The Independent is reporting on the heartbreaking story of Baby Lucas, the seven-month-old son of the owners of a natural food store in Beveren, Belgium, who weighed just nine pounds when he died of dehydration and starvation in June of 2014.
Without consulting with any medical doctors, the couple arrived at their own diagnosis that their son, Lucas, had an eating disorder and placed him on an alternative diet that included quinoa milk, oat milk, and buckwheat milk, according to local media.
Doctors say that such a diet is unsuitable for the physical needs of such young children.
The couple appeared in court on Monday, May 15, where their lawyer, Karine Van Meir Venne said that “Lucas’ condition was good and sometimes less good but never quite worrying.”
Public prosecutors in Belgium see things differently and blamed the parents for their son’s death, saying: “The parents determined their own diagnosis that their child was gluten intolerant and had a lactose allergy. Not a single doctor had a dossier about Lucas and child protection services did not know about them.”
The father of the child, known only as Peter S., said the reason they didn’t seek medical care was because they didn’t think there was anything wrong with the boy.
However, prosecutors point out that in spite of the fact that the baby was gasping for air days before his death, instead of seeking medical attention at the closest hospital, the parents drove over an hour to a homeopathic physician. It was this physician who sent them to the nearest hospital but by then, it was too late.
The seven-month-old child died weighing just 9.47 lbs, which is the average weight for a newborn.
How the parents could not have suspected something wrong with a child who was so thin is bewildering to everyone involved in the tragic case.
The boy’s mother, Sandrina V., said the weight of her son went up and down. “Sometimes he gained a little weight, sometimes he lost a little. We never wished for the death of our son.”
When he died, doctors said he had a rosary around his neck and a holy card in his diaper. An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was pathological malnutrition.
Prosecutors are asking for a prison sentence of 18 months for the parents, saying that, "Their idea of medicine has cost them their child."
What does the Church say about the use of alternatives? Find the answer to this question and much more in The Learn to Discern Compendium: Is it Christian or New Age?