of food or booze, food wins, so does housing, medication for serious medical conditions, minor medical conditions, fuel for work, etc. Booze is an extra for me, at levels that should have long ago dropped my liver onto the street. My medical professionals marvel, worry and marvel yet again. As I do.
      I’ve seriously cut it back a *lot*, due to medication load heavily loading part of my CYP450 system enough to raise (without ETOH) enzymes.
      Leaving me with pain that’s badly managed with tramadol. A recent nicotine withdrawal response (see the food over booze and of course, nicotine thing), during a recent budget crisis event left me with x48 hrs insomnia and half-dreams I’ve long repressed.
      Worse, the region I’m in lacks a VA cleared to handle a few… Events.
      I manage without the booze, with minor annoyance. Remove the nicotine on top of that, x2 wks, it becomes a concern, add tramadol, it becomes a problem. I’ll address the latter on my next physician appointment.
      The rest of the time, I’ll drink, off duty, PRN. At less than health, family or professional harming levels.
      Even at the level previously and currently medically impossible.
      There are some things that should never be permitted to re-enter my dreams. Very mild PTSD can turn into an event, potentially, in my jaundiced judgement (more, fear, not very likely).

      Now, excuse me while I have another two drinks, just to properly bias a potential problem, just for my sleep study, which shall begin shortly (bloody insurance companies!).
      When the cigarettes influence health in a seriously medical way (I’m already concerned, via the hyperthyroidism), I’ll wean off of them and eliminate them.
      As that last is my major psychological release, I’ll have to find a new redirect from homicide… :/

  120. #125 Delphine
    April 30, 2016

    sadmar, in fairness, he calls Paglia a liberal academic and not a liberal feminist.

    I KNOW EVEN WORSE.

    I am on day 90 without alcohol but I still had to read it twice — and he wrote it twice. Camille Paglia, liberal academic.

    I’m going to go cry now.

  121. #126 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    And so this thread will end with the liberals losing the argument, as always.

    S.N. seems to have been on a roll with this trip today (line breaks as in the original):

    See Noevo · 5 hours ago
    Why does the Left hate the Jews?
    Because the Devil hates the Jews.
    Because…
    “Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is
    coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the
    Father.
    You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know,
    for SALVATION IS FROM THE JEWS.”
    John 4:21-22

  122. #127 Chris
    April 30, 2016

    Troll points for SN: y…a….w…n………….. zzzzz….zzz…zzz…zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  123. #128 See Noevo
    April 30, 2016

    More ad hominems, no arguments. Big surprise.
    Losers.

    Some other notes on Camille Paglia:
    She writes for Salon.com.
    Per wiki, “Salon is a website created by David Talbot in 1995 and part of Salon Media Group …. It focuses on U.S. politics and current affairs from a LIBERAL perspective, and on reviews and articles about music, books and films…According to the senior contributing writer for the American Journalism Review, Paul Farhi, Salon offers “provocative (if PREDICTABLY LIBERAL) political commentary…”

  124. #129 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    So much for sticking the omnipotent flounce.

  125. #130 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 30, 2016

    SN, it’s not an ad hominem if true. Banging one’s head against a wall or watching paint dry is more intellectually stimulating than wasting time arguing with a sicko like you. That by the way is an insult and not an ad hominem..

  126. #131 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    SN, it’s not an ad hominem if true.

    Oh, no, of course it can be. Things that are not ad homines include plain insult, observing that his desperation for attention doesn’t entitle him to Very Serious Contemplation of his pathetic attempt at threadjacking, or telling him to fυck off – without “argument,” of which he is incapable – on the basis he’s a demonstrated asshole whose long-term spurning (including by women) has been very well earned.

  127. #132 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    Sometimes I think not enough attention has been paid to the obvious parallels between SN and Martin Luther.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve brought up the Tischreden in the S.N. context before, but in a hilarious bit of irony, given the “liberals generally don’t engage in the argument at all” routine, he’s repeatededly advertised his “No Fly/Do Not Call list.”

    It’s moments like this (which are precious but not few)* that keep S.N. out of my killfile.

    * Jeezums, at least my mom had the sense to ask me to bring back a proper Lladró from Spain.

  128. #133 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    ^ “repeatedly”

  129. #134 has
    April 30, 2016

    Minions: <talking about a poor abused child killed by religious lunacy>

    SN: “Let’s talk about MEEEEEE!!!!”

