Father loses custody of boys after refusing to stop trying to cure their autism through homeopathy

Nov 28, 2015

An Ontario father has lost custody of his children in part because he refused to stop trying to cure their autism through homeopathy.

“Not only were these treatments not effective, but they had negative effects,” reads a court decision granting sole custody to the children’s mother.

The father, a 48-year-old computer programmer in the Greater Toronto Area, will now see the children three weekends a month, with shared access during holidays.

The two boys, aged nine and 10, suffer from “severe and profound” autism spectrum disorder. They do not speak, are not toilet-trained or able to dress or feed themselves.

At an October hearing, the children’s mother sought a court order barring her former husband from administering homeopathic treatments, arguing he was pointlessly “looking for a ‘cure’ for autism rather than trying to find a method of managing autism.”

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23 comments on “Father loses custody of boys after refusing to stop trying to cure their autism through homeopathy

  • @OP link – Another time, the father refused to administer prescribed antibiotics for an infected cut on the nine-year-old’s finger. Instead, he intentionally kept the child from his mother while attempting to treat the infection with homeopathic remedies.

    The child’s cut “did not heal but became more infected,” said the custody ruling released Tuesday.

    Such is the woo-brained stupidity, which denies effective treatments!

    Clearly such people are not fit persons to be in charge of children’s health and welfare!

    It is also good to see on the link that other courts are dealing with nutty parental beliefs which damage children’s welfare.



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  • Poor children, sounds as if they’re caught in the crosshairs of a spiteful parent. File under child abuse.

    Do homeopaths, christian scientists, et.al, ever use these “treatments” on themselves.

    Also, what was in the homeopathic treatment that purportedly made the son worse.



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  • what was in the homeopathic treatment that purportedly made the son worse.

    If it was homoeopathic, then it only had water in it. In the absence of further diagnosis, impossible to say what the cause of the behaviour was. Anecdotal attribution between contending spouses? Some other quacky substance the father administered? Just another sad, sad case of human stupidity on many levels.



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  • What can be toxic to profoundly autistic kids is the attitude taken to them by their parents. Profoundly autistic kids respond well to carers who tolerate their behaviours (like stimming, hand flapping, echolalic speech, non eye contact). They respond badly to those who do not tolerate their stress relieving ways.

    The father has it entirely wrong in his attitude. I suspect he doesn’t understand the need they have of their behaviours and is embarrassed by it. Thats his problem not theirs. The mother understands. Since the deeply wise but neglected insights of Hans Asperger in 1930s Germany, it has taken mostly women psychologists and psychiatrists to understand how to treat autists. The men were possibly too Aspie to figure it out…

    Homeopathy is irrelevant to this specific but shows he is not to be trusted to deal with matters of general health.



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  • In theory, yes David. But there are a lot of abusers out there using MMS, turpentine, camel’s milk, etc. to rid their bodies of “parasites”. I truly hope that wasn’t the case with these poor boys.



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  • Reminds me of the heroin dealers cutting their product with traces of strychnine to give it a bit of a “Jolt” and get a market edge. If the father administered “Pure Homeopathy” (oxymoron?) then this would not have had an effect.



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  • Do homeopaths, christian scientists, et.al, ever use these
    “treatments” on themselves.

    All the time.
    I know a few people who swear by homeopathy. The idiots won’t listen to reason. They insist it helps them. Even if the symptoms don’t improve or get worse they still think it works – just doesn’t work all the time, etc. It’s kind of like the “it’s God’s will” argument. No matter what happens (earthquakes, genocide, you name it) it’s God’s will. God always comes out smelling like a rose.
    (One guy I know – a class A schmuck – visits the radon mines in Montana on a semi-regular basis! Radiation in small doses…)
    A close friend of mine’s mother has been a Christian Scientist for many years, never went to the doctor. She was diagnosed with colon cancer about a year ago. She did agree to treatment at that point, and must have been in pain or having other symptoms; she wouldn’t have agreed to be examined otherwise. Fucking pathetic.
    I do wish her well. I don’t know if she regrets her choice. My assumption is that she doesn’t.



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  • bonnie
    Nov 28, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Also, what was in the homeopathic treatment that purportedly made the son worse.

    It is more likely, the absence of proper therapy and medicine made him worse – as with the refusal to use antibiotics on bacteria.



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  • I agree, I can’t imagine that the use of homeopathic remedies would produce such a reaction. Nor should it, the best one can say about homeopathy i that it should be completely void of any harmful effects. The real reason is most likely as you said that it was used instead of effective treatment combined with the fathers apparent inability to put the children’s needs ahead of his own.



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  • Stupidity in spades.

    Notwithstanding which, some times, when left alone, an ailment will be tackled by the immune system anyway; but that approach requires a modicum of knowledge, whereas this kind of behaviour on the part of a parent, especially when it comes to something serious, verges on the criminal.

    Please permit me to go off the beaten track a bit mods.

    I had a gut infection last Xmas, was in bed for ten days, except for inumerable visits to the lav’, and during that time was unable to eat anything, surviving on fluids, among which were hydration treatments.

