California Parents Lose Custody of 2-Year Old Daughter When Asking for a Second Opinion Before Removing Child’s Kidney
They thought they had the right to get a second opinion. They thought they had the right as parents to have proof of a diagnosis before agreeing to a treatment plan. When California parents Leah Beabout and Christopher Vega asked for medical evidence before doctors remove their 2 year old daughter's kidney, the hospital called Child Protective Services and seized custody of their child. It is the kind of thing that they, like most parents, thought "couldn't happen in America." But as we at Health Impact News have seen and documented, medical kidnappings like this happen regularly all over the United States of America. According to Leah: "I brought my daughter Grace Alleluia to the ER on vacation. Two weeks later, she has NO MOTHER, NO diagnosis, NO symptoms other than having lost 2 lbs, a large incision in her belly and a PORT hole in her chest for chemo she might not even need, a catheter in urinary tract, a breathing tube!??" A child who has never even had a baby-sitter before has been separated from her parents at what may be the most frightening time in her life, the very time that she needs her mommy and daddy the most. Leah says: "The hospital just didn't want us interfering with what they wanted to do and we were asking too many questions." As Grace's parents who love her and want the best for her, Leah and Chris simply wanted: 1. a valid second opinion, 2. the ability to make an informed decision as to treatment plan, including the right to choose the facility to treat her and the course of action to take, and 3. the right to have evidence of a diagnosis before agreeing to treatment. Do parents no longer have this right? If doctors don't want to provide these answers to the parents responsible for their child's care, is the new normal to call Child Protective Services and do the procedures they want to do anyway?