Criminal Charges for CA Man Who Advised Herbs, Instead of Insulin

Years after teenager’s death, an herbalist faces charges of child abuse and practicing medicine without a license.

In 2014, a 13-year old from California died from complications related to his Type 1 Diabetes after his parents used herb therapy instead of insulin. Los Angeles authorities recently charged a self-proclaimed “master herbalist/iridologist” with child abuse and practicing medicine without a license in connection with the teen’s death. The defendant is 83-year old Timothy Morrow. He met the victim’s mother at a seminar based on herbal healing.

Morrow visited the family’s home in the summer of 2014, after the mother contacted him with the news that her son was in a severe state. Authorities say that the boy was semi-comatose at this point. Morrow sold the family herbal oils, advising that this therapy was more effective than the insulin prescribed by the family’s pediatrician. The following day, the teen (whose name appears as “Edgar L” in court records) died of cardiac arrest.

Morrow is currently out on bail. But if he is convicted of the charges, he could be sentenced to two years in prison and face a $10,000 fine. His arraignment is currently scheduled for March 27.

His attorney maintains that he has done nothing wrong, noting that Morrow has a professional history of helping people. The defense counsel further notes that there have been no attempts to stop Morrow from practicing since the incident, which further suggests his innocence.

Authorities are asking for the public to contact the city attorney’s office at 213-978-8070 with any relevant information related to Morrow’s professional activities.

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Audrey Farley is a D-mom and the Editor of Insulin Nation. Before joining IN, she taught literature and composition at University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned a PhD in English. She is currently working on a historical novel about one of the first patients to receive insulin shortly after its discovery in 1921. You can follow her on Twitter @AudreyCFarley.