Thomas Sam and wife Manju jailed over daughter's death
A HOMEOPATH has been sentenced to at least six years in jail and his wife will serve at least four years for the manslaughter of their eczema-stricken daughter.
Thomas Sam, 42, and his wife Manju, 37, were convicted in June of the manslaughter of their nine-month-old baby Gloria by failing to seek proper medical treatment.
The tertiary-educated couple were accused of "gross criminal negligence" by failing to get the treatment, instead mainly relying on homeopathic remedies.
The baby was malnourished despite being properly fed, because all nutrition had gone into coping with her severe eczema.
She died in Sydney in May 2002 from an infection her body could not fight.
In handing down his sentence in the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Peter Johnson said Thomas Sam's "arrogant approach" to his preference for homeopathy above conventional medicine, and Manju Sam's deference to her husband, had led to Gloria's death.
A "very wide chasm" lay between how they had acted and how any other reasonable parent would have acted, Justice Johnson said.
"The omission of the parents to seek proper assistance for her can be characterised accurately as cruelty," he said.
"Gloria was totally dependent on her parents complying with their clear duty of care for her and each offender fell profoundly short of their parental obligations to their daughter."
Despite recommendations as early as October 2001, the Sams had refused to take her to see a specialist.
Instead they took her to India for more homeopathic treatment, despite being told by doctors that to do so would be "cruel" to Gloria.
And following their return to Australia - on board a plane where fellow passengers described the child as "screaming constantly" and "inconsolable" - for nine "critical" days, the pair did nothing.
On the ninth day, concerned about a lingering eye infection, the Sams took their daughter to the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick.
Doctors described Gloria as "incredibly sick" with a "massive eroded rash" and "grossly malnourished".
They gave her morphine for the pain and began treating her eye infection - her corneas were melting.
But it was too late - Gloria died three days later.
Doctors said she had been malnourished for months and in severe pain for weeks.
"Gloria's body was worn down and ultimately worn out," the judge said.
"This is not a case of a hidden condition going untreated and ultimately causing death.
"Rather this case involves an accumulation of obvious health problems which, whilst not properly treated, saw the child descending towards death."
Thomas Sam faces a maximum jail term of eight years, while his wife faces a maximum sentence of five years and four months.
This was there beautiful baby. (from here)
I just saw this story on the news and the reason they waited NINE DAYS after they came back to the country, to see a doctor? THEY WERE JET LAGGED AND TIRED.
This also makes me really really angry about the judges and laws that we have that allows these parents to even be given a maximum term and are able to be charged with manslaughter. What these people (although i call them this as the things i want to call them don't even come close to describe what they are) did is, in my eyes, murder, and torture. I'm sure 8 years is nothing.
Normally, i wouldn't wish harm to people (at least not out loud), but while these 'people' are in jail, i hope that they are not in "protection" and i hope that people are aware of what they have done. I hope that they are in the same type of pain, they put this little defenseless little baby in. I hope they they feel some of the fear, that this little girl might have felt as she felt her sight and then her life, of what little she lived, slipping away from her.
It makes me think about how many people saw this child and did nothing as well. How many people say this child in pain and just accepted it? How could the doctors have done more? Do the people who saw this child, think about her? Are they sad that they may have been able to do something, but let her parents continue? Had poor Gloria not died, would they have used 'conventional' medicines for their son? (Yes, after what happened, these 'people' continued with children). How can the law get away with such short sentences for such horror?
More articles and peoples opinion on this story can be found here.
Monday, September 28, 2009
This is a reason why i am both sad and glad that i didn't continue into social work.