Monday, September 03, 2007
A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of "emotional abuse", even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child in any way.
Social services' recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met.
...Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications. Social services' request for an emergency protection order - these are usually granted - will be heard in secret in the family court at Hexham magistrates on the same day.
From then on, anyone discussing the case, including Miss Lyon, will be deemed to be in contempt of the court.
How did the good doctor come to that conclusion if he never met her?
Miss Lyon came under scrutiny because she had a mental health problem when she was 16 after being physically and emotionally abused by her father and raped by a stranger.
She suffered eating disorders and self-harm but, after therapy, graduated from Edinburgh University and now works for two mental health charities, Borderline and Personality Plus.
....Despite this support, endorsed by other psychiatrists and Miss Lyon's GP, social services based their recommendation partly on a letter from Dr Martin Ward Platt, a consultant paediatrician, who was unable to attend the meeting.
He wrote: "Even in the absence of a psychological assessment, if the professionals were concerned on the evidence available that Miss Holton (as Miss Lyon was briefly known), probably does fabricate or induce illness, there would be no option but the precautionary principle of taking the baby into foster care at birth, pending a post-natal forensic psychological assessment."
That takes "risk assessment" to dangerous levels.
posted by Sydney on 9/03/2007 08:00:00 PM 4 comments
Wow, scary for the young women of today. Some of us haven't yet had a child and reading articles like this is discouraging. Especially as this woman is in the social services industry so if anyone aught to be able to navigate the system, it should be her.
By 7:11 PM, at
This is a direct result of political and philosophical attacks on traditional understandings of family and should be seen in the context of the general decrease in participation in social activities--i.e., there are fewer and fewer barriers between the state and individual. The situation is only going to get worse when people start genetically modifying their children, as the state will reason that an altered genetic code breaks the connection between parent and child.
By 10:31 AM, at
I wish I thought we were far from this state of affairs in this country, but I don't.
By 10:00 PM, at
I think the most important two words in the consultant's report are "precautionary principle".