You may have heard the heartbreaking story of David and Collet Stephan, two Canadian parents now on trial for the death of their 19 month old son Ezekiel. The government claims that they failed to provide him “the necessities of life” after he became ill with what turned out to be bacterial meningitis.
According to HuffPo Canada, his parents initially thought he had croup, so treated him with natural remedies at home. When his condition didn’t improve, they decided to consult a naturopath. Before that meeting could happen, though, the boy stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital – where he succumbed to his illness a week later.
Now his parents are on trial – for doing what they thought was in their son’s best interest. As if losing a child weren’t tough enough.
Unsurprisingly, defenders of medicalized life and orthodox Western medicine have been dishing out the usual, Internet-amplified venom and abuse. And, of course, “alternative medicine” – a label not actually used by but still routinely imposed on all integrative and biological practitioners – gets blamed, too.
“When Naturopathy Kills,” read the headline of a recent op-ed in Canada’s National Post. (We aren’t linking to it, so as not to give it any more credit than it deserves. If you’re interested, just Google the headline and “National Post.”)
Of course, there’s just one problem: Naturopathy most certainly did NOT kill this child. Meningitis did.
Neglect did not kill this child. Meningitis did.
But oh, say the “skeptics,” his death was preventable!
Maybe. Maybe not. We have no way of knowing. No vaccine offers any guarantee of immunity. At best, vaccines may lower risk of contagion, though at a cost to long-term systemic health.
Nor does any medical intervention guarantee survival. In fact, it may well cause harm. Nearly half a million Americans die each year from medical error in hospitals. Nearly two million are hospitalized for taking medications exactly as prescribed.
Most of us grew up with this weird kind of faith in progress, the notion that we humans are so wise and powerful, we can eventually do away with every possible risk to our well-being and triumph over every obstacle. Kill the germ. Vaccinate against every microbe we could possibly invent a vaccine for. Cut out the cancer. Block the symptom to create the illusion of health.
But wisdom requires humility. This attitude that we can control everything is a delusion born out of pride. Only when we recognize and accept our humility – before ourselves, each other, our Creator – will we be able to fulfill our potential to create and sustain health, not by our own ideas but by Nature’s.
Right now, we’re clearly in a backlash, what with ever more draconian vaccination laws and repeated attempts to bar homeopathics, supplements, raw dairy, and other health-sustaining substances. Upholders of the status quo grow ever more aggressive in their defense of toxic practices such as fluoridation and the placement of mercury amalgam fillings. They mock us as “science deniers” even as they refuse to look at any evidence that challenges what they already believe or denigrate therapies on their own idea of what they are rather than what they actually are.
In such an environment, the need to defend health freedom is stronger than ever. There are plenty of national groups fighting for it, and we encourage you to get involved. Whether you use holistic health care or conventional, it’s in all our best interest to be able to follow the practices that fit our values, morals, beliefs.
Let’s look at it from the other side.
Should parents of a child who dies of illness triggered by an overaggressive vaccination schedule, say, be tried as criminals?
Why should little Ezekiel’s parents be tried for following the path they knew best?