It wasn't that long ago that I had the opportunity to play Donald Trump right here at home. It all began with a few pediatric specialists, so arrogant that they refused to take my phone calls, forgetting that they work for me and not I for them. That sort of behavior is no way for a team to advance. So, with great confidence, I both wrote letters and made phone calls proclaiming, "You're fired!"
Despite the incredible stress of being pushed to this crossroads, it was equally as liberating when we found new specialists who actually listened to us and treated us with respect. We have made great strides medically since that time.
Given this personal narrative, you can imagine my horror when I learned the story of a pediatric neurologist, formerly from my area, who was creating great trouble for dissenting parents of patients in her new location. Evidently, this woman is known to be a tremendous fan of large doses of medication for children who are hospitalized with seizure disorders. If a parent disagrees with that course of treatment, this doctor makes life MORE than unpleasant for them.
The latest horror has our local parents who have had the misfortune of encountering this specialist in saddened upset. It involves a child in California who was hospitalized with cluster seizures. When the parents of this child asserted themselves because her seizures were worsening with the increase of medication, they were turned in to Child Protective Services for medical neglect.
|Photo image via Pray for Kennedy May Facebook Page|
While the parents in this situation were able to avert an even worse situation just in time, not everyone is equally as fortunate. Remember back to the piece we wrote about Justina Pelletier a little over a year ago? Her parents encountered such trauma when they brought their daughter to the ER, with medical personnel having her removed from their custody for over a year. It wasn't until her father violated his court order and broke his silence, gaining media attention, that this young lady was finally returned to her rightful caregivers.
It seems that "medical kidnapping," or the usurping of parents' rights has become a terrible trend in this country. While we would all agree that there is value to a doctor reporting true child abuse, this misuse of mandatory reporting for a difference of opinion on how treatment should proceed MUST stop!
Think this is just one rare case in a sea of children's health care? This is happening with an alarming increased frequency. Another recent story of "medical kidnapping" because of a parent dissenting about breastfeeding involves the Giwa family of Texas. The insanity continues as CPS officials admit they have no diagnosis for the Giwa's child. These highly educated immigrants to the United States (mom even has a PhD in special education) now find themselves begging to be a part of their son's life.
The advance of medicine, especially in pediatric subspecialties has seemingly created a real adversarial relationship between doctors and parents. One of the hallmarks of American health care has always been choice. When specialists proclaim themselves as the infallible, ultimate authority on a course of treatment, options are removed from the end user of medical care. Given the high cost we all pay for that care, this should never be.
Furthermore, God gives these precious children to us -- NOT the doctors, NOT the schools, and NOT the government. We must unite as parents, remaining aware and mutually supportive to prevent situations like this from continuing. We have enough trauma and trials in raising these remarkable children without worrying about a self-righteous physician threatening to take our children away.
~ Barb Dittrich
*Sources: "CPS Threatens to Kidnap 7 Year Old In California When Parents Try to Transfer to Different Hospital," and "CPS takes custody of 19-month-old accuses parents of medical neglect."