Verdict expected for Calgary mother who treated sick son holistically
By Bill Graveland The Canadian PressNews
CALGARY – A woman who treated her son with holistic remedies including dandelion tea and oil of oregano before he died of a strep infection is expected to learn her fate today.
Tamara Lovett, 48, is accused of failing to provide the necessaries of life and with criminal negligence causing death.
Her seven-year-old son Ryan died in March 2013 after getting an infection that kept him bedridden for 10 days.
Alberta’s chief medical examiner testified at Lovett’s trial that the boy’s body was full of group A streptococcus, which caused most of his major organs to fail.
The medical examiner also said it appeared that Ryan had died well before paramedics responded to a panic-stricken, early-morning 911 call from Lovett.
The trial heard Lovett failed to give the boy life-saving antibiotics. She told police officers she thought Ryan was suffering from a cold or the flu, and that he seemed to be getting better.
Just a couple of days before he died, he was complaining of pain in his leg, his eyes became jaundiced and he couldn’t stand on his own, she said during a police interview.
She said she called 911 after he began convulsing and collapsed.
Justice Kristine Eidsvik has indicated it’s not a question of whether Lovett was an “attentive and loving mother,” but at what point a reasonable person would have called a doctor.
Prosecutor Jonathan Hak argued Lovett is the only one to blame for the seven-year-old boy’s death.
“Her best was woefully inadequate,” Hak said in his final arguments to the judge. “The defendant’s failure to obtain medical care for Ryan directly caused his death. It was cruel and morally unforgivable, but, more importantly, legally unforgivable.”
Lovett’s lawyer, Alain Hepner, said she was a loving mother who did everything she could and realized too late how sick he really was.
“She believed in the remedies. She was wrong, her judgment was wrong and, as such, she waited to call the doctor. But … that doesn’t raise that conduct to criminal standard,” he said.
“She did not abandon this child. I would say that we do not punish the morally innocent and I would respectfully submit that’s where Tamara Lovett’s conduct lies.”
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