An Indian-origin Australian couple were on Monday sentenced to long jail terms for manslaughter of their baby, choosing to treat her homoeopathic remedies rather than allopathic for simple eczema, which later turned into severe skin disorder.
Thomas Sam, 42, a college lecturer in homoeopathy and his wife Manju, 37, of Sydney were found guilty of the most serious case of manslaughter by criminal negligence leading to the death of their nine-month-old daughter Gloria in May 2002.
Though both faced a maximum sentence of 25 years if convicted, New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Peter Johnson sentenced Thomas to longer sentence of at least six years and his wife for four years.
The judge observed that Gloria had suffered helplessly and unnecessarily from a treatable condition. And was more severe on the father saying he should have known better being a homoeopath.
"Thomas Sam was arrogant in his approach of treatment and preferred homoeopathy and his wife Manju deferred to her husband which unfortunately led to child's death," the Judge said.
During hearing, the court was told that the parents rarely consulted conventional doctors and never consulted skin specialists even after nurse noticed deterioration in the child's condition.
Instead, Thomas Sam continued to rely on homoeopathic treatment and consulted natural medicinal practitioners as his baby's condition worsened and her black hair turned white.
The parents only rushed Gloria to hospital when her infection entered the bloodstream and the doctors said she was extremely ill.
As the doctors began her emergency treatment, it was too late she died three days later.