natural therapist convicted of manslaughter death of 12 year ol

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Posted by Ellen on 20:45:50 2005/04/25

'Charlatan' found guilty

A Quebec judge convicts a natural therapist in the manslaughter death of a diabetic 12-year-old.
CP 2005-04-23 03:53:50

GATINEAU, QUE. -- A Quebec judge convicted a naturotherapist of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death yesterday for advising a woman to replace her diabetic daughter's insulin treatment with cane sugar, pear juice, olive oil massages and sea salt baths. Louise Lortie, a self-proclaimed natural therapist from Gatineau testified she gave the advice after consulting a crystal ball, a pendulum and her archangel, Michael.

Lisanne Manseau, 12, of Hull, Que., died March 28, 1994, three days after starting Lortie's treatment.

Lortie, now 68, was first charged criminally in 1995. That year, she was also found guilty of 34 charges laid by the Quebec College of Physicians of illegally practising medicine.

Convicted in 1999 of criminal negligence causing death, she appealed and won.

The appeal court ordered a new trial because of comments made by the judge.

In the first trial, Lortie received a three-year sentence.

This time around, the prosecution says it will wait for a presentence report that will assess Lortie's condition before suggesting a sentence.

In his decision, Judge Valmont Beaulieu called Lortie a charlatan and said she considered Lisanne a scientific experiment.

"For her, Lisanne Manseau was an object, a laboratory matter," Beaulieu said.

Even though it was Lisanne's mother, Sylvie Fortin, who stopped the insulin treatment with her daughter's consent, it was Lortie who advised and supervised the act, said the judge.

The act was therefore attributable to Lortie, he said.

Fortin has never been charged in her daughter's death.

Crown prosecutor Martin Cote said Fortin was desperate when she went to Lortie.

"She was trying, she and her daughter, as much as possible, to find any method and to cling to something to improve her fate," Cote said.

Without her medication, Lisanne's condition worsened, and eventually she fell into a diabetic coma.

Fortin told Lortie she wanted to take her daughter to the hospital.

Lortie told her not to worry, that she had treated diabetics before and that Michael had never been mistaken, the court heard.

Copyright © The London Free Press

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