Photo courtesy of CBS St. Louis.

by Megan Lynch
CBS St. Louis

KMOX News has reported this week about a teen taken from his mother over disputes about his medical care.

Missouri Family Maintains They’re Victims of Medical Kidnapping

Expert Questions Why Missouri Teen Remains in State Custody

Is it a case of medical child abuse on her part, or a case of “medical kidnapping” by doctors and state officials?

A nationally known author and attorney tells KMOX News she’s worked with parents who know that medical kidnapping is very real.

Beth Maloney has written Childhood Interrupted and Saving Sammy – both about her battle to get a proper diagnosis for her son, who suffered neuropsychiatric disorders as a result of a simple strep infection.

She now advocates for other families.

“These are parents who are taking their children to the emergency room of hospitals because their children are desperately ill and they are trying to find help,” she says.

Instead, Maloney says she’s seen parents who end up on the receiving end of allegations – “medical neglect and doctor shopping, and the next thing you know, the hospital has notified the state and state jumps in and takes custody of the children.”

As you’ve heard on KMOX News, families also are accused of medical child abuse/Munchausen by Proxy – exaggerating or misleading doctors about their child’s medical condition, just so the parent can get attention.

Maloney says in cases where there’s a difficult diagnosis or disputes about proper treatment of rare disorders, parents are vulnerable.

“You go into the emergency room, you really bare your soul, what you have been through with this child, trying to help, the doctors you’ve seen, where you’ve taken them. All that information is used against you,” she says.

Listen to the interviews here.

More about Beth Maloney.