    Minions: <nobody bites>

    SN: “Victoreeeee!!!!”

    Stay classy, Toilet Brush.

    /FTT

  130. #135 mho
    April 30, 2016

    @wzrd 1. Radio-iodine worked as intended for me–I regret avoiding it for as long as I did, especially because I was off getting acupuncture. Happily, I’ve lived to learn better.

  131. #136 Helianthus
    April 30, 2016

    @ has

    Stay classy, Toilet Brush.

    Eh, that’s disparaging of toilet brushes.
    I don’t mind being in the same tiny room as one and this is a perfectly useful tool, helping everybody to make the universe a better place.
    A proper toilet brush is quite the opposite of a troll, deep down.

  132. #137 See Noevo
    April 30, 2016

    Liberals.
    Losers on logic.
    Losers on life.
    Losers in life.
    Losers.

  133. #138 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    April 30, 2016

    There there sn, we know you can’t help it even if you wanted to but you just keep repeating your little mantra, it will make you feel better, maybe. So Sad.

  134. #139 Helianthus
    April 30, 2016

    @ John Phillips

    Eh, some people work, by their words and acts, so that, by example, as few children as possible die of a painful disease, or, as another example, as few women as possible are put in a situation where they have to choose between having a child or terminating a pregnancy.

    Other people just take grandstanding positions so they can claim morale superiority, and work hard on denying any responsibility in any suffering or death their position engendered.
    Like, a “I’m not an pill-pusher” naturopath claiming she did nothing wrong when presented with a child too stiff to sit (hint: calling an ambulance would have helped).
    Or pro-life people who deny any responsibility whenever a baby AND her mother die in the hospital from a pregnancy gone awry, because the doctors were too afraid of touching the dying baby to at least try to save the mother.

    There was a recent French movie about country physicians “Le médecin de campagne” – I repeat myself, but I really liked it). The main topic was about physicians being human beings like any other clod among us. A side short topic was about teen pregnancy and abortion (spoiler: one of the go-away messages was, before you hook-up with someone, be sure you are on the same line about having children; also, don’t date jerks).

    This movie will do a lot more to save the life of children, including unborn ones, than all the empty gesticulations of someone.

  135. #140 Kate
    London
    April 30, 2016

    OK, I’ll bite. Yes, SN, I like abortion. It means that women have control over our reproductive lives. It means we can choose not to continue a pregnancy for any reason we think appropriate. It means we recognise that women aren’t just baby machines. It means that we can get on with our lives. It means that we can choose not to have a child we can’t afford. It means we don’t have to go through pregnancy and giving birth to a child who will die almost immediately of catastrophic deformities. It means we can have lots of lovely, glorious, filthy, loving sex and know that if for any reason our contraceptives fail, we can choose not to have the child we didn’t want. If means if we’re raped, we don’t have to give birth to our rapist’s child.

    So kindly sod off with your judgmental, trolling bullshit.

  136. #141 Alain
    April 30, 2016

    A proper toilet brush is quite the opposite of a troll, deep down.

    May I suggest sh!t induced UTI?

    Al

  137. #142 Alain
    April 30, 2016
  138. #143 Opus
    just north of the buckle on the bible belt
    April 30, 2016

    Helianthus @ 139

    The best description of SN and those of his ilk that I’ve heard: They are followers of Jesse Helms, late senator from North Carolina, who firmly believed that the government’s responsibility for a child begins at conception and ends at birth.

  139. #144 Alain
    Orac, Please allow me one off-topic comment for a friend
    April 30, 2016

    Hello Team,

    Just a quick, off-topic sales pitch of mine, I have a friend, Steve who’s doing a fine job of making video about technology on a weekly basis. The videos are accessible for the majority and there is as few technical terms as possible for the widest audience possible. His website:

    https://tqaweekly.com/

    Steve is also running a fundraiser to cover his cost of hosting by way of Patreon and as he said to me, he much prefer having 100 donors each contributing 1$ per month instead of 5 donors contributing 20$ / month each. The patreon page:

    https://www.patreon.com/tqaweekly?ty=h

    In his few spare time, he’s also working on an encryption library and protocol using some of the most complex math possible (Feynman equations; hi Narad, you’d get along with him very well) using the computing power of his 2 graphics cards in his computer to work on said equations.

    Basically, you get his show in advance (by contributing to his Patreon) and get more than your 1$ worth in learning more about technology every weeks and by having his hosting fees paid off, he can get more gear to improve the show with his personal dimes.

