Stupidity kills

An Australian couple were yesterday sentenced to 6 (father) and 4 (mother) years in jail after allowing their stupidity to kill their daughter. The particular form that their stupidity took was homoeopathy:

A husband and wife were jailed on Monday for the manslaughter of their baby, who died after they chose to use homeopathic remedies rather than conventional medicine to treat her severe skin disorder.

In sentencing, the judge said that there was a “‘wide chasm’ between her parents’ approach and the action a reasonable parent would have taken”, and I would have to concur. If your child develops severe eczema at four months of age, and this condition fails to improve despite all the homoeopathy you throw at it, perhaps you should swallow your aversion to big pharma, or whatever conspiracy theory you suffer from, and visit a conventional doctor – something this father never considered doing, even as his daughter’s black hair turned white and infections ruptured her skin – not to mention the eye infection that was apparently melting her corneas.

Do what you want to yourself – in fact, you may be doing the gene pool a favour by eliminating yourself through quackery. But if you are going to take on the risk of bringing another human into the world, at least take that risk seriously, and allow your child to benefit from the fruits of modern science. And while you’re at it, try to help keep their brains healthy too, by not feeding them any stories about zombie magicians who can save their souls from eternal damnation.