The tragic loss of a 13-year-old boy’s life could have been prevented with medicine, but instead, his parents took the child to an herbalist, who treated the diabetic teen with oils. That herbalist, Timothy Morrow, has now been charged in the child’s death after using herbal oils rather than insulin, which the boy required. According to a report from ABC News, Morrow was charged with practicing medicine without a license and child abuse causing a death.
The child’s mother met Morrow when she attended one of his seminars. Morrow noted on his website that the voice of God told him to use herbs for his prostate cancer.
He began treating the child’s Type 1 diabetes in 2014 with herbs, but the boy later became sick and semi-comatose in August 2014. Morrow instructed the parents to purchase the herbal oils he sold to help the child, who was identified as Edgar L. Edgar passed away the next day, with the medical examiner finding that, had this child been given insulin, he would have survived.
City Attorney Mike Feuer noted in a statement: “The allegations in this case underscore the serious health and safety risks of taking medical advice from someone who lacks a license and the proper training that goes with it. No family should have to suffer the tragedy of losing a child because of irresponsible, un-credentialed medical advice.”
Morrow’s defense lawyer Sanford Perliss, argued that Morrow is not guilty, saying, “He’s never been in trouble in his life. He really has a lifetime of helping people.”
He further explained that since the boy’s death three years ago, there were no attempts to take away Morrow’s business license, nor did the child’s parents sue him. Perliss noted: “No one did anything to indicate he was doing anything wrong.” If convicted, Morrow faces up to two years in jail.
Morrow’s website, Common Sense Products, sells herbal remedies for various health issues and provides this disclaimer: “We don’t force anyone or try to lead anyone,” with a mission statement that includes: “Keep in mind: there are no side effects to herbs, no labels that read ‘Keep Out of Reach of Children.’ These herbs, in fact, are gentle enough for children.”
One commenter on the ABC News story was quick to point out why herbal remedies lack labels, noting: “What a load of garbage. There are no labels because the FDA hasn’t studied them or regulated them. That doesn’t mean they are safe. There is no label on an angel’s trumpet flower, or on foxglove, or on oleander, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe and gentle.”
People debated the case on social media, with many agreeing the parents should have known better and others arguing that maybe they had a good reason for taking this action. One commenter noted: “Perhaps the boy’s parents couldn’t afford healthcare, which is why they sought alternative medicine. Healthcare is insanely expensive for many families. While it’s sad the boy lost his life, we can’t be so quick to judge.”
Another person responded: “I call BS on that theory. Oils are expensive and there are tons of places that would make sure a child gets the insulin they need. If nothing else they could post the need on their local news stations page and get more than they need. Sure some people would think that’s embarrassing but a child’s health is more important than their pride.”