Is This Happening in the USA? YES.

More from Michael Farris:

I am not content to sit on the sidelines while the government gradually usurps the very essence of parental rights.

I hope you share my determination.

We need to stand with people like Scott and Jodi Ferris (obviously no relation to someone named Farris).

Here’s their story: Jodi went into labor a bit earlier than she had expected—and the baby was coming rapidly. Given their location and other factors, the midwife they had hoped would deliver the baby at their home encouraged them to get in an ambulance and head to the hospital.

Their baby, whom I will call “Annie,” was born in the ambulance in the parking lot of the Hershey Medical Center—a government hospital in Pennsylvania. Hospital personnel arrived very quickly and took charge of both baby and mom.

As any mother would do, Jodi immediately began to ask the nurses and attendants how her baby was doing. The hospital staff was utterly unresponsive. When they started to give Jodi an injection, she asked what it was and what it was for. They gave her vague answers like, “It’s just to help.”

Only after giving her the injection of oxytocin did they tell her what it was and then asked, “You aren’t allergic to that are you?”

Jodi persisted in asking about Annie. No one would tell her anything other than “she’s in good hands and you’ll be able to see her soon.” Eventually a doctor told her that Annie scored a 9 on a physical exam applied to newborns known as the APGAR test. A score of 8 or higher is considered healthy. (It is unclear when the score was given since she was in the ambulance at birth.) But shortly after this a different doctor told Jodi that Annie was “very sick” and would need to stay in the hospital. This doctor’s comments were accompanied by an explanation of his disdain for midwives saying, “Too many people think they know what they’re doing.”

About an hour later, another hospital staffer finally brought Annie to Jodi and said, “The baby is doing good. She will be able to go home in no time.”

Legal Requirements?

However, several hours later yet another staffer told Scott and Jodi that Annie would have to stay in the hospital for 48 to 72 hours for observation. Even though they persisted in asking why Annie would need to stay, his only answer was that “the law requires us to keep the baby for 48 hours.”

When they asked for a reference to this supposed law, he answered, “you’ll have to get that from risk management.” (By the way, there is no such law in Pennsylvania.)

The risk management staffer eventually told them that even though they saw nothing wrong with the baby, they just like “to keep babies like this” for 48–72 hours. The Ferrises were told that Annie would not be released for this period since it was “unsafe for her to leave the hospital.”

Eventually, a risk management staffer admitted that the risk that was being managed was not the health of Annie but the risk that the hospital might get sued if something went wrong after she was discharged. Ultimately, risk management said that they would be satisfied with a 24-hour stay and that Jodi and Scott could remain with the baby overnight.

You have been Accused

Late in the afternoon, a government social worker named Angelica Lopez-Heagy came into Jodi’s room announcing that she was there to conduct an investigation. Jodi asked to know the allegations. The social worker claimed that it would be against the law for her to show Jodi the allegations. Jodi replied that she would not be comfortable answering the questions if she couldn’t know the allegations.

Immediately the social worker proclaimed, “Since you’re not going to cooperate, I’ll just go and call the police and we can take custody of the baby.” Fearing that the social worker would carry out her threat, Jodi replied that she was willing to cooperate.

The social worker soon intimated that the issue was Jodi’s refusal to consent to medical treatment for the baby. Jodi replied that she had no idea why anyone would say that. The social worker claimed that she had refused to allow a Vitamin K shot for Annie. Jodi replied that no one had asked her about such a shot. Moreover, she had overheard hospital staffers saying that they had already given Annie such a shot.

Neither the social worker nor any hospital staffer ever gave Jodi or Scott any example of any medically necessary treatment that they had refused for Annie.

At this point, Scott left the hospital to tend to their older children who were staying with friends.

Ordering Tests

Shortly after this, the hospital asked to check Annie’s white blood cell count and to perform a strep test. Jodi agreed to the testing. Then the hospital demanded that they give a Annie shot for Hepatitis B. Jodi said that she would agree only if they tested her or Annie to see if either of them were positive. If so, then she was quite willing to have the shot for Annie.

The hospital claimed that they had forgotten about this earlier when it was still possible to test that day, and that they needed to give the shot anyway without any testing. When the social worker pressed her to make an immediate decision about this shot, Jodi asked her if they could simply wait until Scott got back before they decided.

Put yourself in Jodi’s shoes at this moment. You gave birth that morning in an ambulance. The hospital has made wild and conflicting claims about your baby’s health all day long. You are exhausted. You are in pain. Your husband has gone to check on your children. And a social worker who has threatened to take your baby into police custody is standing in your hospital room demanding that you make an immediate decision.

Jodi simply said, “Please can’t this wait until my husband gets back.”

The social worker renewed her threat. If Jodi would not answer her question right then, she would call the police. And then the social worker started adding conditions. She and Scott would have to agree to sign a safety plan before she could conclude her investigation. Jodi said that she wanted her husband and an attorney to look at the plan. She felt she was in no position to read such a document and really understand what she was being pressured to sign.

Thrown Out

And then the story turns ugly.

The social worker left the room and called the police.