    The reason I’m posting it here is because I’ve tried all my usual channels (FB, friends, etc…) back in August & September and there was no result so this is why I’m pitching it here now.

    That said, you can resume the on-topic commenting of this thread.

    Many thanks in advance 😉

    Alain

  140. #145 Alain
    April 30, 2016

    Forgot one last crucial detail of Steve’s show: if you have a technology question, ask him; he’ll do a show based on your question and provide you an answer for it. This show is pretty much all his viewers’ questions.

    Alain

  141. #146 has
    April 30, 2016

    Helianthus@136: You’re right; I apologize to toilet brushes. How about guinea worm? Do you think guinea worms would complain at being lumped with SN?

    Meanwhile, in other news, Ezekiel Stephan is still dead.

  142. #147 sadmar
    April 30, 2016

    Hellanthus:
    For the record —
    “I’m not an pill-pusher” naturopath Tracey Tannis was NOT presented with a child too stiff to sit. Collet Stephan simply went into the clinic to pick up a bottle of Blast, and didn’t tel anyone Ezekiel was out in the car, or that he had been too stiff to get into his car seat. Calling an ambulance may not have helped, either, as the Stephans were at Lethbridge Naturopathic merely hours before Ezekiels breathing and heartbeat stopped.

  143. #148 Helianthus
    April 30, 2016

    @ Sadmar

    Oh, my bad. Apologies for cutting corners with my dialectic.

  144. #149 sadmar
    FTFY
    April 30, 2016

    Other people just take grandstanding positions so they can claim morale superiority, and work hard on denying any responsibility in any suffering or death their position engendered. Like, “We’re not pill-pushers” snake oil pushers claiming they nothing wrong when their child became too stiff to sit and they just pushed more snake oil into him (hint: heeding the advice they’d been given to see a doctor would have helped). Or pro-life people who deny any responsibility whenever a baby AND her mother die in the hospital from a pregnancy gone awry, because the doctors were too afraid of touching the dying baby to at least try to save the mother.

    See how much better the dialectic works when it’s on point with verifiable facts? [ :), <3 ]

    Yes, it's unfair to the poor guinea worms, who are approaching extinction. How about 'Flint Water'? It might not signify outside the US, but it's all I got at the moment.

  145. #150 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 30, 2016

    Other people just take grandstanding positions so they can claim morale superiority

    I’m generally a motivated guy, so will claim superior morale no matter what position I take.

  146. #151 Narad
    April 30, 2016

    Liberals.
    Losers on logic.
    Losers on life.
    Losers in life.
    Losers.

    I’ll generously assume that S.N. was busy transubstantiating a vat of wine prior to composing this testament to what Henry Miller referred to as “the greatest wonder of them all.”

    • #152 Wzrd1
      United States
      April 30, 2016

      Narad, I believe that SN is simply removing all doubt from the world, one reader at a time.
      After all, when complaining of ad hominem attacks, the repeatedly committing them himself, all doubt on whether to think him a fool or not has been thoroughly removed.

  147. #153 sadmar
    Loserland
    April 30, 2016

    Major premise: MSNBC is a liberal TV network
    Minor premise: Ann Coulter appears on MSNBC
    Conclusion 1: Ann Coulter is a liberal.

    Major premise: Liberals are losers.
    Minor premise: Ann Coulter is a liberal
    Conclusion 2: Ann Coulter is a loser.

    Camille Paglia, however, like SN, is nothing but Win.

    Trump’s looking more and more like a president!
    Trump’s fearless candor and brash energy feel like a great gust of fresh air, sweeping the tedious clichés and constant guilt-tripping of political correctness out to sea.
    Trump is his own man, with a steely “damn the torpedoes” attitude. He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal.
    Trump is a workaholic who doesn’t drink and who has an interesting penchant for sophisticated, strong-willed European women.
    Primary voters nationwide are clearly responding to Trump’s brand of classic can-do American moxie. Putting a bottom-line businessman with executive experience into the White House has probably been long overdue.

    Having been Trumped by Noevo’s God-given exemption from the fallacy of division, I admit defeat.

    • #154 Wzrd1
      April 30, 2016

      Damn the torpedoes didn’t work out very well for the Bismark.

  148. #155 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 30, 2016

    What I don’t think the religious troll really understands is that the founding fathers were among the most liberal people up to that time. Think of everything they began in this country. Our religious troll would not have the right to express himself way he does without the liberal basis of this country (of course we would not either).

