Several parents in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against the state's Department of Children and Family Services, affiliated agents, doctors, nurses, and major hospitals who they say worked in coordination to either take their newborns or threatened to after they chose not to have the elective Vitamin K shot administered to their babies right after birth.
What are the details?
One situation at the heart of the suit is that of Pastor Brian Bougher and his wife, Angela, whose fifth child, Glori, was seized by doctors for more than 12 hours after the couple chose to legally opt out of having their daughter being injected with Vitamin K immediately after being born. The couple maintains that they aren't anti-vaxxers (and the Vitamin K shot is not a vaccine), but they have chosen for religious reasons to not have any of their kids get the shot. Their first four children were born in Wisconsin.
“That’s what was stolen from me.” FIRST ON 2: #NewMom from #Joliet describes moment she expected #newborn to be i… https://t.co/7fUaqZLE56— LAUREN VICTORY (@LAUREN VICTORY)1569324296.0
As news of the Bourghers' and others' stories got out, additional families hopped on board, infuriated over being victims of medical professionals working in coordination with (and reportedly paid by) DCFS to root out what the agency considered to be a potential indicator for "medical neglect."
According to a report by PJ Media's Megan Fox — who has been fervent in her coverage of such abuses — doctors are often "hired and paid by child protective agencies, who aggressively diagnose accidental injuries as abuse and often accuse mothers of Munchausen syndrome by proxy or narcissistic personality disorder form afar, sometimes without having treated the mother, in order to allow DCFS or other CPS agencies to remove their children."
A year ago, DCFS changed its policy, acknowledging, according to the Chicago Tribune, that "making that kind of determination falls outside the confines of our statutory and professional mission and judgment." An internal memo sent out by the agency's acting director at the time pointed to the fact that out of 138 families investigated for choosing not to have their babies get the Vitamin K shot, there were only 7 cases where officials could find evidence of potential medical neglect.
Even parents whose children were not seized complained of being investigated and harassed for months by DSFS, with the threat of having their children put into state care — or worse, adopted out.
In the meantime, the plaintiffs haven't forgotten the shake-down they received from the agency's and hospitals' employees. Local station WBBM-TV interviewed two sets of emotion parents who say they'll never get back what should have been joyous moments taken from them as part of the illegal policy.
The Vitamin K shot has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and regularly administered to newborns since the 1960's for the purpose of preventing a rare bleeding disorder. But parents who choose not to have the shot given to their babies are allowed to fill out a form acknowledging their decision, which adds further confusion for parents who have been punished by states — such as Illinois — that offer a form at-the-ready for parents who decline the recommended procedure.