A nurse has been given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and failing to provide for a child.
A Sydney mother who put her baby in danger of starvation by breastfeeding while on a raw food diet has been handed a 14-month suspended sentence.
The 33-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, was last year trying to treat her six-month-old son’s severe eczema and sought the advice of a naturopath who allegedly first put her on the diet and later convinced her to consume only water.
The woman’s son nearly died of starvation and dehydration as a result.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) lawyer, Alex Brown, told the Campbelltown Local Court that the woman “was a nurse who decided to blindly follow a naturopath she had only just met” and that her child came within days of death. . .
Severe eczema is horrific and difficult to treat.
When you’re sleep deprived, desperate to help your baby and conventional medical solutions don’t help it’s not unusual to seek unconventional solutions.
But it’s difficult to understand how a nurse could shun science and her own training by following such dangerous advice and fail to recognise her baby’s failing health.
News reports don’t mention the baby’s father or other family. Perhaps the mother had no other support and no-one else to help her or who would have observed the baby’s deteriorating health.
The naturopath has pleaded not guilty to the charges. How on earth can she defend the indefensible?
Alternative practices sometimes do no harm and some alternative advice might work.
I use Lavish Soap’s goats milk and flax seed oil cream for eczema. It can’t be advertised as a treatment because it hasn’t gone through the necessary scientific research but it stops the itching and even if it didn’t it wouldn’t kill me.
But some alternative practitioners let their own unfounded beliefs blind them and they’re particularly dangerous when giving advice to new parents and those expecting babies.
Earlier this year, Waitemata DHB had to investigate a staff member who handed out “dangerous” advice to pregnant women.
. . . Lesson handouts advised women to take castor oil or acupuncture to bring on labour and compared medical induction to forcing a butterfly out of its cocoon early. “A ‘helped out’ butterfly may never fly,” it reads. . .
Shunning science when it could endanger lives is shameful.