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article imageFather wouldn't stop homeopathy on autistic sons, loses custody

By Megan Hamilton     Nov 30, 2015 in Health
Toronto - A father in Ontario lost custody of his two young sons, in part because he refused to stop trying to cure the boys' autism and other illnesses with homeopathy.
The boys, aged nine and ten have "severe and profound" autism spectrum disorder.
The boys' father is a 48-year-old computer programmer who lives in the Greater Toronto Area, the National Post reports.
The treatments weren't effective, and "they had negative effects," according to a court decision that granted sole custody to the boys' mother.
During an October hearing, the children's mother sought a court order demanding her ex-husband stop using homeopathic treatments on their sons, DeadState reports. Her argument was that the boys' father was "looking for a 'cure' for autism" instead of trying to find a method of managing the disorder.
He will now see the children three weekends a month, and will share access on holidays, the National Post reports.
Homeopathy, a practice developed in Germany, has its' roots in the early 19th century, and is considered an alternative therapy.
In her testimony before the Ontario Court of Justice, the mother said the ill-effects of her ex-husband's "treatments," which were being used to lessen one boy's spasms instead made him "very aggressive," DeadState reports.
"He would not stop hitting everyone and it took about two weeks for the [behavior] to stop and for him to return to his normal state," she said.
In another instance, the father allegedly didn't use antibiotics for an infected cut on the nine-year-old's finger and kept the boy from his mother while trying to treat the infection with homeopathic remedies. That only made the infection worse.
The boys don't speak, aren't toilet-trained and are unable to dress or feed themselves, The Vancouver Sun reports.
While this case doesn't involve a serious and possibly fatal illness, it quickly could have, family lawyer Andrew Feldstein told the National Post.
"Kids get strep throat all the time, and you need antibiotics to deal with strep throat, and if a parent is having problems with the other parent administering the antibiotics, that becomes a very serious issue," he said.
Medical care was just one part of a spate of issues that influenced the custody hearing in which both parents were seeking sole custody.
Justice Roselyn Zisman criticized the father for his refusal to see his kids during the summer, and for his threat to institutionalize the boys unless his $500 per month child-support payments were lowered.
"If you cannot handle the children I suggest foster care, institutionalizing them, or cover my child expenses so I can take them," he wrote his ex-wife in a text last July.
In her decision, Zisman wrote "the father's decision not to see the children is the most glaring example of his inability to put the children's needs before his own need to control and punish the mother."
The ruling is just one of several custody battles involving parents with unorthodox medical views potentially endangering their kids, The Vancouver Sun reported.
Cases have included a toddler with leukemia whose father wanted to treat him with cannabis oil in lieu of chemotherapy. There have also been numerous cases where Canadian judges have ruled that Jehovah's Witnesses do not have the right to prevent their children from receiving potentially life-saving blood transfusions.
In October, Digital Journal reported on the sentencing of a Spokane man who sold industrial bleach and touted it as a cure for autism.
Louis Daniel Smith, 45, was sentenced to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Dubbed Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), Smith sold the product through his company, Project GreenLife. He claimed it cured a variety of diseases and illnesses, but this 'miracle cure' was actually sodium chlorite mixed with water.
In a statement the Department of Justice reported that sodium chlorite "cannot be sold for human consumption, and suppliers of the chemical include a warning sheet stating that it can cause potentially fatal side effects if swallowed."
MMS is also on the FDA warnings list due to the fact that it's toxic and causes, diarrhea, fatigue, low blood pressure associated with severe dehydration, and severe vomiting.
Touted as a cure for autism, parents desperately forced their kids to drink it or gave it to them as an enema, which destroys the lining of their intestinal tracts and kills healthy gut bacteria.
It was also alleged that Smith instructed customers to mix the product with citric acid, and that creates chlorine dioxide. It's a chemical used as a bleach for textiles and pulp for paper products. Chronic exposure to small doses of chlorine dioxide can result in neurodevelopmental and reproductive damage.
The National Post noted that some homeopaths dilute their medicines so much that a dose may only contain one or two molecules of the "active" ingredient.
More about father homeopathy, Father, Homeopathy, Autism, custody of sons
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