Child Abuse Pediatricians: An "Ethically Bankrupt" Profession that Destroys Families"I do not think that you can get a fair child abuse trial before a jury anywhere in the country… I do not care how sophisticated or law smart jurors are, when they hear that a child has been abused, a piece of their mind closes up, and this goes for the judge, the jurors, and all of us. …we do not care whether it is the right individual or not. Somebody should be punished for this heinous crime." –Abner Mivka, Former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals/District of Columbia Circuit Judge Mikva’s assertion, that child abuse might affect jury verdicts, is used to illustrate “generic prejudice.” But it’s not just judges and juries that are prejudiced. Child abuse pediatricians, doctors, their institutions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the entire system of Child Protective Services (CPS) and law enforcement are all too often guilty of generic prejudice as well. As thousands of innocent families increasingly become subject to heinous accusations of child abuse by pediatricians and doctors, the tragedy of false accusations and convictions is increasing. But the medical and child protection system’s lack of impartiality is just the tip of the iceberg. More shocking are the many ways in which the medical profession and its child abuse pediatric specialty hide stereotyping, arrogance, abuse of authority and twisted “science” when it claims to “diagnose” child abuse – which is in fact a legal allegation, not truly a medical diagnosis. With agonizing slowness, as families’ stories are told, some are finally beginning to look more closely and question the assumptions on which child abuse pediatrics are based.
Child Abuse Pediatricians: An "Ethically Bankrupt" Profession that Destroys Families
What an excellent, well researched piece, well done MK!
You covered all the bases well, the only thing to discuss now is where do we go from here. As a person who has helped families for over a decade, and faced down Child Abuse Pediatricians, I can say that you really have to experience it for yourself to believe it.
I remember a "Re-enactment" where a Pediatrician in Ireland stood before the assembled Police, Doctors and social workers. He was asked how he believed the baby had received 21 "fractures". He theorized that the baby was violently shaken. Knowing the babies complete history even before birth, and having access to all the MRI scans, I asked him, well if the baby was shaken hard enough to break the femur, the strongest bone in the body, where is the Subdural Bleeding, where is the Retinal Hemorrhage and where is the Axonal Injury? He didn't have an answer. I then turned around to a Detective and asked him, "which is more delicate, the Brain or the Bones? so I said "so we can throw out the Shaken Baby" Theory for a start", the Detective smiled.
Any other theories? "Maybe he was beaten?", I replied that this baby had been sick every day of his life, he had been taken to doctors almost daily, he had been seen by Community Health Nurses regularly, and nobody ever saw a bruise or a scratch on the baby since birth. Again, I turned to the Detective, "How do you break a bone without leaving a bruise or a scratch?". I then turned to the doctor and asked him had he ran certain tests? I had already send every scrap of medical evidence to experts and they had been given a list of tests that must be ran to check for Rickets, Vitamin D disorders and numerous other conditions, the Mother also needed to be tested as she had been almost exclusively breastfeeding, he hadn't ran the test and scoffed; "Rickets is something that only existed years ago in deepest, darkest Africa." I told him I would report him to the Medical Board for misdiagnosis and not keeping current with Medical Science, I was ordered out of the hospital at that point but followed closely by the Police who were laughing. I asked the detective to make a report on what happened, he said don't worry I recorded it. He also said the doctor was clearly out of his depth.
Not that my intervention did much good, social workers took the baby from the hospital and placed him in Foster "Care". The parents had hired a lawyer, so I wouldn't be allowed in court. I wrote out all the questions and arguments for the lawyer, I said the most important thing we needed was a second opinion, the judge was told by the parents that their baby could die. The case was clearly being mishandled, how could they discharge a baby with 21 "fractures" (but no pain or bruises) from a hospital to Foster "Care"? The accusing doctor never even showed up in court and a social worker gave medical "testimony", the judge even refused the second opinion. Police didn't investigate further so no criminal charges were laid. In the end the doctor wouldn't testify in court and because their whole case against the parents was falling apart, the baby was returned months later. The baby actually improved in "Care", probably because he was fed baby food, so obviously Vitamin D was a factor. It was later found that the mother had a genetic disorder, something I had suspected as she had previously had a miscarriage because of Anencephaly, her baby was developing without a skull and had obvious bone issues, which I pointed out, but once that doctor locked onto a conclusion of abuse, facts would not sway his opinion.
You have to get into the mindset of these people, they are saving children from abuse, there is no more courageous act of heroism than to save a baby. I've done this myself, I have saved many babies as a Paramedic and saved many more from a life in State "Care". I have to stay objective at all times, if I don't a baby could be harmed by a parent I am helping to defend. In my work as an advocate, I work for the child, not the parent. Its not sufficient to prove that something happened, you have to prove that it could not have happened by any other means. However proving that something didn't happen is almost impossible, you cant prove or disprove a negative. Then in Family Courts, a child can be removed forever on no more than an accusation.
I sleep very well at night but I have to wonder how people like Alice (pictured above), sleep at all. I have wondered how social workers can harm children by removing them from innocent parents, lie through their teeth and perjure themselves in court to keep children in their "Care", where they are at far higher risk. I pray that I never lose objectivity and become a danger to children by believing that every parent I help is innocent. I am not a hero, I never want to be heroic, I just try to be objective, I am happy in the knowledge that many children are being raised by their parents today, rather than being having their life destroyed in "Care". The only way I see this Moral Panic of child abuse ending is when people fight back against these doctors, self appointed heroes. Every time a baby is misdiagnosed, the doctor should face a Fitness to Practice Committee. Every time a doctor strays out of their training and experience, every doctor who refuses to keep current with Medical Science should be hauled before a panel of their peers, and made to suffer in the same way they have doomed children to a life in "Care". They need to be named and shamed. Parents need to ask pediatricians if they believe that brain damage results from shaking, and if they believe it does, run screaming from them. At risk, is not just the life of your child but also your liberty. Well done for this excellent article.
Child Abuse Pediatricians: An "Ethically Bankrupt" Profession that Destroys Families
NO KIDDING!!! Any one that has been targeted by CPS or what ever they call them selves in other states, KNOW that it"s all about money, State and Fed monies, Thank the Clinton's for making the laws that give bonuses to case workers and supervisors for taking the children out of the house, services, adopting them out, ETC. Doctor by law must report what they think is abuse, They have no clue as to what they are doing to the parents, The local and state police will back CPS to there dying breath, No matter weather ANY evidence is present or not, Just CPS word, The police have internal investigators that have no ties to the police, CPS has NO OVER SITE, so that they can do what ever brings monies into the till. It's all about monies, with the Judges and lawyers that CPS owns, you have NO CHANCE to make your case that you have not done any abuse, Any one can call the 1 800 # and say BLA BLA BLA, the you have CPS swimming up the cutters, Jumping off the roofs screaming there is a mountain, and there is not even a mole hill. This is an civil agency out of control, and they have to be stopped.