Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Nanny State Knows Best

And who are you to dare argue with a bureaucrat as to what is healthy to eat and what will endanger your own child?

Here is an article on Reason magazine about a woman who lost custody of her baby for eating a bagel with "everything" on it! Obviously you don't arrest Dunkin' Donuts for selling life-threatening drug-adulterated food. Nope! You go to the unsuspecting mother and seize her baby! That's how a bureaucracy is supposed to work.

Oh... and about that drug-adulterated bagel. "Everybody" knows that poppy seeds are fatal and should be avoided like the plague. Right? And this isn't just some bureaucrats opinion. This is solid science based on years of lab results. Right? No? Don't tell me we have bureaucrats deciding that lettuce is a hallucinagenic or that ketchup is a paralytic agent? They couldn't make that kind of stupid judgement, could they?

Well... apparently so...
Eat a Bagel, Lose Your Baby

Jacob Sullum | November 9, 2010

The ACLU of Pennsylvania recently filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a couple whose newborn baby was kidnapped by Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) because her mother recklessly consumed an "everything" bagel from Dunkin' Donuts the day before the birth. Jameson Hospital, where Isabella Rodriguez was born on April 27, has a policy of testing expectant mothers' urine for illegal drugs and reporting positive results to LCCYS, even without any additional evidence that the baby is in danger of neglect or abuse. LCCYS, in turn, has a policy of seizing such babies from their homes based on nothing more than the test result. Unfortunately for Isabella's parents, Elizabeth Mort and Alex Rodriguez, Jameson sets the cutoff level for its opiate test so low that it can be triggered by poppy seeds, which is why two caseworkers and two Neshannock Township police officers visited their home the day after baby and mother returned from the hospital. LCCYS seized the three-day-old girl and put her in foster care for five days before conceding it had made a mistake.

In their complaint (PDF), Mort and Rodriguez say the "seize first, ask questions later" policy jointly implemented by Lawrence County and the Jameson Health System (motto: "there's no place like home") is not required by state or federal law and represents a conspiracy to deprive parents of their 14th Amendment rights. In addition to seeking "nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages," they are asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to declare the policy unconstitutional.

The recklessness and indifference displayed by both the county and the hospital, neither of which made any attempt to corroborate suspicions that the baby might be in danger, is astonishing. According to the complaint, Mort's obstetrician, Nicole Carlson, "did not inform Plaintiff Mort of the positive UDS [urine drug screen] because, in her experience, many of the initial UDS tests come back as 'false positives.' In addition, Dr. Carlson did not inform Plaintiff Mort of the test results because Plaintiff s urine tests throughout her pregnancy were negative for the presence of drugs; because Dr. Carlson did not believe that the Plaintiff was a drug user; and because she did not want to frighten Plaintiff during her labor/delivery." The hospital and LCCYS nevertheless mindlessly proceeded to separate Isabella from her parents, based on nothing more than a "zero tolerance for poppy seeds" rule of their own invention.

More information about the case here.
Go read the original article to get the embedded links.

Everybody knows that the most dangerous person you can leave a baby with is its natural mother. You are far better off giving the baby to a stranger in the street if you are really concerned about the health and safety of a baby. Yep. That's what the good folks at the children and youth "services" know in Lawrence county Pennsylvania.

Sadly... I know of uncounted babies who have been removed from so-called "dangerous" mothers only to die in the home of some "child care" person hired by the state to "look after" the child. All too often these are people who simply want an easy income from the state, so they stack up the babies in the back room and crowd a dozen todlers into a bedroom and charge the state big bucks for all this fine "care and supervision" they give the kids. Meanwhile the kids die of starvation, mistreatment, and neglect. All because the state is "convinced" that the genetic mother is a hazard.

But ask any anthropologist and they will tell you that you chance of dying in the care of a stepmother is something like 10 to 20 times that of a mother. And you chances of dying in the care of stranger who is "looking after" you for money is about 100 times that of being left in the hands of a mother. But who is to question to "wisdom" of bureaucrats?

So this story of hard-hearted, cruel, and misguided bureaucrats goes on and on and on.

By the way... just week this horror story about the idiocy of "child protective services" turned up in my area. Click here for a Vancouver Sun story about a Down's Syndrome girl whose brothers tried to get her out of her drug-addicted mother's home, but child protective services ordered them to leave the young girl with her mother:
A 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome was left alone with her mother’s corpse in their Chilliwack trailer home for nine days after the mother died of a suspected drug overdose.

The girl’s two brothers are outraged at the province, saying their repeated warnings to the Ministry of Children and Family Development that their mother was unfit to care for the girl were never adequately addressed.

Mike Prentice, 32, said he and his brother Kevin, 29, who both live in North Vancouver, had reported their mother Yvonne to social services countless times for alleged alcoholism, addiction to pills including Clonazepam and Atavan and being physically and emotionally abusive.

In July, Kevin Prentice visited the trailer home, which Mike described as being filthy and “like an episode of Hoarders.” Seeing its condition, and their mother’s condition, Kevin took his sister to his home and called police, who told him to contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Mike Prentice said.

The ministry conducted a survey at the home later that month and told the brothers to return the girl, as their mother was going to charge them with kidnapping, Mike said.

“They deemed it okay for my sister to go back when all you had to do was take a look at my mom, and her house, to know something was seriously wrong,” he said, adding he had seen garbage and even dead mice in the residence.

On Sept. 14, a neighbour who realized he hadn’t seen any activity at the trailer peeked in through a window and made the grisly discovery.

“Two months after we called social services and the RCMP saying we’re worried our mom is going to harm herself and our sister’s going to be left with a dead corpse, my mom died,” Mike Prentice said.

Yvonne Prentice had been dead for about nine days and her body had begun to decompose. On the floor nearby were pills and boxes of macaroni — items left behind after the girl tried to nurse her dead mother back to health.

The girl, who cannot care for herself, was emaciated and fatigued. “She almost died too, because she didn’t eat or sleep and she’s been [taught] not to go to the door at any time,” Mike Prentice said. He said that when someone finally slid open the window, saw the corpse and asked his sister if she was okay, “She didn’t even answer because she was so fatigued she couldn’t get off the couch. Two more days and she would have died too.”

A coroner is investigating the cause of the mother’s death.
This story isn't rare. Every year there are more stories about how "child protective services" rip kids out of the parents home or from a foster home where the kids are very happy to throw the kids into the arms of strangers, there are stories each year of kids who die while under the "supervision" of "child protective services" either because the state has given the kids to a predator who abuses them or because the state can't identify a truly incompetent parent (such as the above) and leave the child with that person. In short, this "service" is a dis-service. It always has been and always will be. Why? Because it is just a "bureaucratic job". The people that staff these jobs punch in for their 7 hour day and prefer to sit in the office and shuffle papers than actually supervise children in the field. Of course they will tell you they are "overworked and underpaid". They will always do this. But the fact is, they are by and large incompetent. Sure the odd one is dedicated and cares, but that isn't the majority. Far from it.

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