A highly disturbing story: A young boy is dead after undergoing alternative “therapy” that may have resulted in a diabetic coma and possibly abusive “treatment”.
Police are investigating the death of a seven-year-old diabetic boy who may have been taken off insulin to attend an alternative Chinese medicine workshop in Sydney’s south.
The family of Aidan Fenton was taking part in the weeklong “slapping therapy” workshop at a health centre in Hurstville when he died, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The seminar was conducted by a Chinese healer named Hongchi Xiao, who advocates slapping the body until it bruises to cure illness and rid the body of toxins.
It’s said that the treatment called for three days of fasting and that Xiao called for the boy to be taken off insulin. Paramedics were called to the hotel room where resuscitation was attempted but he was dead. It’s not clear if the boy was slapped during the seminar or the cause of death. (The Daily Telegraph is subscription only.)
What does seem to be clear is that the parents believed this guru might cure the boy’s illness and paid for the special treatment session.
Hongchi Xiao’s website promotes has ‘Paida-Lajin’ as a “self-healing” slapping and stretching therapy. He tours the world from Seattle to Germany to Indonesia claiming to have cured dozens of illnesses including diabetes.
He has faced police questioning before over his practises. In 2011 he was asked to leave Taiwan for violating medical treatment laws. He was also fined in 2011 for promoting “folk medicine practices” and claimed “diabetics could be cured after seven days of slap massage.”
The website also claims he was reported to police in Beijing over his practices.
This is a horrific case that is difficult to comprehend; there is NO evidence or rationale for this superficial physical treatment of being slapped until you are bruised to be effective against a disease that is related to blood sugar and metabolism. Or any condition for that matter. It’s simply cruel.
Regardless of how Aidan died, it is imperative that the public is aware of the dangers of such outrageous “treatments”.
The question is: should the parents be charged with child abuse? Ignorance and good intentions are no excuse for a child’s death.