Di­a­betic six-year-old died un­der­go­ing slap­ping ther­apy, Syd­ney court hears

The Guardian Australia - - Headlines -

A di­a­betic six-year-old boy who died while un­der­go­ing al­ter­na­tive slap­ping and stretch­ing ther­apy was un­able to walk and vom­ited reg­u­larly in his fi­nal days, a Syd­ney jury has heard.

The boy’s mother, fa­ther and grand­mother, and Chi­nese “healer” Hong Chi Xiao, have all pleaded not guilty to the man­slaugh­ter of the boy, who died in a Syd­ney ho­tel in April 2016, six days into a week-long heal­ing work­shop run by Xiao.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Sharon Har­ris told a New South Wales district court jury on Wed­nes­day the child’s fam­ily mem­bers, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, stopped ad­min­is­ter­ing his in­sulin dur­ing the work­shop.

In open­ing sub­mis­sions, Har­ris said Xiao told par­tic­i­pants ahead of the work­shop that slap­ping and stretch­ing of the body “ac­ti­vated the body’s self-heal­ing power and un­locked the body’s en­ergy channels”. Such treat­ment, termed paida la­jin, could heal can­cer, Parkin­son’s dis­ease and both types of di­a­betes, Xiao claimed, ac­cord­ing to the crown.

“If you take in­sulin, that is not heal­ing, that is called drug ad­dic­tion,” Har­ris said Xiao had in­structed.

Har­ris said Xiao in­structed the mother to stop her son’s in­sulin in­jec­tions and, as the boy showed signs of the di­a­betic ke­toaci­do­sis that even­tu­ally killed him, that the vom­it­ing of black and yel­low sub­stances was good for him.

In his fi­nal days, the boy vom­ited re­peat­edly, his eyes were be­com­ing yel­low, his feet were cold and he was wheeled around in a pram be­cause he could not walk, prose­cu­tors al­lege.

Both the mother and grand­mother ar­gue they thought Xiao was a doc­tor and there­fore did not seek med­i­cal treat­ment or in­ject in­sulin.

The mother wasn’t some “al­ter­na­tive medicine fa­natic” and was look­ing for other treat­ments rather than a cure for di­a­betes, her lawyer told the jury.

The fa­ther’s lawyer asked the jury to con­sider over the six-week trial how much the fa­ther knew about his son’s con­di­tion and whether a duty-of-care breach amounted to gross crim­i­nal neg­li­gence.

Xiao’s lawyer will ad­dress the jury later on Wed­nes­day.

The trial con­tin­ues.

Pho­to­graph: Dave Hunt/AAP

The di­a­betic boy’s mother and grand­mother ar­gue they thought Hong Chi Xiao was a doc­tor.

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