By BERN MORLEY
When is breast not best? When a baby dies as a result, that’s when…
In this tragic story where absolutely no one wins, California mother Sarah Stephens has been charged with the murder of her eight-month-old son, Ryder Salmen, after he died from a drug overdose. Ryder was found with high levels of morphine in his system after being breastfed by his 32-year-old mother. This still happened after she was expressly warned by health authorities to stop breastfeeding her son due to the danger and possible ramifications of her drug addiction.
Was this woman careless? Extremely. Was she negligent and neglectful? Most definitely. Did she plan to kill her baby? Doubtful. Does she deserve the charge of murder?
Well, considering the definition of murder is ‘The unlawful premeditated killing of one human by another’ it really doesn’t seem to fit.
Social workers discovered high levels of drugs in the child’s blood after he was brought to the hospital for being “lethargic.” Stephens was warned that in order to keep custody of the child, she’d have to stop nursing.
But something fell through the cracks with this plan and it was never agreed upon by managers – and in the meantime, Stephens was still caring for the child.