Friday, April 1, 2011

Who is Responsible for Baby Le Moaligou?

I read an article today about a French couple, Joel and Sergine Le Moaligou, who were recently convicted of causing the death of their 11 month old daughter.

These two were "alternative." That in and of itself is a vague classification. I can say, after reading the article, that they were not alternative but were stupid.

There are a couple of arguments going on. One is about the child being exclusively breastfed at 11 months. Look, it's not my cake but I know people who are eating, baking, and selling this cake. Their kids are fine.

Oh but the Mother was Vegan. Oh my God! She did not eat animal products! Then she must be weak and vitamin deficient. You know, it far from my diet but I would not assume all that.

If done well, a Vegan diet can be even better than a diet full of meat. For starters, oh the fiber. We meat eaters have a bit of an issue with getting the right amount. And, FYI, there are other forms of protein, Iron, and B12. I couldn't tell you what they are but they exist.

So the logical question is, am I defending these people? Hell no! I think they have left over sacks of crazy to sell to others. The thing that gets me is that they did not get their child treated when she did not flourish.

The little girl was losing weight and had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Would a sane person then ignore the doctor's orders to go to the hospital and return home to refer to a book written in the 70s?? They went home and, instead of professional medical help, tried cabbage and clay compressions.

Ok, let's play devil's advocate here. So you try this out first. It does not go well. The child is losing weight and getting worse. What do you do? You take them to the hospital!

What did Mr. and Mrs. Le Moaligou do? They continued on their own path and she died.

A baby died. A baby died because of stupidity and poor judgement.

Personally, I feel this is horrific. A child died who could have potentially been saved. Her parents were idiots, and not because of diet but because of lack of action.

Do I think they loved her?

I can't say that they didn't.  First, I doubt that cabbage and clay compressions are an easy thing to do on an 11 month old. That was obviously what they thought was best. While it's clear that they are about as sharp as a tea spoon, can we charge people for being stupid? I know an innocent child died but let's face it, it's not unheard of for a small child to die due to parental stupidity.

What gets me is the lack of community action. There is no way I'd get away with this in Rio. My child can't look sideways without someone criticizing me over how he may strain his neck. And while it was the parent's responsibility, we can see that the sane parent boat had sailed long ago. Why didn't the doctor follow up? He was the professional that knew what was going on, why didn't he check with the hospital to make sure they checked in? Why not give a little call to the house?

I think we are lacking a bit of personal care here. No, he is not to blame, the parents are. But they are dumb-asses and the baby died. A 2 minute phone call from a professional could have made a difference. Call protective services. Do something!

All that being said, I would hate to see this tragic event turn into an attack into breastfeeding and Vegans. The Mother didn't make sure she had the health to breastfeed for extended periods of time, but that does not mean it's the case for everyone. I dear you to attack a Fast Food Momma who is throwing a bottle at her child because breastfeeding gets in the way of her bucket of KFC. Go to my country, I'm sure you'll find plenty for your case study. Hell, some may even be related to me. You never know.

The thing is that we can not lose sight of what this is about.  It is not diet or lifestyle so much as extremism. These two were extreme. They did not want medical attention when they knew things were off. They did not want to take the means they needed to when their lifestyle was not the best option for their child. They were stubborn. They were wrong. And you know what their punishment was? They lost their baby.

The moral of this story: You may have your beliefs of what is best for your child, but if they are physically ill and/or unhealthy under them you have to get help! I know science and medicine have the "bad guy" label to a lot of people but we all seem to forget that people used to die. People used to die a lot during childbirth, from basic childhood illnesses, and from anything else. Hell, why do you think your Grandparents are afraid of a cold breeze?

There needs to be a happy medium between medicine and lack there of.

What do you guys think?


  1. The parents are definitely idiots. I'll admit to being erring on the side of alternative– we've eliminated some vaccines, I'm willing to treat minor things (recently, pink eye) with home remedies– but if Piggles was seriously ill? There is no way I'd EVER think of doing what that couple did.

    This article is somewhat more balanced than another I'd read that seemed hellbent on blaming breastfeeding and veganism. I hate when things are sensationalized.

    The real tragedy is that there's a dead baby that didn't need to be.

  2. They did love better the vegan style than their own baby, and that's it.

    I don't like anything radical, you have to have balance in life, this is the real key for a happy (and healthy) life.

  3. I think the statement "I dare you to attack a Fast Food Momma who is throwing a bottle at her child because breastfeeding gets in the way of her bucket of KFC." made my a.m. lol

  4. If a child has cancer, and the parents elect to put the child through chemotherapy, but the child dies anyway, or perhaps the chemo winds up killing the child - should the parents go to jail? I'm not defending these people, because they obviously weren't mentally able to take care of a child, but I think we need to consider that these people believed they were giving the child the proper treatments and it just didn't work, like the chemotherapy scenario.

    When hearing these stories, I can only console myself with one thought. That perhaps a life with parents missing so many screws would have been a bit of a terrible life, and maybe the little angle is with a good being that takes care of little children or will get another shot at a better existence (whatever it is you believe).

  5. what a shame!
    how can anyone do that to your own child??

    btw: France has the best health care in the world.

  6. I totally think the state should intervene in these kind of situations.
    I also think the state should intervene when and if parents refuse treatment for religious reasons for example. If you are Jehovah's witness and the parents don't want the child to have a certain surgery because they don't believe in blood transplant or whatever, the state should intervene in the DEFENSE of the inocent child. I think people can choose for themselves when they are adults, but children need to be protected by the STATE in these cases.
    French doctors should definitely have intervene and followed up to have saved the child.
    If the parents are going thru a "hippie" phase of their lives, the child shouldn't have to pay for it.
    I am totally in favor of STATE intervention when parents don't show maturity or responsibility enough to take proper care of their children.
    This is no time for freedom of choice or parents rights to choose, it is a case of saving a life, when a life is in danger, all other rights, liberties or freedoms should be in second place.


  7. Horrible story, terrible outcome. I don't know what these parents were thinking. As a parent, if my son is ever ill, I monitor and gauge minor stuff, sometimes make a call to his Dr. if needed, but for a low short-term fever, or a runny nose, a stomach ache, I treat it with the same meds that his Dr. has prescribed in the past (like for us, Tylenol, decongex, plasil, etc) and this works almost 100% of the time and thank god, he's really a healthy kid. But if he were to worsen or run a high fever with mulitple symptoms, I'd run, not walk, to the hospital. I get that panicky pain in my way for wait and see in those unknown or more serious situations. I'm a nervous wreck just thinking about this.

  8. I agree this isn't really about being vegan. I know lots of mothers who have raised (and breastfed) vegan children and they are all fine. But, if a doctor tells you that your baby isn't doing well, you need to listen! I'm not sure what the punishment should be though....

  9. I think I'm mostly pro the state protecting these children, but what about the children of those who wish they could do the right thing but are too poor to do so? Shouldn't the state start there? A person I know once said (and took back immediately) "poor people shouldn't be allowed to have children". This person didn't mean it as it sounds, but I get what the feeling of the moment was, it was more a "it's so painful seeing babies/children not having what's necessary to grow healthy", and I think it applies to couples like these as well. It is a human right to have babies, but I think a person's right to having children kinda ends where a baby's basic human rights begin.
    I better stop now as I'm treading on dangerous territory and between the "lost in translation" factor and that we all tend to read between the lines a bit, and this subject(s) has(have) a lot of grey and foggy areas.