Florida Woman Charged with Child Neglect over Vegan beliefs
Mother charged with neglect after refusing to take her dehydrated newborn to a hospital over staunch VEGAN beliefs
Daily Mail | June 30, 2014
A young Florida mother has been arrested for allegedly refusing to take her dehydrated newborn to a hospital citing her strong vegan beliefs.
Sarah Anne Markham, 23, of Casselberry, was arrested Tuesday and charged with child neglect after police say she disregarded her pediatrician’s directive to have her baby hospitalized.
The doctor told the mother that the newborn was suffering from dehydration and losing weight, according to police.
But instead of heading to Florida Hospital South for treatment as instructed, Ms Markham took her baby home.
When police officers came knocking on her door, they say the 23-year-old refused to open up, forcing them to bring in a locksmith and break into her apartment.
When interviewed by police, the 23-year-old woman declared that she wanted to get a second opinion on her child’s condition from a 'vegan' doctor and was interested in a holistic treatment.
Markham also claimed her baby could not be dehydrated because the infant was still having bowel movements.
According to investigators, Sarah Markham admitted that she did not give the formula provided to her by her child's doctor because she believed the ingredients came from animals, and instead she bought an organic soy formula, the local station Click Orlando reported.
When asked if her doctor had confirmed that the plant-based formula was appropriate for her baby, Ms Markham allegedly replied that she knew it was safe because it came from a Whole Foods Market.
The 23-year-old eventually relented, telling officers that she will take her baby to the hospital because she was being forced to do so.
But she stayed home for the next hour, prompting officers to place her under arrest just after 7pm.
The police report stated that on her way to jail, the young mother seemed unperturbed by what was happening, even after she was informed that she will not be able to see her baby until she goes before a judge.
Markham's infant has been taken to a hospital for treatment and later placed into state custody. Ms Markham was released from jail Wednesday after posting $2,000 bond.