Rebecca Hernandez. Courtesy of WAFF.

Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

Another case where a false drug test was used as justification to medically kidnap a newborn baby and separate the infant from the mother, during one of the most crucial times when a baby needs to bond with their mother just after birth.

WAFF 48 News in Huntsville, Alabama, picked up the story.

A Huntsville mom and her doctor fear poppy seed bread may be the reason she no longer has custody of her 2-day-old baby boy. Rebecca Hernandez was given a drug test after her delivery at Crestwood Medical Center Tuesday. According to her doctor, the screening showed traces of opiates in her system.

“This is a nightmare for the whole family,” said Hernandez. “Ya know, a newborn baby has to be close to mom. They have to be with the mom. That’s the most important time in their life to be close to the mom when they’re just born.”

Through the help of her doctor, Hernandez learned the poppy seed bread she had eaten the day before may have caused a false positive.

Dr. Yashica Robinson, Hernandez’s doctor, said same day drug screenings are a problem and wants hospitals to rely on laboratory confirmed tests.

Poppy seeds derive from the opium plant, but can eating them flip a drug test positive?

“Screening tests can have what we call false-positive results where other things can interfere,” explained Robinson. “You can have a substance that a patient eats. Like in this case, poppy seeds can make them test positive for opioids.”

Hernandez and her doctor say they understand policy but want hospitals to wait for the confirmatory test before children are taken away.

The newborn’s screening test results were negative for opiates, according to Robinson.

Hernandez and her doctor say their issue isn’t specific to Crestwood. They want policy changes at all hospitals.

When WAFF posted the story on social media, they say the story was exposed to tens of thousands of people who read it, and they received hundreds of comments from people saying they had experienced similar experiences with Child Protective Services.

Why the hospital tested Ms. Hernandez for drugs, and whether or not Ms. Hernandez agreed to the drug testing, is not known. She spoke to reporters via a Spanish interpreter.

See Also:

Alabama Lab Owner Arrested for Falsifying Results of Drug Tests Used to Medically Kidnap Children


Medical Kidnapping eBook