Like many Americans, Mary Sweeney and Cedric Roberts believed that Child Protective Services was made up of "the good guys," the ones who protect children from bad parents who abuse their children. They didn't realize that a trip to the emergency room puts normal, loving parents at risk of losing their children. Mary wanted to make sure that everything was fine after a simple accidental injury, but the trip to the ER resulted in all 4 of their children being taken from them. It could have happened to anyone. The suburban Chicago couple spent the summer without their children, including infant twins, because a Child Abuse Pediatrician in another state has accused them of abusing one of their babies. The doctor never saw the baby in person. A fracture the doctor diagnosed ended up being a glare on her screen. There was no fracture. It was a mistake. Even so, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) has not returned the children to their parents.
American Academy of Pediatrics’ Failing Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnoses: Use Tyranny When Science Fails
The line between medicine and the justice system has been blurred. Certain doctors, especially those certified as Child Abuse Specialists or Child Abuse Pediatricians, have essentially become judge, jury, and executioner in cases involving Shaken Baby Syndrome and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy allegations. The testimony of one of these doctors can result in a family being ripped apart with the child sent away to foster care or even adopted out by someone else. Parents and grandparents are sentenced to prison, even a lifetime in prison or death row, based on their testimony. Clearly, these doctors have a tremendous amount of power, literally holding the fate of generations within their control. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued a "consensus statement" regarding Abusive Head Trauma (their preferred name for what is more commonly known as Shaken Baby Syndrome). It essentially asserts that there is no question that their way is the right way, that judges and the public need to recognize that they are right, and that anyone who says otherwise is just wrong. Increasingly, attorneys and the public are questioning the assertions made by the doctors who hold themselves up as the ultimate authority over legal matters involving abuse. Cases are being overturned, and innocent parents are being freed. The consensus statement appears to be a response to the plethora of SBS cases being overturned in the courts, a statement to let people know that they are still in charge and that their dogma, to which the authors hold with almost religious fervor, is not to be challenged.
A common denominator in many of the cases of medical kidnapping that we have covered at Health Impact News is the presence of a Child Abuse Specialist doctor. Time and again we have reported stories where a parent takes a child to a hospital for one reason or another, only to find themselves accused of child abuse by a Child Abuse Pediatrician, even when there are real medical conditions present. Once that accusation is made, doctors almost universally stop looking for any other explanation for a child's symptoms, sometimes jeopardizing the health of the child doctors are supposed to be helping. The child is usually separated from his or her parents and is frequently placed in the care of strangers - a practice that, in itself, is harmful to children. Parents tend to assume that the doctors are concerned about finding out what is wrong with their child. They do not expect that they may encounter a doctor whose role aligns more with prosecutors and police officers than it does with the practice of medicine. Defense attorneys in Virginia have recently discovered what could be termed an "unholy alliance" between prosecutors and a child abuse team at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk. According to the Daily Press, the Virginia attorneys are concerned that: "the agreement — which they learned of only recently — makes CHKD doctors part of the “prosecution team” rather than truly independent experts, which they fear could tip the scales of justice." The contracted agreement has been in place since, at least, 2013 in that location. How many other similar contracts exist around the country? Such an agreement could provide a partial explanation for troubling practices that many families have encountered when taking their children to their local children's hospitals where they are medically kidnapped.
California Christian Homeschool Family Torn Apart as Children are Medically Kidnapped, Forced into Public School, and Mother is Forced out of Family Home
When the Daugherty family decided to visit Seattle, Washington, for a 4 day whale watching trip to celebrate their son's 10th birthday, they had no idea that a trip to the emergency room would turn into a nightmare that would rip their family apart. They were more than a thousand miles from home and from their own doctors, when chronically ill Zachary began running a fever and showing signs of an infection. When his parents took him to the emergency room at Seattle Children's Hospital, they blindly walked into a web of controversy involving some of the most notorious Child Abuse Specialist doctors in the country, with connections to Medical Kidnap stories we have published spanning from Boston to Arizona, California, and Washington. California parents Kevin and Erin Daugherty learned that the conflict between Boston area doctors involved with the notorious Justina Pelletier case didn't stay in Boston. It has spread all the way from the East Coast to the West Coast of America. Their son Zachary has been caught in the crossfire of differing philosophies of different doctors. Orange County CPS in California has now seized custody of Zachary and his sister Zoe as well, and these formerly homeschooled children are now forced to attend public school. The children are only allowed to see their mother on supervised visits 4 hours per week, as the state has forced the mother to move out of the family home and separate from her husband against their will.
An Idaho couple has been blindsided by an accusation of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Michael and Chelsea Wolken had a date night and left their 5 month old baby in the care of a trusted babysitter. They knew something wasn't right when they got baby Rylee home that night, but they never dreamed that her symptoms would be diagnosed days later as Shaken Baby Syndrome. The Wolkens have more questions than answers about what happened to make their baby so sick, but one thing they say they are certain of - they didn't shake their baby. A Child Abuse Specialist pediatrician told police and Child Protection Services that the baby's condition had to be caused by abuse, based on his interpretation of x-rays, despite the fact that there were no external signs of trauma, such as a neck injury, bruising, or history of violence in the parents. Since the doctor has made this diagnosis, CPS has taken custody of Rylee and removed Chelsea's other 4 children from the home. And doctors have stopped looking for any other explanation. A very sick baby is now living with strangers in foster care.