Without a court order they took custody of Annie, immediately claiming that she was suffering from illness or injury—a patently false claim.

The social worker consented to the administration of the Hepatitis B shot even though no blood test had been done.

The police made Jodi Ferris get up out of her hospital bed and escorted her to the entrance—they were expelling her from the hospital because she had not signed the “safety plan.”

Scott met her at the entrance to the hospital. The police escorted them both off of the grounds of the hospital.

Jodi was told that she would be allowed to return every three hours to nurse the baby through the night.

Jodi and Scott were forced to spend the night that she had given birth in their car in the parking lot of a nearby Wal-Mart.

You read that right.

They kicked this mother out of the hospital, and in order to be close enough to feed her child, she had to sleep in the car.

To add insult to injury, Jodi was given access to Annie only sporadically and not every three hours.

Read more here.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

26 thoughts on “Is This Happening in the USA? YES.

    1. Yes, Melis, I agree — with both statements.
      It is totally hard to believe we, the free, could fall into such deep trouble, but here we are.
      We must fight the U.N. “rights of the child” nonsense. Each child has a right to his parents’ protection, I’d say, instead of being kidnapped by callused caseworkers who have hate issues and take it out on the child. What a travesty!

  1. Thanks for publicizing this. Too many people believe this is still the USA of 40 years ago. The gradual encroachment of Federal and State into our rights under the US Constitution is so widespread it is almost impossible to address every situation. And – similar to our current Administration’s propensity to “just do what they think is right” – many times these actions (as in this case) are blatantly illegal. Thank God for organizations like HSLDA, ACLJ, Rutherford Institute, etc.

  2. Katharine~ Tonight I am doubly outraged. I am outraged that this is happening. I posted his column TWICE on my facebook page. My Facebook contacts that criticize and scream about women’s rights….they have no reaction whatsoever…..we had a baby that had to go through many multiple procedures. We had to continually advocate for her and ensure at every moment that “the institution aka the hospital and staff” did not railroad us into decisions….it was exhausting, an uphill battle. The staff had to be re-trained on every admission…..I am going to send the story to the CNN producer that I met on the day of our AZ presidential primary….and I am going to Reblog your post on my blog.

    1. Oh, Kate, I am so sorry you had difficult experiences with your baby. We seldom think about that when we consider the troubles people have when they are sick. I’ve had mistreatment, too, in a small hospital and in a large one. Of course, some workers are legitimate, but others, I don’t know–I think a 10-year-old could do as well, sometimes.
      Also sorry your contacts are not responding. It is the weekend, and this story has spread pretty well, so maybe they already heard . . .
      Doesn’t make it any less an outrage, though.
      Thanks for your help in spreading the word.

    1. Thanks for the reblog, Kate! This is so good. I know the folks at HSLDA are happy when more hear of this family’s plight.
      Just imagine having the baby in a car and then being treated in that manner!

  3. This is unbelievable. Just a horror for those parents and the baby who needs to bond with them. I am feeling disgust…such disgust for the rights of the parents and the baby. The social worker decides the baby gets the shot? What on earth? I hope an investigation happens at this hospital and some people lose their jobs.

    That social worker would be #1 on my list. Telling a mom who just had a baby: if you don’t sign, we’ll take custody of your baby….WHAT? And then the police DO IT? What kind of a kangaroo court is this?
    What planet is this? BTW…what constitutes a Government Hospital?
    The only ones I know for sure are Veteran’s Hospitals.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Judy, and welcome to Home’s Cool!
      Yes, the story is a horror and a topic of digust — you said it!
      I believe law suits are pending already, since the group who first posted this, Home School Legal Defense Assn., is an association of lawyers of high moral caliber, and if you search the Internet, you will find several of the names in this article as defendants, for SOME reason!
      Also, I checked and the hospital may be tied to the university system in Pennsylvania, so it may be a state government hospital. It seems to be quite highly rated, so maybe this one case is out of character for them.
      We can hope.
      Obviously, some of the personel were normal, kind, professional, etc., and I wonder if it is mainly the caseworker who was the engineer for this train.
      Anyway, people want to know and need to know what our taxes will soon be paying for, eh?
      Oh, and YES, that baby received a highly controversial immunization, for a condition that did not exist in her body, and against the mom’s will. Let’s pray she doesn’t develop autism from it . . .

      Another sad thing is that many babies are being abused by their moms and no one does a thiing about that — claiming caseworker overload. Hmm.
      We know where one caseworker was busy, one night, don’t we.

      One more thing: If you follow the link at the end of my post, you will find an option for helping these people, if you are interested. Thanks!

  4. People now believe that everyone knows better than a child’s parents. This is so sad! And it isn’t fiction but real life. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Katharine! Yes, let’s pray little Annie has no ill effects from that shot.

      1. Wow, The Animal Farm! I know those books can’t be said to be prophetic, but sometimes the writers had so much insight into human nature and into what would happen if our evil wasn’t restrained, that they do seem prophetic. Wow!

      1. Oh, yes, it always goes over to calling the good “bad” and the bad “good”, doesn’t it.
        And “don’t it always seem to go — you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” . . .

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