    • #156 Wzrd1
      April 30, 2016

      Or that those founding fathers also wanted an impenetrable wall between religion and government, one utterly unscalable for religion. They’d shudder to see the nonsense we have in government today!

  149. #157 Alain
    halfway on-topic
    May 1, 2016

    Just applied for a path lab assistant job at Montreal’s legal pathology department of Quebec’s justice ministry.

    deadline is 3 of May.

    Alain

  150. #158 Alain
    May 1, 2016

    Correction: legal pathology === meant forensic pathology.

    Al

    • #159 Wzrd1
      May 1, 2016

      So, looking to investigate illegal pathologies? 😉
      For some such, they’re some of the more fun pathological issues one can acquire, for others, not so much so.

  151. #160 Alain
    May 1, 2016

    Count me in the first camp, after all, I put, back in 2014, a very dangerous criminal in jail first, then after his verdict, he was transferred in a forensic psychiatric hospital, the only one we have in our province.

    Should you be curious about the guy in question, ask and I shall explain it but it’s so gruel that I would refrain from doing so if no one ask.

    Alain

    • #161 Wzrd1
      May 1, 2016

      Alain, I’ll refrain from asking. I’ve put a number of men in prison, quite a few terrorists, one, a USO military member who stole credit card information from a USO guest.
      Of the latter, I employed full computer forensic techniques and chain of evidence. For that, I’m proud of the conviction.
      Of the former, well, they were caught in the act and the chain of evidence was much lower. Low enough for us to release many who we captured and after the torture bit was uncovered, released. A few that might have not have been exceptionally guilty or worse, innocent, haunt my dreams.
      One has to get it right, for incarceration and more, then apologizing after being wrong isn’t right. It’s just saying “oops”.
      Worse than oops for those tortured.
      Hence, due process is the coolest thing ever invented!

  152. #162 Alain
    May 1, 2016

    About getting it right, I know all human being have a blind spot that other can notice. In my case, the rigor I put myself to task is basically like this for when I had janitorial duty at the brewery:

    We have a tasting saloon for which the particularity is that child are allowed in certain section of the tasting saloon (not a bar per se). I then, took account of the vaccination status of children in general in the area and I considered the fact that peoples going through chemotherapy or are in any way, immunocompromised might also visit the place (tasting saloon that is).

    That dictated my protocol but I do know, I have a blind spot so I, from time to time, work hard to find where I have a blind spot which is _important_ enough to affect my working procedure and where I can bring a significant improvement.

    Forensic, same result but it’ll be a life worth of that sort of thinking.

    Alain

    • #163 Wzrd1
      May 1, 2016

      I have a blind spot to be ever vigilant against, having scrambled in a war zone, against all hope, to intercept and halt a mutual polio and measles epidemic.
      Seasoned veterans wept, seeing either our own children or our grandchildren being laid into such tiny graves, far too often.
      Wakefieldesque BS spouted by the local Imam.
      I had enough oral polio vaccine, that if right in the universe was observed, volunteering to prove the vaccine safe, polio should be extinct within a hemisphere of me.
      So, I have a major jaundice in view.
      I have to forcibly recall medical contraindications.
      Lest we throw out the baby with the diaper.
      As tempting at times it is has been. 😉
      Well, early on, anyway. 😉

  153. […] death of Ezekiel Stephan: Quackery and antivaccine views go hand in hand, Respectful Insolence am 27. April […]

  154. #165 Helianthus
    May 1, 2016

    @ Sadmar

    Thanks for the correction. Much better indeed 🙂

    About Trump:

    who has an interesting penchant for sophisticated, strong-willed European women.

    I’m split between “well, me and about half of Old Europe too, but I don’t think this qualify any of us to be president” and musing about the “interesting penchant for sophisticated, strong-willed” part. How interesting this fetish is, and how strong-willed these women are, exactly? Inquiring minds want to know.

    More seriously, this sentence could be describing one former democrat president (or ten?). Funny how the fault of one is a quality in another one.

    @ M O’Brien

    OK, “moral”. I knew it.
    We have too many vowels in my language, they tend to overflow.

    @ Alain

    Je touche du bois.
    Tell me if you meet the writer behind the “Bones” series.

  155. #166 Alain
    May 1, 2016

    Re Bones series, who’s the writer?

