Couple Charged With First-Degree Murder After Withholding Medicine From Child For ‘Religious Reasons’


Alex Radita was a 15-year-old Canadian boy who died in 2013 from severe effects of insulin-dependent diabetes after his parents decided to forego medical care for religious reasons, CBC News reports.

raditaparents Couple Charged With First-Degree Murder After Withholding Medicine From Child For 'Religious Reasons' Religion
Image via CBC News.

Alex’s parents, Emil and Rodica Radita, are now on trial after allowing their 37-pound 15-year-old to die in his bed. Emil and Rodica refused to seek medical treatment and instead, opted for in-home treatment and prayer. Emil and Rodica Radita are members of the Romanian Pentecostal Church.

According to CBC News, Alex was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 3-years-old, and his parents believed doctors caused Alex’s diabetes by giving him insulin.

Emil told Marius Ciltan, a member of the Romanian Pentecostal Church, that “the doctors abused the child in the hospital,” and that they had decided to treat the boy at home instead of through the Canadian healthcare system.

Alex was hospitalized three times before he was removed from his parents’ care by social services after they refused to treat his medical condition.

Ciltan recalled seeing Alex before he died, and claimed:

‘He was looking very bad. I was shocked.’

Shortly after, Ciltan left the Radita family home with some of Alex’s siblings to go to the church to pray for their dying brother. Upon returning to the home with 15 church members, Ciltan recalls the elders telling Emil to call 911 to seek help for the dying boy.

Prosecutor Marta Juzwiac asked Ciltan if other members of the Romanian Pentecostal Church sought medical care when they were gravely ill, to which he replied:

‘Yes. All the people.’

Ciltan even testified in court that other church members sought medical help from doctors when it was required, yet the Raditas refused to do so for their dying son.

If left untreated, diabetes can wreak havoc on the body. Clearly, that’s what happened to young Alex Radita.

Alex’s kindergarten teacher, Sandy Wong, wrote a letter to the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development, detailing her grief over the boy’s careless death:

‘I hope that Alex’s tragic death will bring about necessary changes regarding follow-up and monitoring in serious cases of neglect, when once apprehended children are returned to their parents. His life story of suffering and premature death demands that greater, more open sharing of information between provinces be implemented. The most vulnerable must be protected. I will never forget Alex’s sweet face and the privilege it was to teach, support and encourage him during his kindergarten year. He is free of his suffering now and resting in peace.’

The trial is in its seventh day at the Court of Queen’s Bench and is a judge-alone trial expected to last several more weeks.

Watch the news clip below, via YouTube:

Feature Image is a court exhibit via CBC News.