David Stephan, a Canadian man who was convicted along with his wife for “failing to provide the necessities of life” to their toddler who had meningitis, is back in the news for promoting holistic supplements. Stephen spent 4 months in jail over the death of his son and his wife was sentenced to house arrest.
David Stephan and his wife believed that their son had the flu and treated him with “holistic remedies” such as hot peppers, garlic onions, and horseradishes when he needed life saving medicine. The couple testified in court that they had chosen a holistic route because “of their families negative experience with the medical system.”
Even though he has lost his son, David Stephan is determined to keep promoting the holistic and alternative medicine route. He had been scheduled to speak at Ave Maria Specialties in Prince George, B.C. which is an “alternative and holistic health service store” on Jan 10th. He was going to talk about “how his family members suffered from mental illness and were made well.”
This has of course drawn criticism from a lot of people. People took to the Facebook page of the store to air their grievances. This is a man who has lost his son because he does not believe in the conventional medical system and still wants to promote this alternative, a route proven to be dangerous.
Ave Maria defended their decision to invite him to speak at their store by stating he had been there before to give a talk, and was back because of popular demand. There is also the financial incentive that Stephan has to make this speech, as he is promoting a product created by Truehope Nutritional Support, a company that was co-founded by his father.
Stephan was going to promote EMPowerplus, which on the Truehope website is described as a “natural alternative to pharmaceutical medications.” It claims to work as an aide in treating bipolar disorder, ADD / ADHD, and stress.
Even though there was public backlash—with one commenter pointing out that Stephan has not shown any regret about his role in his son’s death and another simply asking why Stephan was even given a platform to speak—Dave Fuller, the owner of Ave Maria, defends having Stephan speak at his store. Fuller says that what Stephan was promoting at his store had nothing to do with the treatment that cost his son, Ezekiel, his life. The store continues to defend its decision on their Facebook page.
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