    Alain

  156. #167 Helianthus
    May 1, 2016

    @ Alain

    Kathy Reichs.
    Well, the TV series is loosely based on her forensic crime novels,, although I believe she had some say in the adaptation.

    As she is a real forensic anthropologist in real life, I believe you are bound to hear about her if you start moving in these circles.

  157. #168 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 1, 2016

    @Helianthus – The French and the Dutch (and by extension, the Flemish) have much to answer for in creating the extensive vowel shortage in much of Eastern Europe. Please contribute desperately needed vowels so Slovaks are spared from having to say “Kde je trh”.

  158. #169 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 1, 2016

    It turns out that in Bones, Kathy Reichs is a fictional forensic anthropologist who is the main character of books written by Temperance Brennan.

  159. #170 See Noevo
    May 1, 2016

    To Rich Bly #155:

    What I don’t think the religious troll really understands is that the founding fathers were among the most liberal people up to that time.”

    “Liberal” today does not mean what it did hundreds of years ago. Back then, I’d be a “liberal” too.

    Today, “liberal” means pro-abortion, pro-gay “marriage”, pro-socialism, pro-scientism, etc.

    Modern liberals pervert the language (e.g. “pro-choice” sounds good, but actually means pro-abortion.).
    Twisting, transforming, and hiding traditional understandings/meanings is part of the voodoo that they do.

  160. #171 See Noevo
    May 1, 2016

    To Wzrd1 #156:

    “Or that those founding fathers also wanted an impenetrable wall between religion and government, one utterly unscalable for religion.”

    An objectively false statement. Congratulations.
    ……………
    “They’d shudder to see the nonsense we have in government today!”

    Now THAT I might agree to.

    • #172 Wzrd1
      May 1, 2016

      Ah, SN and his revisionist history, the documented facts be damned.
      ‘Most people do not realize that the phrase was actually coined later by Thomas Jefferson. In 1802, when he was President, he wrote the opinion that the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause was designed to build “a wall of separation between Church and State.”‘
      I guess in SN’s world, Jefferson was a founding mother, not a founding father. His peers felt the same way about separating religion and government, as it was within their living memory that abuses by government under the color of religion did occur.

  161. #173 Chris
    May 1, 2016

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

  162. #174 has
    May 1, 2016

    Ugh, someone feed it a wafer-thin mint already.

    Also, good luck to Alain@157. May your future see many bad people put behind bars.

    • #175 Wzrd1
      May 1, 2016

      @has, conversations routinely go off on a tangent, they go back onto the beaten path eventually. Occasionally, the conversation doesn’t even get exposed to poison ivy while off of that beaten path. 😉
      Nice derailer photo though. 🙂

      Alain, best wishes for you being accepted to the position!

  163. #176 has
    May 1, 2016

    @Wzrd1: Sorry, but while I’m generally considered a dick and not-generally-nice person, the death pervert’s utter callousness on this particular thread is making even my misanthropic guts feel nauseous.

  164. #177 DrRJM
    Oz
    May 2, 2016

    I thought this unrepentant and delusional father’s lethal arrogance and ignorance couldn’t get any worse.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/david-ezekiel-stephan-meningitis-dear-jury-sentencing-1.3558768

    I was wrong.

    This man needs to go to jail for a very long time.

  165. #178 See Noevo
    May 2, 2016

    “Up the stairs to the apartment
    She is balled up on the couch…

    They call her name at 7:30
    I pace around the parking lot…

    Can’t you see
    It’s not me you’re dying for
    Now she’s feeling more alone
    Than she ever has before…

    As weeks went by
    It showed that she was not fine
    They told me, “Son, it’s time to tell the truth”
    And she broke down, and I broke down
    ‘Cause I was tired of lying…”

  166. #179 Narad
    May 2, 2016

    Hey, S.N., is your semen homogeneous?

  167. #180 Helianthus
    May 2, 2016

    @ DrRJM

    So the dad may be digging himself deeper with his facebook posts.
    Good of him to let it know he still believe (or wants to believe) he didn’t do anything wrong.
    As you hope, may the judge decide that this man needs to go to jail for a very long time.

    Note to self and others: a letter starting with something like “Dear Jury”, “Dear John”, or “Dear Muslima”, may not be the best idea.

