Parents Who Withheld Insulin Appeal Murder Conviction

Two parents who withheld insulin treatment for their son with Type 1 diabetes are still refusing to take responsibility for his death, despite their conviction for first-degree murder. CBC Canada and The Canadian Press report that Rodica and Emil Radita have each filed appeals to have their murder convictions overturned.

Rodica Radita filed her appeal first, and her handwritten notice of appeal has been made public in published reports. She declared that she was not responsible for the death of her son, Alex. She also called into question the thinking and emotional state of the presiding judge during the murder trial, which took place in Alberta, Canada. As evidence of Judge Karen Horner’s alleged unprofessionalism, Rodica cited the fact that the judge didn’t agree with her.

“Saying that my arguments were ‘nonsensical’ when they were based on the actual evidence further shows her bias and inability to decide my case on the facts rather than on emotion,” she wrote, according to a National Post report.

Shortly after Rodica filed her appeal, Emil also filed an appeal. The two were sentenced earlier this year to life imprisonment, and must each serve at least 25 years before being considered for parole. During the trial, the Raditas were found to have intentionally withheld proper treatment for their son, Alex, over the course of years. It was found that the two intentionally isolated Alex to keep him from getting necessary treatment, and even moved several times to avoid the authorities. They apparently were attempting to treat his Type 1 diabetes mainly through prayer. Alex died three months after his 15th birthday; he weighed 37 pounds at his time of death.

The tragedy of Alex’s brief life and debilitating death serves as an unfortunate reminder in the ability of people who are anti-science and anti-medicine to cling to their stances at all costs. For Rodica, the death of her son and her conviction of murder apparently did little to dissuade her from her belief that what she had done was right.

Facts alone cannot move some from a dangerously wrong belief when it comes to withholding a child’s medical treatment. Instead, it is up to society to first provide better support for those who might be at risk of endangering their children, and better oversight to stop them from doing so.

Social workers need help to protect the most vulnerable children. If you believe someone is neglecting medical treatment for a child, please share your concern with local social service officers or call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453). If calling the hotline, which is available in the U.S. and Canada, know that there are operators available 24/7 and they have access to interpreters in 170 languages.

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.

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