David and Collet Stephan live in Alberta, Canada. They own a nutritional supplement company and have a young son named Ezekiel. It would appear, at least on the surface, that the Stephan’s have what every couple dreams of. But their own ignorance and intransigence has now led to the death of their child.
Ezekiel, who was 19-months old, contracted meningitis. But his parents are rabid anti-vaccination advocates, so rather than treating Ezekiel with all that modern medical science has to offer, they fed him supplements— olive leaf extract, whey protein, and maple syrup–from an eye dropper until it was far too late and the child was beyond help.
Collet Stephan, along with her husband, David, have pleaded not guilty to charges that they failed to provide the necessities of life to a helpless child. David Stephan says he is convinced the government is prosecuting he and his wife as a way of forcing parents to vaccinate their children.
The Stephan’s have also drawn attention for selling Empowerplus, which they assert can help manage mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and depression. Critics maintain that the mixture of vitamins contains no benefits that can be proven by medical science.
If they are convicted, David and Collet Stephan could face five years in prison and the loss of their other children.