Murder charge on nursing mom a medical, legal muddle

A charge of second-degree murder against an Edmonton mother in the death of her 11-day old infant may become a medical and legal muddle over what a nursing mother may take after birth. Police say that the levels of methamphetamine found in Michelle Rice’s baby daughter are too high to have been delivered through the mother’s milk. Nursing mothers have been given methamphetamine in tests causing small quantities of certain salts to pass into milk. And fatal drug overdoses by way of mother’s milk have been recorded in Canada. The Canadian Press story does not say if Rice had been prescribed methamphetamine. Edmonton police got a call on March 29 of a baby not breathing at the Rice residence near 72 Street and 83 Avenue. The medical examiner’s office contacted police on April 6 after autopsy and toxicology tests confirmed the baby died from a lethal dose of the drug. Ms. Rice was arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree murder. The woman is said to have a young son who is staying with his biological father. Even as they ruled out breast feeding police conceded they don’t yet know how the baby girl ingested the drug.