The public view hospitals as one of the most trusted institutions in our society. This is for great reasons as hospitals help people get well. It is where parents go to receive the most important medical treatment for their ailing children. Hospitals commend much deserved respect from our society. Hospitals can be the haven that many people imagine them to be. However, there is another side to the hospital care of children that may surprise some and shock others.
According to a story by Elizabeth Chen and John Benefield of CNN, the Mayo Clinic held a young girl named Alyssa Gilderhus. The Hospital determined she could not make her own medical decisions due to her tender years. The Hospital slowly started isolating her from her family. This isolation caused her family to take the young girl out of the Mayo Hospital and place her in another hospital where the staff would work with the family. The staff at the second Hospital disagreed with the Mayo Clinic’s evaluation, treatment regime, and diagnosis of the young child. The Mayo Clinic tried to gain legal custody of Alyssa as well. This story has opened the door for families to be concerned about hospitals holding their children for extended periods of time. The incident at the Mayo Clinic is not the only time an event like this has happened before.
According to Michelle Malkin of the National Review, a 15-year-old named Justina Pelletier was held at Boston Children’s Hospital for a year and a half. During that period, “Justina was taken from her parents and rediagnosed with a psychological condition called “somatoform disorder.” She was taken from Boston Children’s Hospital neurology department to its psych ward. She was reprimanded for being unable to move her bowels or walk unassisted in her weakened state. Later Christina was placed at Wayside where she was harassed by a staff person during a shower. The physical and mental torture lasted 16 months.” (Malkin). This story made international news, and even led to some people organizing a DDoS attack on Boston Children’s Hospital.
According to Brian Shilhavy of MedicalKidnap.com, there are many stories of hospitals holding patients against their will. Health Impact News reported about how Maryanne Godboldo, a resident of Detroit, had her daughter taken away from her home by swat officers armed with a tank after a 10-hour standoff. Her daughter had her foot amputated at a young age and wanted to start going to school. Because of this, she had to catch up on immunizations. After she got her immunizations and started taking Risperdal, her behavior changed. Her mother believed she was having an adverse reaction to the medication and immunizations, so she stopped giving them to her daughter. DCF disagreed and wanted to force her daughter to take the medication. Despite obtaining a warrant, Maryanne refused to give up her daughter, which led to the 10-hour standoff. Afterwards, Maryanne was arrested.
Brian also discusses when Anna and Alex Nikolayev had their son Sammy taken away. DCF and local law enforcement took away Sammy because his parents wanted to go to a different hospital to get a second opinion about a heart surgery. Because the father is a Russian national, this caused an international incident. Brian continues by detailing the story of Isaiah Rider. Isaiah was suffering from neurofibromatosis, and doctors in Kansas City, Texas, and Boston could not treat his disease. His mother took him to Lurie’s Hospital in Cook County Chicago. “When Isaiah’s pain was reportedly not getting any better at Lurie’s, his mother attempted to have him transferred to another hospital. But doctors at Lurie’s Hospital reported to Cook County Court that Michelle was guilty of “medical child abuse”, as they disagreed with the course of treatment chosen by the mother. As a result, they seized custody of Isaiah and put him into a foster home in a rough neighborhood in Chicago, where he claims he was sexually abused.” (Shilhavy). Brian then delves into the story of Kayla and Hannah Diegel. Both suffer from congenital disorder of glycosylation. “Part of their condition is also suffering with “Gastroparesis,” which is a partially paralyzed stomach. As a result, they were fed through feeding tubes to bypass the stomach.” (Shilhavy). Both were taken to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. During their stay there, they jumped between multiple different doctors. Their mother started to get suspicious of her daughters bouncing between different doctors, and she decided to investigate. “She requested that the care of her daughters be transferred to another doctor “due to his neglect and endangerment of younger daughter i.e., not returning phone calls, ignoring her severe pain and documented bowel impaction being treated from home by registered nurses, under his supervision.” (Shilhavy). Eventually, a court in Arizona put a gag order on the mother, and even ordered that news articles about this story be taken down. Another story Brian discusses is about Jeffery and Elise Golan. They have been fighting in California to have their autistic daughter Nancy returned to them. She is being held at the San Andreas Regional Center (SARC). This battle has been going on for more than 15 years. In November of 2001, Nancy was found by police wandering off by herself. The police filed a false temporary restraining order, which was signed by a police officer and not a judge. “When the TRO expired without a hearing and a court ordered her to be released from the 5150 detention, Stanford allegedly violated the order and gave her to SARC to hide her in an undisclosed location without a court order for nine months, where her parents say she suffered a broken collarbone and was forced to take inappropriate psychotropic medications, supposedly for her autism. SARC’s psychiatrist allegedly said he thought he could make her able to talk by giving her Risperdal.” (Shahlavi). Throughout her stay, Nancy was abused, and is currently on 32 different kinds of medication. Nancy was placed in the psych ward, and she now has spine issues because she has been taking Dilantin for over 15 years. Currently, Nancy is still in the custody of SARC.
These stories show that hospitals can abuse their power and essentially hold your children captive for unfair or even illegal reasons.
Kevin Seaver is a trusted lawyer since 1991. Recognized expert who successfully specializes in fighting the Department of Children and Families, more commonly referred to as DCF. Kevin Seaver turns DCF negative involvement into positive outcomes in and out of court throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.