The mother who can not be named, pleaded guilty to a charge of ‘failing to provide’ in a Sydney court earlier this year.
She went on the raw food diet, police allege, on the advice of Marilyn Bodnar in order to treat her child’s eczema. Bodnar, a naturopath, told her that her son’s condition was her fault and that she should stop using steroid creams and instead leave her son’s skin exposed to air.
Police also allege that Bodnar advised the mother not to give her child purees, and that she should stop eating altogether to treat a fever her son later developed.
When the child was finally taken to hospital he was emaciated and close to death.
The child was removed from the mother's care.
Some may feel some sympathy for the mother. Some may believe that the mother was in thrall of her naturopath, and unable to do anything but follow Bodnar's advice.
Some may imagine that she had good intentions, that she loved him, that she sought help in order to treat her baby's condition.
But good intentions and love can not make up for the wilful ignorance of medicine, of science.
There should be no qualms about the use of natural products and supplements. But use those that have been tried and tested, and supplied by a reputable person. Think Vitamin D supplements to help you absorb calcium, ginger to help guard against a cold, tea tree oil applied to a cold sore.
Naturopathy is a system of alternative medicine that holds that disease and illness can be treated without the use of drugs.