Toddler Dies After Anti-Vaxxer Parents Try To Treat His Meningitis With Maple Syrup

A toddler in Canada died in 2012 of a bout of deadly meningitis after his parents — who did not believe in vaccinations — treated him with "natural" remedies like apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, a court has heard.

Four years of the death of Ezekiel Stephan, David Stephan, 32, and his wife Collet, 35, of southern Alberta, are on trial for negligence in the death of a child.

The parents are officially being charged with "failure to provide the necessities of life to their 19-month-old son Ezekiel." They have pled not guilty to all charges and believe they are being "unfairly prosecuted," and that their personal beliefs should be respected, according to CBC News.

Medical reports show that the boy had been ill for several weeks and that the parents only called for an ambulance when he stopped breathing. Prior to his death, they had been treating their son with remedies like water mixed with maple syrup, juice with frozen berries, and a mixture of apple cider vinegar with various roots instead of taking him to a doctor.

The boy was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary but taken off life support after five days. Doctors say the boy likely had meningitis.

This is not the first time the homeopathic-loving couple has been in trouble with the law. They operate Truehope Nutritional Support Inc. and in 2004 were on trial for distributing the supplement Empowerplus, which they claimed could combat mental illnesses like bipolar disorder. They were eventually found not guilty during that trial, according to Raw Story.