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Mother Charged for Saving Baby

June 29, 2006 permalink

Doctors diagnosed baby Riley with a kidney problem requiring surgery to facilitate dialysis. The doctors concede that the baby was not in immediate danger of death, but there is not enough information in newspaper articles to ascertain whether the condition was one that could be treated alternatively by changes in diet.

To force the treatment against the mother's wishes, Washington state child protectors took legal custody of Riley on June 9. In an effort to stave off her child's surgery, the mother, Tina Carlsen, snuck him out of the hospital on June 22 and the pair became the subject of an Amber alert. Police found them the next day and sent Riley back to the hospital and Tina to jail.

This case differs from most of the forced treatment stories that get into the press, because the child was not faced with immediate harm without the treatment. The press continues to ignore the fact that the commonplace use of involuntary treatment is to compel parents to give their children psychotropic drugs.

The mother's supporters have established a well-designed website Help baby Riley.



Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Riley's mother released from jail

A mother accused of sneaking her baby out of a Seattle hospital hours before his scheduled surgery was freed from jail Thursday and said she hoped she would be allowed to see her baby soon.

"I can't wait," Tina Carlsen said as she left the King County Jail this afternoon. "He needs me."

In a King County court hearing this morning, Carlsen pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and was released without bail. A judge ruled that she can't have any contact with her baby unless the state, which has legal custody, decides otherwise.

Her attorney, Jim Lobsenz, said he was trying to reach an agreement with the state that will allow Carlsen to see her 9-month-old son Riley Rogers, as soon as possible.

He said Carlsen "loves her child deeply" and that everything she's done has been motivated by that fact.

The attorney said he hoped the second-degree kidnapping charge would eventually be reduced to "custodial interference" or dismissed entirely.

Carlsen, 34, said she also didn't think a kidnapping charge was appropriate. "I think they pushed it a little too far," she said.

The baby suffers from kidney problems. He has been in state custody since June 9, after doctors said he needed surgery to insert a tube so that he can undergo dialysis and Carlsen opposed the idea, wanting explore naturopathic treatment.

The case has drawn national attention and controversy over whether parents or doctors should decide what's best for an ailing child.

Police say Carlsen took her baby from Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center hidden in a diaper bag on June 22. King County prosecutors sought an arrest warrant seeking $500,000 bail, and police found her on Saturday.

But this morning, prosecutors agreed Carlsen should be freed without bail because of "a significant change in circumstances" since then, Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Johnson said: The baby had been found and returned to the hospital.

Carlsen said little during the hearing but blew kisses to her mother and several supporters in the courtroom, smiling broadly.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler ordered Carlsen's release to live with her mother. The next step for her is "hopefully to get Riley back in her arms," said Carlsen's mother, Kathy. "It's been a long battle."

On Monday, a Pierce County judge ordered on Monday that Riley have the surgery. Carlsen's mother said she believes it has now been scheduled for next week.

She said some of her daughter's breast milk was brought to Riley last night, though she and Carlsen's other supporters said they were upset that it took five days to make that happen.

Kelly Meinig, president of an advocacy group called Citizens for Safe Birth that has gotten involved in the case, said it complicates matters that Riley will only take a bottle from his father, Todd Rogers, who is allowed very limited visitation.

Pierce County Juvenile Court Judge Judge John McCarthy, who ordered Riley's surgery, said Rogers could have supervised visits with his son for four hours each week.

The judge set another hearing for next Thursday to determine whether the baby should remain in state custody.

Carlsen's supporters have set up a website and hope to raise money for Carlsen's legal case:

Tracy Johnson can be reached at 206-467-5942 or

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Addendum: Mike Adams posted a commentary Gunpoint Medicine on this story to July 2, 2006. Here is an excerpt:



Medical school combat tactics training

If doctors are going to continue enlisting law enforcement personnel to arrest and detain patients, why not train the doctors to do the dirty work themselves? Let's take the middle man out of the loop and start arming doctors! That way, patients are already in the hospital when they get shot! (Think of the savings in ambulance fees alone...)

Law enforcement skills can be taught in medical school, right alongside classes in drug dealing. It's not like they're learning anything useful in med school anyway, so why not change the curriculum to something like this:

The new med school combat tactics curriculum

  1. Combat tactics with scalpels and other edged weapons
  2. Anesthesia and tear gas: Using chemical weapons to subdue patients
  3. Defensive Tactics (DT) for handcuffing and detaining patients
  4. Anatomy, physiology and Jiu-Jitsu joint manipulations
  5. Ambidextrous gun skills: A scalpel in your right hand and a Glock in your left
  6. Nutrition and health (class cancelled until further notice)
  7. Repeat business secrets: How to create a recurring income stream by injuring patients, then treating them
  8. How to lock and load while you stitch up surgical patients
  9. Expedient weapons: Syringes, clipboards and X-ray emitters
  10. How to use masks and other medical apparel to avoid being identified
  11. Disease prevention through nutrition (class no longer available)
  12. Hand-to-hand combat: How to use knowledge of anatomy to strike patients at vulnerable "kill" points
  13. Verbal assaults: How to intimidate patients using medical babble

As you can clearly see, not only would this curriculum result in producing doctors who are prepared to arrest patients on the spot, it would also allow doctors to earn a little money on the side serving as armed FDA agents conducting raids on vitamin shops! And if anyone gets hurt or shot during the raid, no sweat... the doctor is right here! In fact, he's the one who shot you! (There's a secret compartment containing needles and stitches in the handle of his Rambo knife...)