A 13-year-old boy has died after an herbalist suggested he stop using insulin for his Type 1 diabetes. Now, a court has sentenced the man to spend time in prison.
Timothy Morrow was the herbalist who treated Edgar Madrigal in August 2014. Already sick, Morrow instructed the boy’s parents to stop giving him insulin which had been prescribed to him by a pediatrician. Morrow described insulin as “poison” to the boy’s body. Instead, he offered herbal products which he sold, according to CNN. By the following day, the boy had died of a cardiac arrest. A medical examiner later deemed the death preventable with proper medical assistance.
As a result of his actions, Morrow was sentenced to 100 days in county jail after pleading guilty to one count of practicing medicine without a license. He also pleaded no contest to a count of child abuse. Both counts were considered misdemeanors.
In addition to his sentence, Morrow is on 48 months of informal probation, has received a $5,000 fine, and is instructed to pay for the boy’s funeral. He is also expected to complete a yearlong counseling program for child abusers and to add warning labels to his herbal products. As a result of the conviction, Morrow has also been instructed to remove any of his own media that “champions herbs over medical treatment,” according to CNN.
At the sentencing, he was also advised that if he were to be implicated in the death of any other patients, he could face murder charges.
A 13-year-old died after being told not to take #insulin. His parents were told insulin, for his #Type1 #diabetes, was poison. Timothy Morrow, a herbalist based in Torrance, Calif., told them to rub lavender oil on the boy’s spine. https://t.co/rMVjbaW1Bv— The Kaci ???? (@KehTaci) February 28, 2019
The boy’s mother, Maria Madrigal, was not charged in relation to her son’s death. Previously, she spoke to KABC and revealed her trust in the Torrance herbalist.
“He assured me that his life was not at risk,” Madrigal said.
Her son’s diabetes symptoms had receded after being treated by Morrow, but doctors warned that diabetes would never go away and that it would return. And so it did two months later. However, instead of following medical advice and continuing insulin injections, Maria decided to abstain. Edgar died shortly afterward.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer was relieved at the outcome.
“This case underscores the serious health and safety risks of taking medical advice from someone who lacks a license and the proper training that goes with it,” Feuer said in a statement.
“These convictions send a strong message that my office will continue to hold accountable those whose actions place lives in danger.”
According to Feuer’s statement on the matter, Morrow is “scheduled to surrender for jail on March 22, 201,9 in Department 51 of Los Angeles Superior Court.”