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There is a disturbing new trend in the child protection community. As if there is a shortage of real child abuse in Tarrant county, CPS is now removing children with complex medical histories from their homes, alleging “medical abuse.”
CPS defines medical abuse as, ” 1) a parent falsely reporting an illness or symptoms to be present for the child, and the parent has repeatedly presented the child for medical assessment or care; 2) resulting in multiple medical procedures being done on the child, and 3) acute signs/symptoms of illness stop when the parent and child are separated.”
Talk about a nightmare for parents whose children have recurring, hard to diagnose, or hard to treat medical conditions. Advocate for your child’s needs too aggressively and you could be getting a knock on your door from CPS. To make things worse, you could find yourself in a battle with the medical establishment at the leading children’s hospital in Tarrant county as well as law enforcement!
In this new and frightening environment, this Fort Worth CPS lawyer suggests the following:
1. Pay attention! Keep your child’s medical records, and if you don’t have them, invest in getting a copy from your health provider.
2. If you go from your PCP to a specialist, or from one specialist to another, make sure the second doctor has the records from the first doctor. You are not a doctor, no matter how well-versed you are in your child’s condition; make sure all of your assertions about your child’s condition are corroborated in medical records.
2. Be clear and consistent when talking to medical professions about your child’s condition, and if possible, have another family member or friend available to corroborate your observations.
3. When you leave a medical appointment, write down what happened and what you were told by medical personnel. Often what gets dictated into records by the medical professional doesn’t match what he or she told you in the office.
4. Do not take your child to the doctor unnecessarily. This is a fine line, and only you can decide what is best for your child, but know repeated doctor visits are now being scrutinized in the medical community as a sign of medical abuse.
5. Seeking a second opinion can now be interpreted as “doctor shopping.” Again, your advocacy for your child could be construed as “doctor shopping.” That is, looking for a doctor willing to perform additional testing or procedures other doctors declined to perform.
Medical abuse is the “fad” of the moment in the CPS community. While CPS workers, Care Team doctors, and law enforcement embark on a misguided crusade to buttress their credentials, Texas families suffer.
Fighting a medical abuse in court is all out warfare against CPS and the medical establishment. For 25 years, I’ve been helping families fight for their survival against CPS. Let me help you keep your family.