  168. #181 Chemmomo
    Been too busy for way too long, but with Delphinette on this
    May 2, 2016

    Re DrRJM@177
    David Stephan quoted in the link:

    Dear Jury, I deeply Love each one of you

    Are you &^%$E$%%kidding me? Where was your “Love” for your own son, David?

  169. #182 Chemmomo
    What's the topic here?
    May 2, 2016

    See Noevo:

    Get off this thread. Your irrelevant commentary dishonors the child Ezekiel who was born, lived, grew, and then was neglected by his parents as they let him die.

  170. #183 DrRJM
    May 2, 2016

    @Helianthus

    The unbridled arrogance of capitalizing the word “Love”, implying a heavenly origin, speaks volumes.

  171. #184 Helianthus
    May 2, 2016

    @ DrRJM

    Yes, I see. Arrogance or hubris. Sounds like he has put on his martyr’s shroud.
    He has the Truth for him, he is forgiving his judges (for they don”t know that they are doing), and the seven seals of the vaccine Apocalypse have been opened.
    Sounds familiar, suddenly.

    I like (not really) the answer of the true believer right after Clements’. “Government declares child didn’t die in an approved way”
    Well, the “approved ways” have some basis in which treatments are sometimes efficient and which ones are not good at all. Treating a sick child for 2 weeks with maple syrup and horseradish is in the latter category.

  172. #185 Alain
    May 2, 2016

    Re Kathy Reichs,

    This statement from wikipedia really did resonate with me:

    She divides her work time between the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec

    because this is exactly the place where I applied to work. IOW, I will very probably meet her in person if I end up with the job.

    Alain

  173. #186 sadmar
    May 2, 2016

    Don’t be fooled. That FB post isn’t David Stephan addressing the jury, or the sentencing judge. David is merely a Truehope puppet, his strings being pulled by his father and Truehope attorney Shawn Buckley. Buckley and Tony Stephan are probably the ‘true authors’ of the post – which is intended, first, to garner public support for an appeal in a certain target audience, and second,, to protect Truehope. Hell, to promote Truehope even more as the answer to the ‘false hope’ of ‘conventional medicine killers’. Whether David Stephan in his heart of hearts thinks he did something wrong, or feels remorse he can’t admit it. And I’m not just talking about the personal psychology of denial. If David and Collet take any blame, show any remorse now, that validates ‘the medical establishment’ and subverts all of Truehope’s claims for it’s ‘natural remedies’. Realize the Blast Collet picked up at Lethbridge Naturopathic was a last-minute toss-on to — or possible deflection from — the cocktail of natural remedies David and Collet had been using for weeks and days to treat Ezekiel. Truehope OLE™, Truehope EMPowerPlus™, PVL Total Reload (not made by Truehope, but they sell it).

    Note also that the star witness for the defense was the former Chief Medical Officer of Alberta, Dr. Anny Sauvageau, who testified she believes Ezekiel did in fact die of viral meningitis, not bacterial, and he might have lived had the ambulance that took him to Cardston hospital been better equipped to treat a small child with breathing difficulties. She labelled the death a “medical or paramedical misadventure.” Of course, this is BS.

    Sauvageau is suing Alberta Justice for wrongful dismissal. Given her civil action against the province, Crown counsel questioned whether the doctor could be relied on for impartial testimony. It was also noted that she is being paid $500 per hour by the defence.

    Yup, that’s why ‘David” shared Jason Christoff’s post: “the medical system itself kills more people prematurely than any disease or death causing modality within our modern society.” It was the hospital’s fault. And note ‘David’s remark about “the crowns deception and trickery that led to our key witnesses being muzzled.” Might we guess those ‘key witnesses’ were ‘experts’ on the great benefits of natural remedies and the grave dangers of conventional medicine? IANAL, but this kind of thing is necessary for an appeal, yes? Something to the effect that the judge made a mistake in procedure, denied witnesses who should have been allowed? I’d assume this would just be a legal MacGuffin, and the idea of an appeal would really be th higher court caving to pressure on some pretext or other.

  174. #187 Politicalguineapig
    May 2, 2016

    SN:God only loves the powerful, He has no use for the weak. It’s people like you that make me glad I’m going to hell, and not your smug, small minded Heaven. God didn’t create the universe; His mind and heart are far too small.

  175. #188 gaist
    May 3, 2016

    Walking home one late evening our esteemed and ever observant Spectator turns a corner and sees a slumping figure, wrapped in what must have once been an overcoat but now looks more like soiled duvet with dirty, stained collars raised high, face set in a permanent grimace.

