April 29th, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
This story should warm Mary Elizabeth Williams' heart. Williams of course is the Salon.com blogger who recently informed her readers that "we" all need to get over the idea that parents should be the ones caring for children. According to Williams, and her partner in silliness, Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC, "the community" should be the one to do that job. As I've pointed out since, neither Williams nor Harris-Perry ever explained just why parents shouldn't care for their children. I can only assume the two consider the statement indisputable and therefore in need of no support. Needless to say, they didn't ask any actual parents for feedback on the idea. Nor did they let readers know just who this "community" is that's supposed to start caring for the nation's 74.2 million children under the age of 18. Hey, when you have such a brilliant idea, it's OK to let someone else work out the details
So I provided one article on just who that community might be. It's the one that's already in place, known in many states as Child Protective Services (National Parents Organization, 4/22/13). My previous article was about a British couple who were horribly abused by the Heringey council and thier child welfare
goons civil servants. They were terrorized for weeks by child welfare personnel based solely on an utterly baseless anonymous complaint. The mother, it seems, made the mistake of complaining about the couple's abuse by investigators, so the pair were immediately targeted as troublemakers and subjected to threats to take the child and, potentially, have her placed for adoption. All of that was in frank violation of applicable regulations for the conduct of child welfare investigations, but children's services couldn't have cared less. They ran roughshod over two perfectly fit and loving parents because they maintained the attitude common to many bureaucrats whose behavior is subject to no meaningful discipline - "we can do anything we want and no one can stop us."
Eventually those parents got their child back and, to their everlasting credit, sued the Heringey council and won an award of damages. I doubt that will have much effect on the future conduct of childrens services, but the couple did what they could.
That was one example of the actions of the "community" about whose "care" of children Williams and Harris-Perry are so thrilled. Here's another closer to home (ABC News10, 4/25/13).
Sacramento mom and dad, Anna Nikolayev and husband Alex have a little son they named Sammy. Sammy has a heart murmur, but apparently not one that risks his health. At age five months, he got the flu, so his mother and father took him to Sutter Memorial Hospital. Sutter kept him what seems to me an inordinate period of time - two weeks - during which Anna began to get the idea that Sammy wasn't getting the best of care.
For example, one day Anna asked why a nurse was giving her son antibiotics.
"I asked her, for what is that? And she's like, 'I don't know.' I'm like, 'you're working as a nurse, and you don't even know what to give to my baby for what,'" Anna explained.
According to Anna, a doctor later said Sammy shouldn't have been on the antibiotics.
That type of negligence would give any caring parent pause. After all, hospitals make mistakes in care every day. Studies of the American health care system mark up a troubling number of deaths to medical negligence. The Journal of the American Medical Association puts the number at 230,000 per year just from hospital negligence alone.
Plus, two weeks in the hospital for the flu sounds a lot like the behavior of a business enterprise that's trying to increase its billings. That take on the situation is corroborated by the fact that hospital personnel wanted to put Sammy into pediatric ICU in advance of performing heart surgery.
At that point, Anna took the baby out of Sutter Memorial without being discharged and over to Kaiser Permanente for a second opinion. Her entirely reasonable action apparently didn't sit well with someone at Sutter. My guess is that at least part of the reason is that doctors at Kaiser said Sammy looked fine and sent him home with Anna and Alex.
Medical records from the doctor treating Sammy at Kaiser Permanente said the baby as (sic) clinically safe to go home with his parents. The doctor added, "I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents."
And when that happens, some skeptics, like those who work at health insurance companies, might start asking questions about the lengthy course of care Sammy was getting at Sutter. They might also decide the treatment wasn't reasonable and necessary, and not to pay the bills. At this point, I'm going to guess that threat to getting paid is what motivated Sutter to call the police. Sutter told the police that the Nikolayevs were neglecting their son's care, the police dutifully showed up at Kaiser, found out what the situation was and went away.
"The police showed up there. They saw that the baby was fine," Anna said. "They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms."...
"So police saw the report from the doctors, said, 'okay guys, you have a good day,' and they walked away," Anna said.
But that wasn't' the script Sutter was reading from. Apparently, the idea that there was nothing about Sammy that needed lots of expensive medical attention didn't sit well with them. Certainly Anna and Alex's assertion of their rights as parents didn't. So Sutter tried again. With Alex, Anna and Sammy at home the next day, the police showed up again, this time in the company of Child Protective Services.
"I was pushed against the building, smacked down. I said, 'am I being placed under arrest?' He smacked me down onto the ground, yelled out, 'I think I got the keys to the house,'" Alex said.
Then police let themselves inside.
On home video shot with a camera Anna set up herself, police can be seen entering her front door on Wednesday.
"I'm going to grab your baby, and don't resist, and don't fight me ok?" a Sacramento police officer said in the video.
"He's like, 'okay let your son go,' so I had to let him go, and he grabbed my arm, so I couldn't take Sammy. And they took Sammy, and they just walked away," Anna said.
At this point, the police aren't talking and CPS claims it's a case of "severe neglect." That's "severe neglect" of the kind the Kaiser doctor didn't notice in giving the little lad a clean bill of health. That's "severe neglect" whose real meaning is "we can do anything we want to and no one can stop us." CPS claimed "We conduct a risk assessment of the child's safety and rely heavily on the direction of health care providers."
Well, some of the health care providers. Did they consult the Kaiser doctor? Apparently not. But one thing is certain, little Sammy has been taken from his parents and shifted into the care of - can you guess? - Sutter Memorial Hospital. It looks like they're going to get paid after all.
Meanwhile, the Nikoleyevs have gotten the message.
"It seems like parents have no right whatsoever," Alex said.
Just the way Mary Elizabeth Williams likes it.
Thanks to Jerry for the heads-up.
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