LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A naturopath has testified she recommended an Alberta couple take their toddler to an emergency room before he died of bacterial meningitis.
David and Collet Stephan have pleaded not guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life to their 19-month-old son Ezekiel.
The couple initially treated the child with herbal supplements and alternative remedies before he died in 2012.
Tracey Tannis, a naturopath in Lethbridge, southwest of Calgary, told court that Collet Stephan had called her clinic and told an assistant she was concerned her son had viral meningitis.
Tannis said she told the assistant to advise the mother to take the child to emergency, even though the clinic sold an echinacea tincture to the mother days later.
Defence lawyer Shawn Buckley suggested the naturopath only recommended the child see a doctor and that Tannis changed her story after the boy died.
This is the second trial for the Stephans. A jury found them guilty of the charge in 2016, but the Supreme Court overturned the convictions last year and ordered a new trial. This one is before a judge alone.
The Canadian Press