Friday, June 30, 2006

No Amber Alert issued when you've an MD

Many of you chose to birth at home with a midwife because you wanted to make your own decisions regarding your child's healthcare. Many of you went on to make decisions regarding immunizations and other health issues outside of what the culture of medicine would want for your child.
Riley's mother is trying to do the same thing you were doing. She has done good research to make an informed choice. She has tried to communicate and cooperate with the physicians who have been caring for Riley. In a last resort desperate action she chose to take Riley from the custody of the hospital to protect him from the surgery that she could not agree with.
A group of women have come together to provide Riley's mother, Tina with the support she needs to continue to exert her rights as a parent, to make the decisions she feel is best for her baby.
Tina Carlsen, Riley Roger's mother, was on the Dave Ross show this morning on Kiro 710, while her baby was being cut open at Seattle Children's. She describes being apprehended in Yelm.... "Get down or I will f*(ing blow a hole in your head." is what the police shouted at her four times. I was a caller on the show, and I heard her voice through my phone. I don't think this is something I am ever going to forget.

After his birth, Carlsen was given three weeks to enjoy her newborn before he surely would die. Instead, she has worked tirelessly to make sure her son would live, and now he is thriving in spite of his kidneys. She has investigated treatments, standards of care and has worked with her son's drs to determine the best course of action for her son. They disagreed about the necessity of surgery that would allow them to quickly do dialysis on the baby should it come to that. When Carlsen chose not to have the surgery performed on her son, they called CPS on her and said she was endangering his life.

Now this baby is under the knife for a surgery his parents don't want for him. A surgery after which he will get to be with his mother only TWO HOURS, and that after a Tacoma judge interceded and ordered it. How can these assholes justify that? This is a baby who nurses... he's only 9 months old!

It is now all coming out in the wash... the Amber Alert was wrong.
If you follow the links in progression, it shows more and more over time how they all over-reacted, and are starting to say so. The surgery is not to save his life, but to implement a "standard of care," a nice way of saying plug-and-play medicine. If this is your illness, then you get x, y and z done to you regardless of whether it's evidence-based or exactly appropriate to your situation.

At this time Carlsen has been released, and now they are deciding whether to drop the kidnapping charges. Who lied? Who said that the surgery was life saving? Who told CPS, the Press, the highway patrol, that the child would die because his mother "kidnapped" him. She is 34. I am 35. They stole her child. They can steal mine.

This is one ring into which I am definitely tossing my hat. You can't be a mother for long and not know people who have children with serious issues. Cancer, mental challenges, failure to thrive, anything. What happens when you disagree with your provider and that provider is one of the physicians who thinks Father Knows Best? What happens when you finally decide "that's enough chemo, enough feeding tubes, enough torture."

Most parents love their children to desperation. Most people who decide "thanks, but no thanks" to the places like children's hospital are doing so because they can provide better care for their children. This institution ran a smear campaign against this woman and literally took her nursling from her at gunpoint. They then kept him secreted away from not only Mom, but Dad, grandparents, everyone he knew and loved, playing the media and the law enforcement agencies as patsies along the way.

I thought in Washington, we'd be safe from shit like this.

I called into the radio show and I have written the Governor's office. I will be writing the newspapers and contacting Cantwell, as well.


  1. Another reason its very scary to be a parent, one that has nothing to do with what our children are doing to us!

    If I got pregnant again and my doctor was one of those who felt "once a cesarean, always a cesarean" he could obtain a court order to cut me open against my will. My fetus' perceived needs would overrule my own (regardless of what those needs actually were). It would also be against published research, evidence-based medicine and other doctors' opinions, but he could do it. The woosh you hear - my informed consent, flying out the window!

    Counter-culture crunchies aren't born, they are made, and it's experiences and stories like this that form us.

  2. Exactly. Homebirth? ME? It wasn't very likely...

    Thank you for standing up.

  3. I haven't been following this story. I'm glad you posted about this.

  4. Very seriously scary how this happens. It's a parent's worst nightmare come true. I wonder, in the game of care provider egos and fear of litigation, how far a parent's decision to get a second opinion would go in this type of situation? That's standard practice in the health care community, too. Wether the parent actually would or not is up to them, but woudln't playing this card might help avoid a family being turned over to CPS, I wonder?

    Thank you for your comment on teh hair-washing haiku! It is nice to be nutured by our children, and experience first hand how they choose to go about it....(-:

  5. This country is out of control.