Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Bittersweet Justice

Sent to me by reader Damien.

As you may recall, a few weeks back, Thomas Sam, 42, a homeopath, and Manju Sam, 37, of Earlwood, Sydney let their daughter die of an easily treatable disease, eczema. This event was covered by numerous bloggers including Orac, and others.

The basics are sadly not unique and we have heard them before..

  • child gets sick
  • Parents refuse to use evidence based medicine and opt for [insert woo here]
  • child gets more sick
  • Parents use more [woo]
  • Child dies

This was exactly the case of the Sams. They took their daughter to 2 actual doctors and specifically refused their advice. Thomas Sam said "I cant do that" when his sister pleaded to him to take the child to the emergency room. It really seems as if his pride got in the way. If he relented and let actual medicine heal his child then he will have done something contrary to what he have been preaching for years. He will have denied the efficacy of homeopathy.

I would like to say "happily" he was found guilty of negligence or better yet manslaughter. And he was, but it is not happy. That poor girl suffered immensely for months. No matter what his punishment is, its still not happy.

Note: Reading that article is a bit weird. I wonder how much of it has to do with Australian speech and how much of it is hyperbole. Infected eyes don't "melt". Also it would have been nice of they separated the condition eczema, something most people associate with itchy skin, from whatever it really was that she had:

Doctor after doctor told the jury that by the time they saw Gloria in those last few days her skin condition was unlike any they had seen before.

The child actually died of Sepsis.

Update: Reader Yakaru emailed me some interesting information. You'd think that an honest industry would disown this character. You'd think that they would say something to the effect of how he is not a "real" homeopath because he either prescribed the wrong water, or because he didn't do something different to prevent this result. You'd expect something that preserves their fantasy while chastising this man for his horrific attitude and results.

No such luck. Nada, nothing out there. Yakaru found a site about Thomas Sam (cached) that explains:

Along with the wholistic treatment, regular monitoring of the blood parameters by investigations are to be carried out according to your GP or specialist’s advice to assess the condition and to evaluate progress of treatment.

Regular medication will be required in most of the chronic cases

What is there now, after this episode with the Sams? Nothing. Its gone.

How about another homeopath site (cached again) who linked to an article that says that Homeopath Sam taught his students to go to GPs

A homeopath accused of his baby's manslaughter taught students to send seriously ill or worsening patients to conventional doctor

Why no outrage from homeopaths? Why the disappearance of all links to this story? What a nonsense industry.

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