The bill Rep. Wilson introduced today states that a parent cannot be charged with Medical Child Abuse for disagreeing with medical advice and choosing treatment of another doctor. Yeah. We’re there.
You might remember the well publicized ordeal of Justina Pelletier. It seemed like a fluke of injustice, an isolated case. … rather than receiving discharge papers, parents were charged with “Medical Child Abuse” the new term that has replaced Munchausen by Proxy (MSbP). Mr. Pelletier was surrounded by agents of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), hospital security and ushered off the premises– Justina became a ward of the state for 16 months and her health deteriorated.
Michelle Rider, the 34-year-old registered nurse and single mother of Isaiah Rider … told PJ Lifestyle just why we have a hard time accepting this is happening.
[quote]“We are taught that hospitals are safe, that doctors are safe, and DCFS intervenes when intervention is needed. So when we accept the fact that this is really happening– we are accepting that we are not safe, and our children are not safe.”
Much of Isaiah’s childhood was spent in the hospital. … born with the genetic condition Neurofibromatosis, (NF1) his seemingly endless cycles of hospitalizations began at the age of six with a fractured leg. Annual surgeries became part of the rhythm of their lives. With rods put in and taken out of his leg, enduring multiple complications, suffering a damaged growth plate, and then a foot that stopped growing, Isaiah was left with a painful and deformed limb.
By the age of age 15 Isaiah was ready to do whatever it took to live a normal, and pain-free life. According to his doctors, this required a below the knee amputation.
Isaiah was excited at the thought of being able to run again. His ongoing care had come from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where Isaiah and Michelle also went to classes to prepare them for life after the amputation. …
… They couldn’t have prepared for what came next.[/quote]
This case is, sadly, not unique except in the specifics of the disease (unusual/rare diseases seem to be a common denominator in many of the cases I’ve heard of) and degree of trauma suffered by the child as a result of doctors’ pride, the way mandatory reporting laws are often written, and social workers. Mandatory reporting laws, which obligate doctors (among others) to report possible child abuse define “possible” flexibly, and forbid mandatory reporters to investigate what they noticed or otherwise use their judgment. Too often in practice, and sometimes in court, CPS/DSS/etc. social workers act as investigator, prosecutor, jury, judge, and executioner. In at least one court case a DSS social worker tried to argue that DSS social workers are not subject to the 4 Amendment (even the 9th Circus Court didn’t buy that!).
To be clear, there are some good and overworked people in government social services (the overworked ones are probably picking some of the slack of the promotion-seeking arrogant ones!). There are enough arrogant and tyrannous CPS/DSS/etc. social workers “out there” to make a lot of families miserable.