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Muda69

'Taking Our Baby to the Hospital Was the Single Most Harmful Decision We Made'

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https://reason.com/2020/01/30/child-services-medical-abuse-wisconsin/#comments

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Last May, John Cox was worried he had accidentally hurt his newly adopted infant by rolling into her when they both dozed off. Erring on the side of caution, he brought her to Children's Wisconsin hospital—where he worked, coincidentally, as a pediatric emergency doctor—just to make absolutely sure she was fine. It turned out she had suffered a minor fracture that is common in babies and heals on its own.

Two weeks later, child protective services declared him a child abuser and took the baby from him and his wife.

The child has been in foster care now for eight months. She is only nine months old.

What happened? According to a remarkable investigative story by NBC's Mike Hixenbaugh, it's possible for the authorities to interpret almost any bump or bruise as evidence of evil intent:

What followed, according to more than 15 medical experts who later reviewed Cox's case, was a series of medical mistakes and misstatements by hospital staff members that has devastated Cox's family and derailed his career. A nurse practitioner on the hospital's child abuse team confused the baby's birthmarks for bruises, according to seven dermatologists who have reviewed the case. A child abuse pediatrician misinterpreted a crucial blood test, four hematologists later said. Then, two weeks after the incident, armed with those disputed medical reports, Child Protective Services took the child.

 

Those misjudgments—and a deep suspicion of all parents with injured kids—led to the child being taken.

"In hindsight," Cox said in a recent interview, "taking her to our own hospital was the single most harmful decision that we made for our baby."

Children's Wisconsin, like many hospitals, has bought into the theory of "sentinel injuries"—the idea that minor bruises can be warning signs of future abuse, so each bruise must be treated as suspicious. But as Hixenbaugh writes:

Several emergency room doctors described an "out of control" child abuse team that is too quick to report minor injuries to authorities and that is too closely aligned with state child welfare investigators. …

Five doctors told a reporter they're even afraid to bring their own children to their hospital after accidental injuries, fearing that a misdiagnosis or miscommunication might lead Child Protective Services to break their family apart.

"This is a disease in our hospital," one physician said. "The way John's case has been mishandled has opened all of our eyes to how big the problem is."

In part, the problem can be traced to the advent of the child abuse pediatrician, who claims to be able to tell adult-inflicted injuries from innocent ones.

"Child abuse pediatricians very often operate under secret contracts with police, child protection, and prosecution offices—never disclosed to the parents bringing their children in for emergency treatment," Diane Redleaf, the legal consultant at Let Grow, tells Reason. "These individuals have been billed as having special superhuman powers to tell abuse from accidents and rare diseases, superior to the powers of other doctors because they 'know child abuse when they see it.'"

Added NBC, which joined The Houston Chronicle in an investigation of this new pediatric specialty:

Some of the doctors have at times overstated the certainty of their conclusions, the investigation found. Child welfare agencies and law enforcement officials often rely on their reports as the sole basis for removing children and filing criminal charges, sometimes in spite of contradictory opinions from other medical specialists.

In Cox's case, the family could afford to get outside doctors to review the records, and many were shaken by what they saw. They pointed out not just several stone-cold mistakes, but how eager the authorities seemed to be to find abuse.

A police detective who grilled both Cox and his wife—Sadie Dobrozsi, also a pediatric doctor—said he didn't understand how the hospital could have concluded they did something wrong. That didn't stop child protective services, though: The authorities insisted on a safety plan for the baby, involving supervised visits monitored by grandparents.

Eventually, child services removed the baby from the home, anyway:

As the caseworker was leaving with the child, Dobrozsi asked what was making them so certain that she and her husband were abusive? The caseworker mentioned a new bruise on the baby's foot.

Mom was completely baffled. She had no idea where that bruise came from, until she obtained her baby's medical records. It turned out the hospital itself had pricked the child's heel for a blood test. The mom didn't know this because she had not been allowed in the room when it happened.=

At this point, the baby is still in foster care. The couple's other two kids are terrified that they may be taken, too. (One keeps his favorite toys in a backpack in case he's suddenly taken away). Now the father faces a possible six years in jail on felony charges of child abuse.

The prosecutor is bolstering his case with a report prepared by a yet another child abuse pediatrician, this one in nearby Minnesota, whom he hired to look over the files. "In summary," this child abuse pediatrician wrote, "there is no explanation for [the baby's] injuries other than trauma."

