Dying baby 'was cured'
By NATALIE WILLIAMS
12 July, 2001
THE PARENTS of an 18-day-old baby who died from a congenital heart disease refused surgery because they believed their naturapath had "cured the problem", an inquest heard yesterday.
The natural therapist, Reg Fenn, had used a "Mora Machine" to diagnose Mitchell James Little and treated him with a homeopathic remedy prepared from jojoba drops and a South American tree herb.
Elizabeth and Michael Little, of Raymond Terrace, had consulted the naturapath on September 15, 1999, the day they returned home from Maitland Hospital with their newborn son.
Mitchell was born on September 7, 1999, and died on September 25, 1999. A post mortem found the cause of the death to be aortic stenosis, a congenital heart disease.
The first day of an inquest into the baby's death, being held at Toronto Court, heard Mr Fenn had used a Mora Machine to diagnose Mitchell's health, finding a "moderate disfunction" of the heart from two conditions, including aortic stenosis.
Mr Fenn found neither condition to be critical and that the appropriate treatment was a homeopathic remedy.
The Mora Machine involves analysing a saliva sample and gaining "energy readings" through acupuncture points on the hands and feet of the patient.
Maitland Hospital's consultant paediatrician, Dr Keith Howard told the inquest he saw Mitchell one and a half hours after he was born and heard "a loud systolic murmer (of the heart) suggestive of aortic stenosis".
The doctor arranged for the baby to have an echocardiogram on September 16 but allowed the infant to be taken home on September 15 because the heart rate, respiratory rate, liver size and colour were all stable.
"I thought it would be beneficial rather than otherwise for her (the mother) to be able to have some time at home with her newborn baby."
Dr Howard said it was unlikely there would have been significant change in the baby's condition over the 24-hour period.
On September 16 Dr Howard got the results of an echocardiogram, with the aortic stenosis diagnosed as "severe" and requiring surgery promptly. Dr Howard said he was told later that day that the family would not be allowing the operation.
He said he failed to convince the parents when he met with them on September 17 that "the only remedy was surgical intervention".
Dr Howard said he also spoke to Mr Fenn that evening, who said "he said he had cured the problem and that all would be well."
The inquest, before coroner Michael Morahan, resumes today.
Original story was at http://www.dailytelegraph.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,2321992^3163,00.html