Florida mom jailed for refusing treatment for dehydrated newborn

Sarah Anne Markham
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The mother of a dehydrated newborn is in jail for not admitting the boy to the hospital.

Sarah Anne Markham, 23, of Casselberry, Florida, was arrested Tuesday when police say she refused to have the 12-day-old boy treated with non-vegan medicine.

"There was a newborn that was brought into a doctor's office that was dehydrated and the doctor at time said needed to be taken immediately to the hospital where they reserved a bed," said Casselberry Police Cpl. Kristine Pamatian.

The arrest report states Markham said she wanted a second opinion on treatment for her child and went home. The doctor called a state hotline that sent officers to the mother's home, but she didn't answer the door.

"Officers were forced to gain entry into the residence which they did meet with mother and look over the child," Pamatian said.

Markham told police she wanted to pursue a religion-based treatment and did not believe her son was dehydrated. She said she had contacted a "natural" doctor, but had few details about him, then, police she became "argumentative and defensive at times."

Police say she also did not give her son the formula or medicine that was given to her for her son by a pediatrician.

"She wanted a second opinion, she wanted to go a holistic type doctor she did no want her child ingesting medications that she felt had animal by-products in it," Pamatian said.

Markham was arrested on neglect charges and her son was taken to a hospital.