What do you do when the agents of the Nanny State behave like bureaucratic thugs and mob bosses? A tip o' the hat to the Home School Legal Defense Association for spreading the word about this incident.
Imagine giving birth in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Then after you question some shots the hospital wants to give the baby, you are told that you are under investigation and you can't see your baby.
. . .
According to an attorney representing the family, Jodi Ferris, the mother, was told conflicting reports about the health of her baby. When she questioned shots the nurses gave and wanted to give, a social worker showed up in her hospital room, "announcing she was there to conduct an investigation."
The family attorney's statement continues by stating when Ferris asked about the allegations, the social worker replied: "Since you're not going to cooperate, I'll just call the police and we can take custody of the baby."
Ferris says that's exactly what they did, they took her baby.
. . .
Hershey Medical Center released a statement Thursday stating, “the version of what occurred at the time as presented by the Ferrises' attorney is inaccurate and incomplete."
There's more at the link.
I note that despite the hospital's assertions, they have not denied that they did what Mrs. Ferris alleges was done to the baby, or to her. They simply maintain that they acted appropriately under the circumstances. I can only say that if anyone, or any institution, treated my wife or my child in that way, without both parents' prior knowledge and approval, the perpetrators wouldn't have to worry about a civil lawsuit, because I'd already have taken rather more personal and direct action against them! I agree with an opinion piece in the Minot Daily News:
I would hope this isn't typical of social service investigations, but I've heard enough horror stories to think it's not unheard of either.
I would speculate that Scott and Jodi Ferris, who home school their older children, were already on the social worker's and the nurses' radar before mother and daughter were wheeled into the hospital. Many doctors look askance at women who plan to give birth at home and use a midwife instead of a OBGYN and think it puts the baby at risk of death or injury. The Ferrises may have been known to hospital staff already for their beliefs in home births and use of a midwife, particularly since they have older children. I wonder if a nurse on the maternity ward was just waiting for an opportunity to report this family.
A number of social workers are also suspicious of home schoolers. Parents are legally permitted to refuse vaccines for a child for reasons of religious belief and/or personal conviction in all but two states; Pennsylvania law explicitly permits parents to refuse the Vitamin K and Hepatitis B injections on religious grounds. However, doctors and social workers both tend to frown on parents who question vaccinations, despite that law.
In short, Scott and Jodi Ferris are apparently on the fringe, which left them vulnerable to this sort of harassment by doctors and social workers and that isn't acceptable.
Again, more at the link.
I'm glad to see that Mr. and Mrs. Ferris are taking this matter to court. Too many people don't fight back against abuses of power like this. The only way we can keep the minions of Big Brother under control is to slap them down from time to time. Sometimes it takes a lawsuit (or even more robust measures) to do that.