    Nonetheless, my doctor paid a visit, and declared me very fit.

    But, I wanted to find out whether the infection was viral or bacterial, so I delayed going to the surgery as long as I could, but having lost a stone in weight, I eventually decided that to lose more would be dangerous, and went to my doctor.

    I gave her an update on my condition so she could reach a diagnosis, and after giving me the once over, without saying a word she went to her key board and sent an email to the pharmacist.

    About two hours after having taken the first tab’ of a course of antibiotics, I felt a battle royal going on inside me.

    I think it’s because I’ve always resisted taking antibiotics, that the effect of them was immediate and dramatic.

    Into the bargain, I’d also lost some weight!



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  • Must be! Just badly worded and makes it sound as if there was a substance that had a negative effect. If there was then that would surely be a whole other charge again.



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  • Olgun
    Nov 29, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Must be! Just badly worded and makes it sound as if there was a substance that had a negative effect. If there was then that would surely be a whole other charge again.

    I recall in an earlier discussion, a pro-homoeopathy advocate, challenged a “no active ingredients statement”, by quoting a named product, – which on closer examination, contained a significant percentage of herbal content, despite homoeopathic claims on the label!

    The lack of regulation, and ignorance of its users, makes its use open to all sorts of quackery.



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  • @ Stafford Gordon:
    That’s unlikely, you don’t work up a tolerance to antibiotics. The bacterias can (and will), but not you. It could just as well be a slight allergic reaction, but that’s something your doctor must answer.



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  • An interesting and informative point Erlend Meyer.

    You’re correct, I didn’t work up tolerance, I just maintained what nature had bequeathed, by heeding Alexander Fleming’s advice.

    I’ve always been a smart arse!



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  • antibiotics on bacteria.

    Is it true, Alan, that we may be facing a “post-antibiotic” era? I heard that at a certain point they’re going to just stop working. They’ve been overused. I myself used antibiotics three times within the past ten years. Once for conjunctivitis, once for a skin infection (caused by scratching an insect bit) and once for a UTI. (They cleared those infections right up. Antibiotics are a beautiful thing.)

    What the hell are we going to do if these antibiotics stop working? A simple infection can spread to the organs (kidneys, for example) and kill us.

    I know people who take too many damned antibiotics. You don’t need them for a cold. Stupid doctors profiting from their ignorant patients. Am I right about this? (Nor an expert. Far from it.)



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  • Dan
    Nov 29, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Is it true, Alan, that we may be facing a “post-antibiotic” era? I heard that at a certain point they’re going to just stop working.

    The indications are that that is what is happening.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34857015
    The world is on the cusp of a “post-antibiotic era”, scientists have warned after finding bacteria resistant to drugs used when all other treatments have failed.

    They identified bacteria able to shrug off the drug of last resort – colistin – in patients and livestock in China.

    They said that resistance would spread around the world and raised the spectre of untreatable infections.

    It is likely resistance emerged after colistin was overused in farm animals.

    Bacteria becoming completely resistant to treatment – also known as the antibiotic apocalypse – could plunge medicine back into the dark ages.

    They’ve been overused. I myself used antibiotics three times within the past ten years.
    What the hell are we going to do if these antibiotics stop working?

    Same as our ancestors – die of infections!

    I know people who take too many damned antibiotics. You don’t need them for a cold. Stupid doctors profiting from their ignorant patients.

    There are doctors who prescribe as a precautionary measure without a clear diagnosis of bacteria (rather than virus infections where they have no effect). The other problem is patients who feel better, and stop taking the antibiotics before they have killed ALL the bacteria – so the more resistant ones survive and breed.

    Am I right about this?

    You are right about doctors and patients up to a point, but the worst culprit is big pharma and the animal feed-stock industry, where 80% of the manufactured anti-biotics are fed to healthy animals to boost growth and profits!



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  • Olgun
    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:12 am

    How do you regulate woo? Open to all sorts of claims.

    Ban misleading advertising, and restrict sales as “medicine”, to tested and medically approved substances.

    It is however, difficult to protect the stupid from their own and each other’s stupidity!



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  • Alan4discussion
    Nov 29, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    80% of the manufactured anti-biotics are fed to healthy animals to
    boost growth and profits!

    That’s right. I forgot about that. Horrible.

    And the hormones they use is another problem. Young girls are now growing breasts at age nine!

    And the Christian Republicans are opposed to regulations (“big government”)! They’re just filled with love and compassion, aren’t they?



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  • In legal terms the mother’s claim that the homeopathic “medicine” made one of the boys aggressive rather undermines the key point that it can have no possible effect. I’m surprised that any lawyer would let such a point be made. It could however just be poor reporting. Opening the door to the possibility that such quackery could have any sort of effect leads to at least a small probability that there could be a positive effect.



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  • Interesting distinction. Very Wittgensteinian. He said “I feel pain, but I am it sure it is me who feels the pain.”
    The bacterias are in us, so “we” develop a tolerance, don’t we? Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Btw, antibiotics are going to stop working pretty soon – from overuse. Not good.



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