A Sydney naturopath who allegedly told a mother to stop medicating her eight-month-old boy, leaving him close to death, has been arrested.
NSW Police said Marilyn Bodnar, a 59-year-old registered nurse and midwife who also practises naturopathy, had been consulted by the mother of the young boy seeking an alternative health treatment for the baby’s eczema.
Officers allege the naturopath advised the mother to stop the child’s medical and dermatological treatments.
The baby was admitted to Westmead Hospital in May suffering from malnourishment and developmental issues.
Police said the boy had lost more than a kilogram and was near death.
He was released from hospital yesterday.
Child Abuse Squad detectives arrested the woman at a Leppington property about 7:30am today.
She was granted conditional bail to appear at Fairfield Local Court later this month, charged with grievous bodily harm and failure to provide for a child, causing danger of death.
The child’s mother is facing similar charges.
The chair of the Australian Medical Association’s Council of General Practice, Dr Brian Morton, has advised patients to always follow evidence-based treatment.
“It’s very important to continue medical treatment that’s been prescribed and speak to the doctor who’s prescribed that before you make a decision,” he said.
“I think it’s very important that alternative health practitioners know when they’ve made an error.
“Alternative therapy doesn’t have much place in the treatment of dermatological conditions like eczema.
“Following proven, known safe methods of treatment is the way to go.”