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November 10, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

It’s happening in Massachusetts, California, Illinois and now Texas. Children are being taken from parents by state child welfare employees who claim the parents are neglecting the children’s medical needs. Here’s a recent case (KCBD, 10/31/14). Of course, in certain cases, parents may well not be doing the right thing in dealing with medical issues their children are undergoing. But it’s no surprise that, in many cases, child protective services seize on the slightest of pretexts to take children from parents.

In the case linked to, Texas mother Lorie Blalock says all she did was ask for a second opinion and, before she knew it, she was refused permission to have any contact with her newborn daughter.

The child has a rare condition called Pierre Robin Sequence that involves a cleft soft pallet.

A Monahans woman is doing everything she can to get her child back after she says Child Protective Services took her daughter without a full investigation. She says CPS took her baby girl from her while in a Lubbock hospital, a term she and many other internet bloggers are calling “medical kidnap.”

The woman says this all started when she asked for a second opinion on the procedures and formulas being used. At that point she says doctors began saying she was being quote “difficult” and was neglecting her child's medical needs.

“They had no proof that I was neglecting my child, that I wasn't giving medications,” said baby Kathryn's mother Lorie Blalock...

Blalock says she refused to give her child formula preferring organic milk instead because she was concerned about the chemicals used. Then, after been poked and prodded with multiple spinal taps that resulted in no definitive answers, she spoke up and asked for a second opinion.

“If we don't speak up for our kids, who will? I don't feel that that's neglect, or hindering what a doctor is trying to do to help your child by looking for the best option before making a decision,” said Blalock.

It’s not only not medical neglect, failing to request a second opinion for a serious medical procedure could be considered that. But a similar thing happened last year in California when parents of an infant removed him from a hospital for a second opinion that turned out to contradict that of the doctors at the hospital. That too was considered “medical neglect” requiring the child being taken from the parents.

Something similar happened in Illinois when a mother had her son taken from her for asking for a second opinion in the treatment of his condition involving painful tumors on his nerve endings.

In Massachusetts, two parents lost their daughter for over a year because one set of doctors disagreed with another set about her diagnosis and treatment. The parents agreed with the first set and the second called CPS which took the child from the parents.

And of course there’s the case of Marianne Godboldo in Detroit. She lost her daughter for months, under circumstances that offend every concept of due process of law, because CPS decided she should be giving the girl a powerful psychotropic medication. Godboldo refused and the child was taken into care and placed in a mental hospital where — lo and behold! — doctors did exactly what Godboldo had been doing (not giving the medication), and the girl’s condition improved.

In Blalock’s case, as in all the others, the doctors and CPS claim she’s not competent to care for her daughter.

Doctors eventually contacted CPS stating that Lorie was medically neglecting her child and is unable to provide her medical needs. CPS tells CBS 7 that Kathryn was removed because her Mom was unable to provide adequate medical care. CPS also says that Kathryn's mom and the dad continued to provide information that contradicts diagnosis and recommendations regarding her medical conditions resulting in concerns regarding their understanding of her medical diagnosis, treatment plans, and physician's recommendations, as well as their ability or willingness to follow these recommendations.

But Blalock strongly disagrees.

“But I was giving those meds correctly, and I have witnesses and even showed them how I gave the meds, which is the exact way the hospital showed me,” said Blalock...

“I'm willing to take any counseling, anything they want me to do to prove that I'm a good parent, that I can take care of my child, that I have the knowledge to take care of my child, but I'm never going to admit to something I didn't do,” said Blalock.

Just when parents’ behavior regarding a child’s medical care lapses from an understandable disagreement with treating doctors into true medical neglect can be tricky to decide. Some doctors have a way of being overly certain that their way is not only the right way, but the only way. Some resist having their diagnoses and treatment plans questioned by others, particularly non-medical personnel.

By the same token, parents who aren’t trained in medicine don’t always know what’s best for their kids.

Still, it should come as no surprise that states seem to be using legitimate differences of opinion between doctors and parents to expand their power over family life and parental decision-making. After all, they’ve been doing so for decades in non-medical situations.

And it’s further no surprise that doctors seem to be relying more and more on CPS to enforce their medical opinions.

It all adds up to a further steady erosion of parental rights and a corresponding increase in state power. Like it or not, that seems to be what’s happening.

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National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#medicalneglect, #medicalkidnapping, #childprotectiveservices, #secondopinion

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