Mothers who take their abused children to the doctor more than once, even for repeated injuries, are accused of medical child abuse, while the real child abusers continue to get away with abusing the children.
There is currently a mother in Ulster County, NY, who hasn’t seen her child for months because of this problem. The child is in the custody of the grandparents because the court is aware of the abusive tendencies of the father, however the father is allowed to have unupervised overnight visitation with the child, who continues to be abused by him during these unsupervised visits, while the protective mother who tried to get help for her daughter has been completely separated and alienated.
The child hasn’t been allowed to come home to her mother and sleep in her own room for over half of the year, and has not even seen her mother in months. This is due to the ruling of the Ulster County Family Court judge presiding over the case, judge Marian O. Mizel, who has recently recused herself from the case, leaving the mother and child unable to have contact, with no end in sight. The mother has never been found to be unfit. However, after an investigation into child abuse, CPS reported to the court that the child should be taken away from both parents and placed in foster care if the grandparents didn’t take over custody. The reasoning for this is because the mother took the child to be examined by doctors after the child repeatedly returned home to her mother with new injuries for weeks from newly reinstated unsupervised visitations with her father. CPS caseworker, Kathleen Cavanagh, investigated the case and reported to the court after a court-ordered investigation. In her report to the court, Kate Cavanagh suggested to the court that it was abusive of the mother to take the child to different doctors and to document the injuries by taking photographs. Ms. Cavanagh neglected to mention to the court that these actions taken by the mother were just what she had advised the mother to do. Meanwhile, the abusive father is still allowed unsupervised contact.
Some fascinating insights are shared in this NewYork Times opinion piece describing a disturbing challenge facing some Parents as they attempt to take an active role in healthcare decision making for their sick children.
Maxine Eichner, author of “The Supportive State: Families, Government, and America’s Political Ideals” and Professor of law at the University of North Carolina, feels ‘lucky’ to have avoided charges of medical child abuse following an 8 year search for answers to her daughters mysterious illness and together with the 186 comments it highlights for me some very important ways in which undocumented healthcare encounters are failing Patients and Carers.
”Few things are tougher for a parent than dealing with a child’s serious medical condition, particularly if it is complicated and hard to diagnose. The parent has to make hard choices about treatment, navigating conflicting advice from doctors or even…
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