When Tamara Lovett’s 7-year-old son, Ryan, contracted a treatable strep infection in 2013, she refused to take him to the doctor, instead relying on natural remedies.
As Independent Journal Review previously reported, for 10 days, Ryan was slowly dying as the Canadian mother used oil of oregano and dandelion tea to treat him on her own.
When she found him convulsing on the floor, she called 911, but it was too late to save him. The young child was already cold to the touch and covered in vomit when paramedics arrived.
Ryan had been fighting a Group A strep infection, meningitis, and pneumonia until ultimately, his body gave out.
Doctors believed the death could have been avoided had Lovett taken him to the doctor to receive antibiotics. As a result, Lovett has been found guilty of criminal negligence for causing Ryan’s death and failing to provide the necessities of life.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik said:
“Lovett’s decision to continue to treat her gravely ill son, Ryan, with ‘natural’ remedies instead of getting him to a doctor crossed the line of criminal behavior. Her conduct amounted to a wanton and reckless disregard for the life and safety of her son Ryan.”
As CBC News reported, Lovett has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Eidsvik said Ryan, who “was completely dependent on his mother for using common sense in treatment choices,” died:
“An excruciating, unnecessary death.”
Eidsvik pointed out Lovett’s sentence was a way to highlight the necessity of medical treatment for children:
“If your child is not getting better, you are legally and morally bound to take your child to an actual doctor for actual medical care.”
Lovett claimed she thought he only had a cold; she said if she could change the past, she would have taken her son to a doctor. She said:
“[I] can’t begin to forgive myself. I hope others learn from my ignorance.”
Learn more about her sentencing below: