A mother accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy sued and won 1.4 million taxpayer dollars because of incompetence and a rush to judgement by doctors and Kern County social services workers.
Rather than checking a child’s medical records, the doctors decided that the mother of a girl with cystic fibrosis was over-medicating her. They removed her medications, then soon learned the child needed them to thrive.
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is a mental condition in which a parent seeks attention by asking doctors to look after imagined ailments of a child. Obviously, such a far-fetched idea could easily be exploited by over-zealous child protective services workers. I believe a large number of parents accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy are totally innocent of this charge.
In this case the accused parent, Christine Deeths, was herself a highly respected doctor in the Bakersfield, California area. Her two children were adopted. Because she had the money, she was able to hire an attorney to sue the county. Her attorney is Shawn McMillan.
She has also filed lawsuits against the doctors who came to their conclusions and called CPS without even bothering to read the child’s prior medical records.
One of the doctors involved is Dr. John Stirling, a child abuse expert and director of the Center for Child Protection at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Clearly he has his agenda, and probably sees a potential abuser in every parent that walks into his sphere of influence.
Last October he spoke on “War of the Worlds: Abuse, Neglect and the Developing Brain” at a child abuse conference at Stanford called Medical Response to Child Abuse and Neglect.
Despite all his education, honors and obsession on child abuse and neglect issues, he seems to have over-stepped his authority in this case, and God knows how many others. I look forward to seeing how the lawsuit against this man turns out.
This is the second Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy lawsuit that the Kern County social services agency has settled within the past year. The first was the case of Darlene and Larry McCue whose son had peanut allergies. They were awarded a settlement of over a million dollars last May.
Source: County coughs up $1.4 million to wronged parent by Lois Henry, published in The Bakersfield Californian on January 19, 2013.
Kern County is renowned for evil persecutions of parents. See Kern County Child Abuse Cases on Wikipedia to read about the wild accusations of ritual sexual abuse leveled against several families in the 1980s, with children coached to lie about their parents. For more information on those cases, check Google. Much has been written to expose the corruption in Kern County child protective services.