Six months suspended sentence for parents of baby who died of dehydratation and malnutrition
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
The Termonde Criminal Court today gave the parents of a seven-month-old baby, who died of dehydratation and malnutrition, a six-month suspended sentence. The defendants, originally from West Flanders, fed the child with plant milk thinking that he suffered from a lactose and gluten intolerance. They did so without checking with the doctor. The court stressed, “They fed their child inappropriately. They caused the baby’s death without wishing to.”
The baby had been admitted to the emergency department in Hasselt on June 6th, 2014. However, all that the doctors could do was observe that he had died. The child, who weighted 4.3 kilograms, was dehydrated. The inquiry carried out following the child’s death enabled the hospital to establish that the child was under-nourished.
For four months, the parents fed their little boy on oat milk, rice, buckwheat and quinoa, after several attempts at breastfeeding and powdered milk. Consequently the baby suffered from a lack of protein, minerals and vitamins.
Per the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which requested an 18-month prison sentence, no doctor had noted a lactose or gluten intolerance in the child. The barrister for the defendants pleaded for his clients to be acquitted, as they had not wanted their baby to die.