It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. One night, early in the morning, your baby goes limp in your arms and you find yourself rushing to the hospital. But here’s the thing, the real ordeal hasn’t even begun yet. For one family in Houston, the nightmare took a turn for the worse.
Dealing with a child’s misdiagnosis is harrowing enough, but when an incorrect diagnosis leads to the loss of custody of a child, the consequences have irrevocable, devastating impact on the child and on the parents. A mother in Houston rushed her 4-month-old boy to the hospital after finding him limp in her arms with his pupils rolling back in his head. Upon arriving at the emergency room, a doctor informed her and her husband that their baby’s symptoms were due to a minimal brain bleed that was probably the result of a head injury during childbirth. The mother was relieved until another figure entered the picture to assess the baby, this time offering much bleaker news. This new doctor claimed that she believed the baby’s symptoms were due to the baby being shaken. This assessment led to the mother and her husband losing custody of their child. A months long legal battle to win back custody of the child then ensued, as well as $200,000 in legal fees and court expenses that these parents were able to scrape together (few parents are in the position to do so when battling the state with unlimited resources).
The diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome that resulted in these parents’ loss of custody of their child was made by a child abuse pediatrician, a member of a small but growing sub-specialty of doctors. This special kind of pediatrician combines medical practice with forensics not only to determine the initial diagnosis of a medical condition, but, also, the circumstances that could have caused it. Of course, these child abuse pediatricians presumably attempt to diagnose correctly incidents of child abuse that caused the condition of the children. And, when they make the correct diagnoses, they can help rescue a child from danger. But when they get them wrong, they can devastatingly tear a family apart and hurt the very children they are supposedly trying to help! The problem with “child abuse pediatricians” is that they work too closely alongside child protective services and their assessments of children become biased, “crossing the line between medical opinion and advocacy.”
To learn more about how this Houston family’s case occurred and about other incidents involving child abuse pediatricians, take the time to go through the article at the link here>
Are you in against government deciding whether your child can get and doctors can provide certain healthcare without your knowledge or consent? If so, then become a member of ParentsUSATM so that we can keep healthcare decisions and authority in your hands and not be taken from you.