Children are gifts from God. They should be nurtured, loved and well taken cared of. But sad to say, this was not the case of the 27-month old baby girl, who expired from malnutrition.
Her parents, Sean and Maria Hosannah are sentenced to two years in jail, for allowing their more than 2 years old daughter Matinah to die from chronic malnutrition, oblivious to the fact that she was not gaining weight, was so weak, with underdeveloped bones, and she wasn’t able to crawl as she turned 2 years old on her last birthday.
She was fed an organic vegan diet, bereft of protein, vitamin D and B12 and the breast milk fed to her was just not enough to sustain the child. Combined with an asthma attack, she succumbed to an early demise.
Justice John Sproat said during the sentenced of the parents, Friday morning. “This diet was certainly ill-advised and negligent.”
Malnourishment alone wasn’t enough to warrant a conviction, he said. The verdict of manslaughter was for not providing the necessities of life, their decision to refrain from seeking medical help for Matinah. The baby’s last doctor’s appointment was 16 months ago when they were informed she has developmental delays and is in urgent need for a pediatrician. Instead, they never took her to see the doctor again.
Though now that one child is dead, they are pregnant again with their fourth.
The couple does not believe in vaccinating their kids and even had a bizarre concept that doctors infected the baby with a bone disease while she was in the neo-natal unit, an argument rejected by the judge as having “no merit.”
Sproat was sympathetic and acknowledged that the couple never meant for their daughter’s to die.
The Hosannahs were each sentenced to less a day than two years in a provincial jail. Though the judge agreed to Maria Hosannah’s lawyer request to add a day to the 31-year-old mother’s sentence, so she will be sent to a federal prison, where better care during her pregnancy can be accessed by her.
Their surviving children will remain in the care of the Children’s Aid.
They seem like nice enough people, but why didn’t they notice their daughter was failing to flourish? Why didn’t they realize the diet, they fed her was starving her of the nutrients essential for her survival?
Leading expert in pediatric nutrition at Sick Kids, Dr. Stanley Zlotkin, testified about the trial Matinah went through for long periods of her life, without enough food to sustain her frail body.
These parents should be ashamed of what they did to an innocent child. Well meaning? Well intentioned? That may be the case, but still it offers no comfort to a little child bereft of a chance to see another day.