A woman who told doctors she wasn’t going for a C-section – even though her baby was showing signs of fetal distress – went on to deliver a healthy baby vaginally. So what’s the problem? New Jersey social workers have taken the newborn from her parents because Mom refused the surgery.
They say the refusal constitutes “abuse and neglect” of the baby.
Yes, even though she was born healthy.
Identities have been limited to initials in court documents, but a New Jersey Court of Appeals just upheld the decision that will keep baby J.M.G. from mom V.M. and dad B.G.
A trial judge had already found the parents abusive and neglectful for their decision not to abide by doctor’s orders – even though court documents also showed the baby was “in good medical condition upon her vaginal delivery.”
The second court says the surgery refusal (the basis for the whole case) doesn’t even matter. When the Division of Youth and Family Services showed up after the call from the hospital (over the C-section refusal), they say they found out V.M. had undergone twelve years of psychiatric treatment before the baby was born. The mom won’t reveal what kind of treatment, so they say that’s enough to go on – she’s got the potential to abuse and neglect her child.
So with no allegations of actual abuse to the baby, based on a woman’s refusal to have a perfectly healthy child cut out of her womb, the courts are pawing through her medical history for anything they can use to back up a decision they made . . . wrongly.
Anyone else smelling a conspiracy here? The exact details of this woman’s mental issues aren’t out, and I’m willing to grant that there might be something there. But unless there’s evidence of some actual harm to another person wrapped up with them, is a history of mental health issues really enough to warrant taking a woman’s child, absent of any actual abuse to her child?
And how does saying no to major surgery a punishable offense? I was lucky enough never to have C-section come up during my labor, but if the words had been bandied about, I wonder if I would have been “combative,” “uncooperative,” “erratic,” “noncompliant,” “irrational” and
“inappropriate.” Those were all the words used to describe V.M. during her labor.
Sound like anyone else you know?