The Stephans could face up to five years in jail if they’re found guilty of failure to provide the necessaries of life. They also stand to lose custody of their children.
This happened in March 2012 and the couple—parents to three other children—is now facing charges. As the case has blown up in the past couple of days the Stephans have tried to set the record straight on their Facebook page called “Prayers for Ezekiel.” In one of the posts the parents say the media has been portraying them unjustly and explained, “First off, anyone in their right mind would see how ridiculous this is, and if it wasn’t such a serious matter, it would be laughable. The idea of boosting an immune system with maple syrup, juice and frozen fruit is so illogical that I am left here shaking my head. As all of these items contain high amounts of simple sugars, I would suspect that they would serve to feed viruses and bacteria and actually do the opposite of boosting the immune system.”
According to Savage, a Canadian couple didn’t seek medical care for its 19-month-old son Ezekiel. Ezekiel had meningitis, which Savage describes as a, “disease that infects the fluid around the spinal cord and brain.” Ezekiel’s parents David and Collet Stephan reportedly treated Ezekiel with maple syrup and juice and frozen berries. After he showed no signs of improvement they treated him with ginger root and other home remedies.
Last year alone Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, and many more, rallied against anti-vaxxers. Anti-vaxxers are people, usually parents, who are against science and vaccinating their children. The main reason for this is the long believed and already debunked myth that vaccines lead to autism. An anti-vaxxer movement in California last year led to a measles outbreak and an uptick in cases of whooping cough, diseases you’d otherwise wouldn’t hear about if everyone got vaccinated. One child paid the price by dying after his anti-vaccination parents refused medical treatment for him instead choosing to treat him with maple syrup and other home remedies.