Rodica Radita, 51, and Emil Marian Radita, 62, of Calgary have been charged with first-degree murder.
Police earlier said their son, Alexandru Radita, died of a bacterial infection stemming from neglect and starvation due to Type 1 diabetes.
They allege his parents did not provide him with proper medical treatment and, when his health declined, confined him to his room.
The couple, at the urging of friends, called an ambulance for the teen last May, said police. When officers arrived at the home, the boy was dead.
Officers wouldn't provide details of the boy's condition when he was discovered, but described it as "extreme."
They said Alexandru had been diagnosed with diabetes several years earlier, when the family lived in British Columbia, and his parents had been taught how to treat him with insulin.
The parents have seven other children, most who are adults, and police said there's no evidence they were neglected.
Alexandru was being home-schooled and the family had little interaction with the community, police said.
Dr. Jan Hux, chief science officer at the Canadian Diabetes Association, said people with Type 1 diabetes don't produce insulin on their own and are completely dependent on injections.
If they don't take insulin, "the nutritional benefit of food is lost," said Hux. "The person starves even though they may be eating."
She said some people's bodies may try to make other kinds of fuel, but that can produce harmful byproducts. Sugars trapped in the bloodstream can also lead to dehydration and kidney failure.
People also become more susceptible to infections and less capable of fighting them, the doctor said.
"A person who is malnourished, over time, will experience skin breakdown and loss of muscle tone, which may further elevate the risk of getting infection. These conditions, if untreated, may lead to death."Suggest a correction