Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Finally - It's Happening: The (Possible) Conviction Of An Australian Homeopath

Parents May Face Charges Over Baby Death

Charges may arise over the death of a baby who was treated by her parents with homeopathic remedies.

The NSW Coroner on Monday found there is sufficient evidence for the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider laying charges against the couple.

Gloria Thomas died in May 2002 in Sydney Children's Hospital of sepsis, or bacterial infections.

The nine-month-old, who was severely malnourished, had been suffering from such terrible eczema that much of her skin was split.

The inquest at Glebe Coroner's Court has been told the cracks in her skin caused the infant agonising pain and were a potential source of entry for the bacteria that killed her.

Parents Thomas Sam, a homeopath, and IT professional Manju Samuel treated her with homeopathic remedies rather than her prescribed medication.


State Coroner Mary Jerram terminated the inquest on Monday after finding there was a reasonable prospect the evidence presented to the inquiry could convince a jury to convict "a known person or persons of a serious crime".

Ms Jerram said the evidence showed the known person or persons caused Gloria's death and that their negligence warranted criminal punishment.

"In my view there is a prima facie case to consider and there is a reasonable prospect that a jury would convict," Ms Jerram said.

The coroner also recommended a central body be established for homeopaths in NSW with mandatory membership.

Ms Jerram said such a system would have multiple benefits for the public.

"I therefore recommend the NSW Department of Health consider introducing a mandatory system of registration for persons practising or wishing to practise homeopathy," Ms Jerram said.

The parents of the dead child were not present in court on Monday.

- From The Sydney Morning Herald