Protect parental rights by halting the gratuitous prosecution of David and Collet Stephan.
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The Crown has filed an appeal following the September 2019 acquittal of David and Collet Stephan.The relentless pursuit of the Stephan's case appears to be unusually vindictive and undermines the rights and principles of the Family unit as an institution.
In early 2012, following the tragic death of their 18-month old son Ezekiel, David and Collet Stephan became subjected to over seven years of emotionally and financially exhausting litigation. The Stephans were charged with failure to provide the necessaries of life. In the course of the court proceedings it became evident that meningitis was not the cause of Ezekiel's death as alleged by the Crown. The child died from oxygen deprivation/hypoxia as a direct result of the lack of proper equipment in the ambulance that transported him to the hospital. Ezekiel was left without oxygen for approximately 8-12 minutes, time interval long enough to have caused brain damage.
The meningitis diagnosis was proposed unfoundedly. It was instead utilized to shift all blame to the parents, and not to the inadequately stocked ambulance and/or the medial care received upon Ezekiel's hospital admission.
Seven Supreme Court of Canada Justices unanimously identified the errors in law from the first trial (2016), overturned the convictions and sent the case back for a retrial.
In September 2019, after years of legal battle, David and Collet were cleared of wrongdoing allegations in a court of law and the case was closed with a 'not guilty' verdict.
But that was not the end. Currently, the Crown prosecutor has filed an appeal thereby promising another lengthy, painful and financially devastating legal battle.
There are a number of reasons why Albertans, Canadians and parents of children should be deeply alarmed by this:
Firstly, the largest concern is the threatening erosion of parental rights. The right to free and independent choice of healthcare for children must be the domain of the parent(s). Parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit without the fear of recrimination.
Secondly, a successful appeal of the Stephan's case has the potential to set a dangerous precedent whereby the State would exert authority to step in and dictate a form of healthcare, not necessarily in line with parental preference and choice.
Thirdly, re-opening the litigation process by way of the Crown's most recent appeal is astonishingly aggressive. The continuous pursuit of the Stephan's case has been an enormous financial strain not only on David and Collet's family, but on the taxpayer's purse. Future litigation on a case that has already been settled is a reckless waste of public money.
In summary, two separate judges have deemed David and Collet as being loving and caring parents. Justice Clackson's 'not guilty' verdict has shown that the Stephan's case has passed the judicial system's test.
If you as a parent and a taxpayer oppose the erosion of constitutionally-protected parental rights, and are concerned about unaccountable, state healthcare system that has the power to press criminal charges, please take a moment to sign this petition.
By supporting the end of litigation against the Stephan family, you are helping all Canadian families.
May truth and justice prevail!
More information about the Stephans and the events surrounding their case can be found here.
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