A vegan couple in Sweden was sentenced to three months in jail Thursday for nearly killing their 18-month-old child with a very restrictive diet.
The 18-month-old girl was brought to emergency care at a hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, in February after she became non-responsive due to malnutrition stemming from a diet consisting of only breast milk, brown rice, and potatoes, The Local reports.
The case’s judge, Per Nordén, ruled that the couple’s “serious negligence had put their daughter in a life-threatening situation.” The Court sentenced them to three months in jail and ordered them to pay $6,000 in damages to their afflicted daughter. Her father was sentenced for other charges as well, including drug related charges and drunk driving, according to The Local.
The child was never registered with Swedish authorities, according to a court statement.
“According to their ideological belief that the daughter was a citizen of the world, her parents did not even report the birth to any authority, have her checked at a paediatric centre, or even weigh or measure her growth. Nor has the girl been vaccinated or examined by a doctor,” the statement read. (RELATED: Vegan Restaurant That Charged Men 18% More Is Closing)
It continued to say that the diet given to the girl by her parents “was far from sufficient or adapted for such a small child.”
The judge acknowledged that the parents “did not intentionally harm their daughter,” but were only doing what they believed was right for her.
Prosecutor Ximena Bene originally requested up to three years in prison for the girl’s parents due to the negligence. Doctors who treated the girl say that she was “hours from dying” and was suffering from “prolonged starvation.” The doctors also said that the girl’s condition was “worse than anything we have seen at the hospital before,” according to The Local.
The parents’ defense lawyers said that there was no proof that the girl’s condition was caused by anything other than a stomach bug.
After the parents are released from jail, they will be allowed to spend eight weeks with their daughter at a supervised care facility, according to the Local.
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