Health Impact News Editor Comments
Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) helps defend parents who chose to educate their children at home from medical tyranny and abuse. They are a non-profit organization that depends on contributions and membership fees to provide free legal representation. They have successfully litigated cases on parental rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
HSLDA recently announced they had taken on a case in Virginia where social workers removed two children from the home where they lived with their parents over a fake psychological diagnosis.
Social Workers Snatch Sick Kids
HSLDA Seeks Justice for Mom Accused of Faking Her Kids’ Illness
by HSLDA 
When parents have a sick child, the last thing they should have to worry about is being falsely accused of child abuse. Unfortunately, this appears to be a more and more frequent pattern in the United States.
HSLDA is undertaking a new case that reveals a very troubling example of this problem. Any of us could be this family. We could be the parents falsely accused of abuse. We could be the ones who have our children removed from us at the very moment when they most need us—when they are genuinely ill.
Lane Funkhouser, his wife Susan, and their two children (whom we will call James and Kat) were all very sick. They went to their family doctor, who was unable to diagnose the problem.
Because the children were not getting better, their attendance at public school became an issue. So Lane and Susan decided that they would homeschool James and Kat while they searched for a diagnosis and treatment.
School officials filed truancy charges against the family, which were quickly dismissed. But, as a result of these charges, the family became embroiled with a social worker named Michael Austin, an investigator for the Clarke County, Virginia, Department of Social Services (DSS).
Austin is not a doctor. He is not a nurse. He is not a psychologist. He is not a medical professional of any stripe.
But Austin determined that Susan was suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This outdated term refers to a psychological disorder in which a parent contends that her child is ill to draw attention to herself. It is extremely rare, and it requires a proper diagnosis by a qualified professional.
There’s one thing we know for sure about this case: laboratory results showed that the children were actually sick with difficult-to-treat illnesses, and it was not the result of Munchausen by proxy.
On July 25, 2012, Shenandoah County social workers removed James and Kat Funkhouser from their home. Lane and Susan were cooperative, thinking the social workers were simply helping transport the children to the hospital for additional treatment. But that’s not what happened.
A week later, the social workers showed up in court to defend their decision to take away the Funkhouser children. Even though they now had medical confirmation that the children were actually sick and that Susan wasn’t just making up stories to get attention, the judge allowed them to continue the investigation and keep the children in foster care.
Read the Full Story here .
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