Father Jailed After Unequipped Ambulance Failed to Save His Toddler, Family Awaits Appeal
David and Collett Stephan probably thought the worst day of their lives was over when their 19-month-old son, Ezekiel, died in 2012. Ezekiel was rushed to the hospital when he had stopped breathing, following several days of mild and fluctuating illness. Only, “rushed” isn’t quite the right word. The ambulance that was dispatched came from over 20 miles away and was known to have inadequate pediatric equipment onboard.
While the ultimate cause of Ezekiel’s death is highly disputed, the doctor who performed the autopsy testified in his preliminary findings that the death could have been the result of 7-8 minutes of oxygen deprivation that would likely have been prevented by pediatric intubation equipment. His parents would later learn that there was another ambulance, within 5 miles and fully stocked with the proper equipment, that emergency dispatchers failed to alert.
While an immediate autopsy was requested by the Stephans, the results did not come in the few weeks that are typical for this procedure, but not until 11 months later, at which time, both parents were shocked to learn they were charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life for their child. David and Collett, who are both advocates of naturopathic health solutions, had decided against vaccinations and other potentially harmful pharmaceutical treatments for their infant. It is suspected that the Canadian government, which is prohibited from mandating vaccines, sought to make an example of the couple, turning the media and judicial system against them.
Following a jury trial filled with falsehoods, contradictory testimonies, an imbalance of pro-vaccines “expert” witnesses and suppressed testimonies by medical witnesses to Ezekiel’s treatment, David was sentenced to 4 months in jail and Collett to 3 months’ house arrest.
"Since this court case has begun, there has been a great deal of opposition and outright malicious attacks from various organizations, some having pharmaceutical interests and others just having a very strong opposing agenda," – David Stephan
The Stephans believe that the court ruling sets a dangerous precedent for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, charging them with criminally liability in the event of their children’s deaths, even by illnesses not prevented by vaccine. Supporters of the family began chronicling the legal battle in a blog, Stand 4 Truth, where details of the obvious mishandling of the case (e.g., the court striking imperative evidence from the record and demanding the jury ignore what they had seen) are available to the public.
On March 9th, David Stephan, who is currently out on bail after serving 20 days of his sentence, appealed the court’s decision. He, Collette and their three healthy, unvaccinated children expect to hear the results within the month.
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