Two parents have been found guilty of murder after letting their 15-year-old son with type 1 diabetes starve to death over a number of years.
Editor’s note: Please be aware that this story contains upsetting information and some readers may find the accounts troubling.
Emil and Rodica Radita, from Calagry, Canada, were sentenced to 25 years’ life in priso, with no parole, on Friday 24 February.
Alexandru Radita was aged 15 when he died in 2013 weighing just 37 pounds (17 kg). When found, the boy’s body was so thin he was described as looking “mummified” by the paramedic, Deborah Baumback, who was called to the scene.
Baumback reported that Alexandru had an approximate three-inch waist and was missing many of his teeth. He was covered in ulcers and was wearing a nappy when he died.
The cause of death was recorded as “bacterial sepsis brought on by extreme starvation”. The death was a long, slow decline in health that “took place over months and possibly, probably years”.
The boy’s troubles began at a very early age when his parents refused to accept his type 1 diabetes diagnosis. A pediatrician who had treated Alexandru stated that his mother didn’t believe he had type 1 diabetes, and that “she and God” were going to prove the doctors were wrong.
He did not receive treatment from his parents and was hospitalised for the first time in December 2000. This would be one of a string of hospital admissions that he would have through his life. The hospital caring for Alexandru initially prevented him from being discharged over worries that his parents were in denial over his diabetes.
The parents were trained on how to treat his diabetes but three months later, Alexandru was back in hospital. Doctors raised concerns that the parents may have been faking his blood glucose readings and the parents were warned that he may need to be taken into care.
After another hospitalisation in October 2003, he was put into foster care and his health improved. One year later and he was back with his parents.
Some years later, the family moved to Alberta. Alexandru was not given adequate treatment and he was kept in his room away from people seeing him. He was enrolled in an online school program for a year and never saw any doctors in Alberta.
The trial heard that the parents’ religious beliefs were such that they didn’t think Alexandru needed to see doctors. A number of Bible verses, relating to health, were found on display in the family home and were admitted as evidence.
The judge, Justice Karen Horner, stated that both parents were equally guilty of the murder of Alexandru Radita.
“Mr. and Mrs. Radita intended to and did isolate Alex from anyone who could intervene or monitor his insulin treatment aside from themselves,” stated Justice Horner.
“The evidence underscores that the Raditas were well aware how ill Alex was and still refused to treat his medical condition with proper insulin protocol and medical care.”
The parents were said to be devoid of emotion following their sentencing.
Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper stated, “This was a really difficult case for all involved. The facts that Justice Horner found were such that you really did see the magnitude of Alex’s suffering, how long it was and how extensive it was.
“Certainly, the evidence that was presented in court does show that the system and the social safety net in our province, and in our country, did fail Alex.”

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Type 2 diabetes found to be a ‘significant risk factor’ among stroke victims

More evidence has been published which supports that diabetes is a “significant…

Public Health England considers low carb approach for type 2 diabetes

The low carb approach is being considered by the government to be…

Coronavirus: UK instructed to stay at home this weekend

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that staying at home this weekend…