Colorado Mom Accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Child’s Death Has Conviction Thrown out After 13 Years
An Alamosa judge has ordered a new trial in the case of Krystal Voss, who was convicted in 2004 of child abuse in the death of her nineteen-month-old son and sentenced to twenty years in prison. The reversal is another setback for advocates of "shaken baby syndrome," a diagnosis that's been used in court to prosecute hundreds of caregivers for abuse over the past three decades but has been attacked by skeptics as junk science. In a 139-page opinion dated August 7, Alamosa District Court Judge Pattie Swift ruled that Voss's conviction should be thrown out because her attorneys at trial failed to summon any medical experts to challenge the prosecution's claim that Kyran Gaston-Voss's death was the result of a violent shaking. The decision comes after new testimony by nationally recognized pediatric specialists that the toddler's injuries, including a devastating brain injury, could have been caused by an accidental fall. At trial, the prosecution's medical expert asserted that the fatal injuries were consistent with a violent shaking. The jury took only six hours to deliver its verdict: guilty of knowing and reckless child abuse resulting in death. Yet the basic premises behind shaken-baby prosecutions — for example, that baby-shaking produces a unique constellation of symptoms, distinct from a short fall — have been under attack for some time, and were even back when Voss went to trial. Dr. Robert Bux, the coroner who conducted the autopsy on Kyran, told Westword in 2003 that he didn't believe in shaken-baby syndrome and found it "difficult to swallow the concept." Yet the defense never called him as a witness to refute the prosecution's medical expert. Voss, has already served thirteen years of her now-vacated twenty-year sentence.
Holly Atkins was devastated last year when she learned that her son had multiple broken bones. A Child Abuse Specialist accused her of abuse without looking for medical conditions that would explain what happened, and Child Protective Services seized both of her children, placing them with her parents and sister. Now North Carolina is demanding that her family cut off all ties to her, including phone calls and social media, or her children will go into foster care and be adopted out. The court appointed GAL attorney advocate, Donna Michelle Wright, reportedly told Holly's parents in family court on March 23: "Act like [your daughter] never existed." This same attorney reportedly told Holly's father previously that: "If Holly's parental rights are terminated, your main priority will have to be the children. Your and Holly's relationship would be no more." While even murderers are allowed visitation with family members, 28 year old Holly is faced with losing the close relationship she has always had with her parents as well as with her 20 year old sister, who lives with her parents. Her sister is being forced to choose between her relationship between her parents and niece and nephew, or her big sister. The Guilford County Family Court has made it clear that she cannot have both. If Holly's parents choose not to sever all contact with their daughter, the court has made it clear that the grandchildren, Baylie and Daylan, will go into the foster care system with the intent of adopting them out to strangers.
As the new pediatric specialty of "Child Abuse Specialist" continues to expand and take children away from parents based on suspected "medical abuse" or "medical neglect," it was inevitable that one of these cases where a child was wrongly taken away from good parents based on the expert opinion of these "Child Abuse" doctors would make its way through the courts. Recently the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that Dr. Claudia Wang, the medical director of UCLA's Suspected Child Abuse and Negligence (SCAN) team, does not have immunity from civil lawsuits. Those of us here at Health Impact News and MedicalKidnap.com believe the Ninth Circuit made the correct ruling, and we truly hope that others will be able to file complaints in Civil Court and prosecute over-zealous pediatric Child Abuse Specialists who wrongfully take children away from loving parents and homes simply based on medical tests. Doctors who make mistakes due to negligence that result in traumatizing children and families, the results of which can affect them for the rest of their lives, should be held accountable for their actions.
Parents in Michigan traveled to Ann Arbor Michigan this week to protest medical kidnappings, where doctors conspire with Child Protection Services to take children away from parents based solely on a doctor's opinion of "medical abuse." The protest took place at the University of Michigan Board of Regents.
A parent’s worst nightmare happened on July 10, 2015 in Spartanburg, South Carolina for the Headley family. The Spartanburg County Police walked right in the front door of the Headley’s home while Danielle and her four boys were sleeping. William Headley had left for work earlier that morning and the front door was unlocked because the family felt safe in their community. Danielle stated that a female officer, later identified as Investigator Tracy Moss, walked into her bedroom and asked if she was Danielle Headley. Danielle replied that she was. Danielle states: “The cops busted into my house, didn’t knock or identify themselves. She (the investigator) said they have a search warrant and you need to get up and get up now!” Investigator Moss proceeded to demand that Danielle remove Jack from the crib in her room, unhook his feeding tube and bring him into the family’s living room. When Danielle walked into the living room, her three older boys were lined up on the couch. Danielle stated that: “Apparently she got my kids from their bedrooms before she came into my room.” According to Danielle, there were five or six officers to assist executing a search warrant for all electronics and medications in their home. The Emergency Removal Order served on that day states that they were contacted by Greenville Health System, Dr. Nancy Henderson, and the Headley’s four children needed to be removed due to mother being suspected of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Danielle had made the mistake of asking for a referral to another hospital for their youngest boy, who has had health problems since he was born. Now, all four of her boys have been kidnapped by the State, and they are threatening to vaccinate the youngest boy who has health problems tomorrow against the parents wishes, even though he is known to have severe reactions to vaccines.