- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Central Florida mother was arrested and charged after she refused to take her sick newborn to the hospital due to her vegan beliefs, police said Tuesday.

Casselberry police said a pediatrician told Sarah Markham that her 13-day-old baby needed to be admitted to Florida Hospital South for treatment because the child was dehydrated and was losing weight, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Ms. Markham apparently never took the baby to the hospital and instead went home. Police showed up and interviewed the mother, who said she wanted to get a second medical opinion, police said in the arrest report.

Police said Ms. Markham is a Seventh Day Adventist and believes in holistic health. She had been feeding the baby organic soy formula and was concerned about what her baby might be fed in the hospital, a local ABC affiliate reported.


“She didn’t want her child ingesting anything with animal byproducts,” said Cpl. Kristine Pamatian say. “She wanted a second opinion with a holistic doctor.”

The baby was taken to Florida Hospital South for treatment and was placed into state custody. Ms. Markham later bonded out of jail and faces child neglect charges, the ABC affiliate said.