After losing their 7-month-old son, Lucas, to malnutrition, a Belgian couple has been convicted for his death. Baby Lucas was raised by two vegan parents who believed that feeding their infant vegetable milk was better for him than cow’s milk.
The couple owned their own health food store and made their own vegetable milk concoction made from oats, buckwheat, rice, quinoa, and semolina.
Vegetable milk is a wonderful replacement for consenting adults who choose to live a vegan lifestyle, but unfortunately, it does not hold the nutrients necessary for children to thrive and ultimately survive. For this reason, the blame of Lucas’ death falls squarely on his parents’ shoulders. The cause of death was determined to be the “systematic offer of food which was not suitable.”
Lucas’ parents, identified as Peter S. and Sandrina V., maintain that they only had their child’s best interest at heart and were not aware of the fact that a vegan diet was not sustainable for young children.
The court also found that Lucas’ parents consistently ignored the fact that their son was in medical trouble. At the time of his death, Lucas weighed just nine pounds, which is far below the medically acceptable weight for a 7-month-old baby. Lucas had only gained 2.2 pounds since birth.
After Lucas died, it was found that his stomach was empty and his organs had shrunk to half their size, causing them to fail. Lucas showed signs of dehydration, malnutrition, and breathing problems just days before his tragic passing.
When asked why they did not seek medical attention, Peter S. states that they did not think anything was unusual. Belgian public prosecutors admitted evidence to the court that there was no record of Lucas in doctors’ offices or medical clinics. Although the couple did not take their son to a government officiated clinic they had tried to drive across the country to take him to a homeopathic doctor.
While the couple was found guilty in the death of Lucas, the court stated their belief that Peter and Sandrina did love their son and that his death was punishment enough. For this reason, they received a lenient six-month suspended sentence.
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