A Belgian couple thought their so-called healthy food choices were helping their baby, but the reality was that those choices killed him.
The couple, identified only by their first names Peter and Sandrina, ran a health food store in the town of Beveren. They believed their infant son had a food allergy and fed him a diet a gluten-free diet that included quinoa milk, the U.K. Independent reported.
The 7-month old child, identified as Lucas, weighed just over nine pounds when he died on June 6, 2014, according to court documents. The parents reportedly sought the help of a homeopathic doctor, who urged them to seek immediate medical attention.
Doctors at a hospital in Hasselt said the boy was dead on arrival, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
The trial against the couple began on May 15.
The baby was reportedly gasping for air in his last days, and yet his parents never sought medical attention. An autopsy revealed that the boy was dehydrated and his stomach was completely empty, the Independent reported.
Prosecutors blamed the parents, who apparently self-diagnosed the child, for the baby’s death. The couple’s lawyer, Karine Van Meirvenne, said the parents thought their child had an eating problem. They fed him a diet that consisted of oat, rice, buckwheat, semolina and quinoa milk.
“The parents determined their own diagnosis that their child was gluten intolerant and had a lactose allergy,” prosecutors told the court. They also claimed the parents denied their child food.
In court, the parents defended themselves. The boy’s father testified that they never took the boy to the doctor because they never noticed anything unusual, the Independent reported.
“Sometimes he gained a little weight, sometimes he lost a little,” the boy’s mother told the court. “We never wished for the death of our son.”
The couple faced jail time. The judge was scheduled to deliver his ruling on June 14.
Any child’s death is a tragedy, and what makes this case far worse is that it likely could have been prevented by a little common sense.
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