And yet the trauma of separating an infant baby from her loving parents for months does not seem to concern the authorities.

Sickening.  And yet another abuse of government power over our lives.

Police state indeed. 

I hope the Cox family is able to sue these charlatans,  the doctors (especially the "child abuse pediatricians"), hospitals, police, prosecutor's office, CPS, etc.  for everything they are worth.

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lol, when our oldest was just learning to walk, and all the associated bumps and bruise involved with that, he had an accident where we had to take him to the ER. Similar deal, just wanted him checked out to make sure he was OK. I felt like I was being interrogated by hospital staff, same questions over and over from multiple people. I finally told one guy, the next person that comes in here with these same BS questions is going to find out what abuse is. That was almost 25 years ago. 

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

https://reason.com/2020/01/30/child-services-medical-abuse-wisconsin/#comments

Sickening.  And yet another abuse of government power over our lives.

Police state indeed. 

I hope the Cox family is able to sue these charlatans,  the doctors (especially the "child abuse pediatricians"), hospitals, police, prosecutor's office, CPS, etc.  for everything they are worth.

 

1 hour ago, Impartial_Observer said:

lol, when our oldest was just learning to walk, and all the associated bumps and bruise involved with that, he had an accident where we had to take him to the ER. Similar deal, just wanted him checked out to make sure he was OK. I felt like I was being interrogated by hospital staff, same questions over and over from multiple people. I finally told one guy, the next person that comes in here with these same BS questions is going to find out what abuse is. That was almost 25 years ago. 

You never know; therefore you ask. 

So long as you are in the right, you are in the clear.

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3 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

So long as you are in the right, you are in the clear.

Not according to the story of the Cox family.   I wouldn't call having their child in the custody of the CPS for eight month now "in the clear".   

I take it you don't believe Mr. Cox's story, or the discoveries of the outside doctors?

 

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Unfortunate turn of events for those parents, brought to mind an event that just happened to me and my wife.

My wife went in earlier this month for a "scope into the lungs for a biopsy" (endio-something or another - SF is not a doctor) and upon admitting her, I waited in the waiting room while they took her back to get settled in then the nurse came and got me to come on back.  The nurse (who was a very lovely, cordial and professional person) explained - with my wife in the room - that they do that so they can ask the woman whether she was being abused (without me there) so she would feel safe telling them if I was an abuser.  Fortunately I hadn't irritated her that morning, so it went well........

BTW - the biopsy was negative.....so she can continue to abuse me.....

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10 minutes ago, swordfish said:

Unfortunate turn of events for those parents, brought to mind an event that just happened to me and my wife.

My wife went in earlier this month for a "scope into the lungs for a biopsy" (endio-something or another - SF is not a doctor) and upon admitting her, I waited in the waiting room while they took her back to get settled in then the nurse came and got me to come on back.  The nurse (who was a very lovely, cordial and professional person) explained - with my wife in the room - that they do that so they can ask the woman whether she was being abused (without me there) so she would feel safe telling them if I was an abuser.  Fortunately I hadn't irritated her that morning, so it went well........

BTW - the biopsy was negative.....so she can continue to abuse me.....

WTH?  In the context you just describe such questioning seems completely out of line. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

WTH?  In the context you just describe such questioning seems completely out of line. 

 

The nurse, alone with my wife?  If I were an abuser, my wife would feel safer telling her before I was allowed into the room.  How is that out of line?

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5 minutes ago, swordfish said:

The nurse, alone with my wife?  If I were an abuser, my wife would feel safer telling her before I was allowed into the room.  How is that out of line?

Because you were there for a routine biopsy,  not because your wife tripped, fell, hit her head and now had a nasty bruise and symptoms of a concussion.

 

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2 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Because you were there for a routine biopsy,  not because your wife tripped, fell, hit her head and now had a nasty bruise and symptoms of a concussion.

 

I can only imagine the response I would have gotten had I taken that tack with the nurse.......Possibly would have been typing this from my jail cell......

 

1 hour ago, Impartial_Observer said:

@swordfish when did you stop abusing your wife?

🤣 Now that's funny right there.......Her brothers told me back while we were dating, you ever raise a hand to hurt her, they won't find your body......To which I responded, don't worry, I taught her how to use a gun......and after we were married, she actually out-shot me at trap shooting at my cousins house, in front of my relatives.....And I was a really good shot too.....I certainly wouldn't mess with Annie Oakley Jr.

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