    Overcome with pity at such sight of human suffering, out Spectator approaches, asking if he could offer some sort of comfort or assistance. “You OK?” he asks.
    “Liberals are losers and I should have been a pope,” the shell of a man says to nobody in particular, “if only I had a tea cozy…”
    “Umm, sure. Listen, you got any place you can go?” the Spectator asks concerned. “I can get nippy during the night, you know…”
    “I would have been the best pope ever.” the husk of a man ponders to himself.
    “You got any place where you could go?” asks the spectator, a little louder this time, and leaning in a little closer. The huddled figure seems to suddenly realize he is not alone.
    “You like abortions, right?” the figure asks, still looking at nothing. “I mean, everybody does…
    “What? No…”
    “Lies!” the figure spits.
    “Wait, I think I know you…” the spectator says, taking a tentative step backwards, both because of the recognition but partly because of the smell.
    “Everybody loves those murdering feminist lesbians…” says the man, wiping grime off the palm of his hand with an equally grimy thumb. “Otherwise they’d all agree with me and recognize my brilliance and superiority.”
    “I have no idea what you’re going on about…” says the Spectator, “but you’re in for a rough night if you plan on staying here…”
    “You lost the argument already” The vagrant declares, “You did.”
    “What argum-” is what the spectator said before the vagrant interrupts. “You all lost because you’re too cowardly to tell me I’m right.”
    “You all?” asks the spectator.
    “Everybody! You’re the reason I’m not the President!” the man suddenly screams, punching the tarmac for emphasis. “Or the Pope!”
    “Or sane?” asks the spectator. “I see you haven’t changed…”
    “I’d make disagreeing with me illegal!” the man wails. “Public shaming or the whip!”

    “Listen…” the Spectator says. “Calm down. I can call somebody to help you, okay? A good meal, warm bed, maybe some pills to help calm you down, doesn’t that sound good?”

    “I’m ignoring you!” the vagrant says, pointing an accusatory finger at the Spectator. “You’re a mean liberal murder-loving loser.”
    “Unless I agree with you?”
    “YES!” the man claps his hands enthusiastically. “Do you?”
    “No.”

    The man tries to spit at the Spectator, but the projectile lands short. The spectator sakes a few steps back.

    “If not for people like you, I would have been the Pope to end all Popes! And been a better president than Reagan even! I should have been everything but it’s dirty oppressive liberals like all of you who keep me down our of fear and spite and envy!” See Noevo’s voice reaches a shrill crescendo before abruptly ending with a coughing fit.

    The spectator moves a dozen or steps away and fishes out his cell phone to make a call.

    “And been loved by all the ladies…” he hear the vagrant whisper, wiping away tears with dirty hands.

    —–
    Dedicated to the memory of Ezekiel Stephan. I apologize for (further) derailing this thread from what is much more worthy a cause for discussion.

    • #189 Wzrd1
      May 3, 2016

      That’s OK, gaist. I was wondering where you were going with that story.
      But, you’ve made another excellent case for euthenasia! 😉

      Having cared for a father that suffered from vascular dementia and having performed my rotation in a geriatric oncology ward, I’d want the same level of respect that we accord our suffering pets.

  176. #190 has
    May 3, 2016

    sadmar@186: Abraham sharpening his knives.

  177. #191 herr doktor bimler
    May 3, 2016

    “I would have been the best pope ever.” the husk of a man ponders to himself.

    Sometimes that way of thinking leads to interesting literary pathologies, but not often.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian_the_Seventh

  178. #192 Roger Kulp
    May 3, 2016

    Speaking of dangerous quackery,let me introduce this blog to Chris Savage the “Jedi Doctor” .

  179. #193 Graham
    May 15, 2016

    Sadly in Australia we’ve just had another case of a naturopath giving a mother bad advice, this is the latest report from the trial, the most interesting bit is that yet again, symptoms showing something was seriously wrong were interpreted by the quack as being signs that ‘toxins’ were being expelled from the body.

    http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/a-baby-nearly-died-after-his-mother-went-on-a-raw-food-diet-to-try-cure-his-eczema/ar-BBt4bCY?li=AAgfIYZ

  180. […] syrup to take him to a real doctor in time to save his life. As a result, Stephan’s parents were convicted of failing to provide the necessities of life and are due to be sentenced this week. Not surprisingly, these parents, David and Collet Stephan, […]

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