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    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Orwell's England: In the here and now:

    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 Anonymous Dara, at 7:11 PM  

    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 Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:31 AM  

    I wish I thought we were far from this state of affairs in this country, but I don't.

    We've clearly moved a long way toward giving the agents of the state a level of power that would have been unheard of in past years. But they don't seem to have any of the responsibilities that should be attached to that level of power; think how many cases we've seen in the past year where grossly abused children have been left with the abusers, with no consequences for the state employees who failed to do their jobs.

    But the Brits seem to have gone clearly over the edge, where 'experts' guesses about the future have the force of law.

    There's probably a connection between this sort of bureaucracy run amok and the high rate of emigration from the UK.pwune

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:00 PM  

    I think the most important two words in the consultant's report are "precautionary principle".

    The talismanic potency of words like "racism" has been worn out by over-usage, and so the commissars of coercive social engineering have eagerly taken up this new concept as a cudgel against any form of common sense or cost/benefit analysis that might interfere with their schemes to re-shape the world.

    If this preposterous notion had not just been invented, it is safe to assume that cavemen never would have tamed fire. It is an ideology of cowardice, laziness, and ignorance, fit only for children and frightened old women.

    Any public servant who uses it as justification for any of his actions should not only lose his job, but be tarred and feathered and horse-whipped and paraded through the streets as an example to the rest.

    By Blogger Skookum John, at 6:39 PM  

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