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Hospital D Deficiency

February 5, 2012 permalink

A British couple took their baby girl to the hospital to get help for her limp arm. When the parents could not explain old fractures discovered in x-rays social workers took the girl and placed her for adoption. The parents could not explain the fractures because the hospital discovered but withheld the reason: vitamin D deficiency. The appeals courts have refused to intervene because the girl's life has moved on.

Enclosed are an introductory note by John Hemming and the article and editorial from the Daily Express.



Today's sunday express and vitamin D

I link to the opinion section in the Sunday Express. This was a vitamin D deficiency case (of which I am aware of two more cases which are similar) where the court of appeal refused to hear the case because the child's life had "moved on". This is the story.

So, let us fast forward say 16 years. The child finds that the court would not hear any suggestion that she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and the court decided to prevent her mother from putting forward arguments that she suffered a vitamin D deficiency.

Is that really in the "best interests of the child" or is it moreso in the "best interests of the system."

There are many victims of this system. The birth parents, the child and the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents are told that the child has been the victim of abuse. I would hazard a guess that they are not told that the mother has been prevented from adducing evidence that it was a medical problem.

Source: John Hemming blog


Campaigners fear it could be the latest case of parents blamed for “shaken baby” child abuse

A MOTHER accused of abusing her baby hopes new medical ­evidence will bring back her child.

Sarah, 25, had her baby Georgia taken by social services and put with adoptive parents amid claims she and husband Michael had ­broken her arm. Now it seems Georgia’s injuries might be due by severe vitamin D deficiency which has weakened her bones.

Campaigners fear it could be the latest case of parents blamed for “shaken baby” child abuse when the cause could be brittle bones .

They also believe the parents are victims of a “draconian” safety-first culture in the wake of the Baby P scandal which has made the authorities too hasty in removing children from families.

Last July the Sunday Express highlighted claims that a flawed adoption policy using targets set by the last Labour government led to social workers needlessly taking 10,000 children from their families.

Sarah and Michael’s nightmare began in May 2010 when they took Georgia to hospital because they were worried about her limp arm.

After x-rays revealed three other older fractures that experts said were “non-accidental”, social workers took Georgia from them and alerted the police.

Sarah and Michael were arrested. No charges have been laid but the civil courts used the lower threshold of “balance of probabilities” to conclude they were a ­danger to Georgia, who has now been with adoptive parents for eight months.

Sarah, whose family has a ­history of bone problems and ­vitamin D deficiencies, is now 28 weeks’ pregnant with their second child. However, this baby might also be taken from her because of the earlier findings.

She said: “I have lost the most important person in my life and I worry every day about how she is. I will never give up on her and will fight until we are together as a family again.” Sarah is taking her fight to the European Court of Human Rights after the Court of Appeal judges ruled last month her application for a full hearing was too late and Georgia’s “life had moved on”.

Sarah’s lawyers argued “crucial evidence” had not been properly considered at earlier court hearings. This was a blood test taken in May 2010, when Georgia was first taken to hospital. It showed her vitamin D levels were so low she was suffering “clinical rickets”.

The levels were so severe that doctors immediately prescribed her a high 12ml dose of vitamin D.

In papers submitted to the Court of Appeal, Sarah’s lawyers added: “The blood test results indicated Georgia may have had low bone density which required further testing. No further testing was ­carried out. The blood test results were withheld.”

They added that x-rays of Georgia’s bones were not adequately analysed for rickets and disputed the assertions of three experts. These said there were no underlying bone conditions and that because “the parents were unable to provide a plausible explanation for the ­injuries, [there is] a high probability that they were caused non-­accidentally”.

There is also dispute about rickets in white children such as Georgia. One court-appointed consultant paediatrician stated: “Vitamin D deficiency rickets is seen only in the developed world in breast-fed infants of dark-skinned mothers.” However, consultant paediatrician Dr Jeremy Allgrove, of the Royal London Hospital, told us: “That’s not ­correct. I have seen vitamin D ­deficiency rickets, albeit very rarely, in white-skinned children.”

Before they were aware of the vitamin D tests, Sarah said Michael “panicked” and made up reasons for Georgia’s fractures. When these explanations did not tally with the injuries, a judge called his evidence “not truthful” .

Sarah’s mother offered to care for Georgia but she refused to accept her ­daughter’s “guilt” and was deemed unsuitable .

In her letter to the European Court of Human Rights, Sarah said: “By ignoring the fact my daughter was suffering from ­profound vitamin D deficiency rickets, when determining the degree of force required to cause fractures, I have been denied my right to a fair trial.”

MP John Hemming, who chairs the Justice for Families campaign group, said: “If the experts assume the parents are at fault then they often don’t look for the real cause. This means lives can be destroyed in the haste to pinpoint blame .”

A spokeswoman for the police force involved – it cannot be named for legal reasons – said it was working with the National Policing Improvement Agency to determine if Georgia’s injuries were accidental or not.

Sarah, Michael and Georgia are not the real names.

Source: Daily Express


WHAT kind of country is it that takes a baby from its mother when she has gone to seek help?

We report today on the case of Sarah and Michael, who had their baby Georgia taken from them after doctors discovered she had a broken arm... despite the fact that Sarah’s family has a history of bone problems and vitamin D deficiencies.

What a disgrace.

When it comes to child protection the authorities seem to veer from one extreme to the other, either utter hysteria, as in the case of the various innocent women jailed for killing their children, or utter neglect, as in the dreadful case of Baby P.

It seems a baby may have been wrenched from loving parents without a comprehensive investigation.

Further checks have now been made which suggest Georgia may indeed have suffered bone problems.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that it’s too late for her to be returned and that Georgia’s “life has moved on”.

But Sarah has been denied the opportunity for a fair hearing and must now resort to the European Court for justice.

Source: Daily Express