The Seebald Case: Legal Harassment of HIV-Positive Parents

Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society

David R. Crowe, President
Phone: +1-403-289-6609
Fax: +1-403-206-7717

Roger Swan, Treasurer
Box 61037, Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4S6
Phone: +1-403-220-0129

The Seebald Case: Legal Harassment of HIV-Positive Parents

[Translation from German]

Legal Charges Against the Seebalds


Legal Proceedings

The public prosecutor of Graz [Austria] accuses
  1. Barbara Seebald
  2. Leonhard Seebald
  1. Barbara Seebald
    1. damaging the health of her daughter Muriel born on February 1st 2009 and causing a serious lifelong illness in form of the beginning of full–blown AIDS from the time she found out she was pregnant (autumn 2008) until May 5th 2009 in Frauental and Graz by:
      1. rejecting taking the prescribed medicine during her pregnancy despite knowing of her HIV infection,
      2. giving birth to her child naturally and at home with the help of a midwife who was not informed about her HIV infection despite the former arrangement with the doctors that the birth should be a Caesarean,
      3. breastfeeding the newborn and
      4. not giving medicine to her daughter;
    2. has caused the danger of spreading an infectious disease which is notifiable according to §2 AIDS–Law 1993 by acting like described at point I.A.;
  2. Leonhard Seebald
    Informing his wife about a wrong medical opinion, i.e. that HIV does not exist, that the prescribed medicine is proven deadly and taking the decisions described above together with his wife;
  3. Barbara and Leonhard Seebald
    Falsely suspecting members of the childrens protection group at the children’s hospital in Graz, namely Prof. Dr. Müller and Prof. Dr. Werner Zenz and members of the “Bezirkshauptmannschaft“ Deutschlandsberg, namely Helmut–Theobald Müller, Mag. Hutter–Zöhrer, Mag. Pichler and Mag. Andrea Barac by accusing them of several criminal acts (fraud, grievous bodily harm, attempted manslaughter, acting as accessory to the attempted manslaughter and coercion).

Through this

  1. Barbara Seebald committed the crime of bodily harm with serious long–term results according to §§ 83 Abs. 1, 85 Z 3 StGB and the crime of wilful endangerment through infectious diseases according §§ 178 StGB.
  2. Leonhard Seebald as a person involved commited the crime of bodily harm with serious long–term results according §§ 83 Abs. 1, 85 Z 3 StGB and the crime of wilful endangerment through infectious diseases according §§ 12, 178 StGB.
  3. Barbara and Leonhard Seebald committed the crime of libelling according to § 297 Abs. 1 StGB and should be punished according to § 28 StGB and § 85 StGB.

Seebald Family History of Events

Barbara Seebald was born in 1969, tested HIV positive in 1989 and took the antiviral drugs for several years.

Leonhard Seebald was born in 1972 and died in 2010. He tested HIV positive in 2004 and took the antiviral drugs from 2006-2007.

June 28th, 1996 – birth of LukasBarbara agreed to the procedures the doctors advised: cesarean section; AZT during birth and 48 days after; and no breastfeeding.
April 3rd, 2003 – birth of ShimaBecause of the experiences during the last birth and because she had found out about the other side of AIDS she wanted to have a house birth for her second child. She was, however, forced by a doctor to go to the hospital. During the birth Barbara was forced by two doctors to agree to the medication of the newborn with AZT. She breastfed the child one year.
June 12th, 2007 – birth of Faye Barbara was forced to have a cesarean section and was not asked if she wanted to give her newborn AZT or not – she was not allowed to decide. For two weeks an employee of the youth welfare department came to the family’s home to control the treatment of Faye with AZT.
February 1st, 2009 – birth of Muriel (house birth) Barbara tested negative during pregnancy and the registration in the “Mutter-Kind-Pass” (“Mother-Child Registration Form”) was also “HIV status: negative”.
February 2009 A socialworker from the youth welfare department came to the home of the family and forced Barbara to stop breastfeeding the baby. She was also forced to agree to a change in her “Mutter-Kind-Pass”, the negative test result was deleted and changed to a positive one. During this procedure two police cars and an ambulance were waiting outside.
April 2009 Muriel had a cough. The paediatrician suggested an examination in the hospital (Thorax radiograph). The doctors could not find anything. They made several examinations. After being informed by the local authorities that the mother was diagnosed HIV positive, they insisted on a lung endoscopy. Muriel had a respiratory arrest, recovering from a coma one week later. During that time she was treated with lots of drugs. The doctors made a chest X-Ray for a second time and a change in the right lung could be recognized. The doctors diagnosed PCP pneumonia. They did also a PCR test and a CD4-test, according to these results the doctors said they were 99% sure that Muriel had AIDS. The chief of the hospital accused Barbara of having transmitted HIV to her child. All the time Barbara was with the baby in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Leonhard was alone at home with the three elder kids. He was exhausted by the whole situation and had a nervous breakdown. The parents asked the youth welfare department for help. The kids were sent to a foster home. The written agreement with the parents was that they were allowed to pick up the children any time and that the stay at the foster home should not last more than three weeks. But the youth welfare department demanded to remove custody rights from the parents. This was based on the illegal drug consumption of the mother (which was 20 years ago). Barbara and Muriel spent four months in the hospital. The children’s protection group of the hospital initiated legal proceedings against Barbara Seebald because they claimed she had caused serious physical injury to her children. They said that the parents have a personality disorder and that they are a danger to their children. Even now there is no proof that Muriel is HIV positive.

June 2009 – HIV TestsThe latest test results for the three older children are all negative. As far as the mother know there had never been an AIDS test for Muriel, or the test result is kept secret.
Dec 22nd, 2009Police officers came to the house of the Seebalds and brought Muriel again to the childrenÕs hospital; Muriel had a light bronchitis and the family doctor tried to intervene, in her opinion there was no reason to bring Muriel to the hospital Š but with no success. In the hospital Muriel was treated with three different antiviral drugs, three different antibiotics and cortisone at the same time. After that Muriel got very sick.
Jan 13th, 2010A court decided that the parents are obliged to secrecy regarding their life, the state of their health and the recent living conditions of their four children. Background: the parents run a webpage on which they publish their case and all papers referring to it.
January 27th, 2010While Barbara was taking a shower in the hospital officials took away the little Muriel. When the mother came back there were several police officers, the district captain and other persons in her room. Nobody informed her where they had taken Muriel.
Feb 9th, 2010The district captain ordered that the three older children at the foster home were not allowed to see their parents anymore (during the last months they were allowed to see them once a week for three hours).

The health situation of Leonhard Seebald became worse. He lost weight and hope. Sometimes he disappeared without saying where he was going and when he would come back.

Mar 26th, 2010The mother was informed about the place where Muriel was brought. The 1 year old is now in a SOS child home near Vienna.
April 2010There had been a visit of the three elder children with their parents for two hours under supervision, and also again two weeks later.
Apr 8th, 2010The mother was allowed to see Muriel for the first time since end of January. Muriel did not recognize her mother. Muriel was no longer able to crawl, the mother estimates the developing delay at eight months.
Apr 27th, 2010The court in Graz punished the parents with a fine/imprisonment because they published the story and details of her their children on her webpage.
May 3rd, 2010They filed a complaint together with three other families against the State of Austria because of torture (politically motivated withdrawal of the rights of custody and compulsive adoption)
May 11th, 2010Leonhard Seebald died, the official cause of death is a lung edema, for the widow the cause of his death is torture (coercion, blackmail, destruction of the family, agony).


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