When it comes to a child’s welfare and, potentially, public safety, can local authorities go too far? Some family rights advocates in Arizona say yes after the Chandler police department “raided” a home to remove a two-year-old boy who had been suffering from a fever of 105 degrees. The kid, who had not been vaccinated, had been taken to a doctor, who told the mother to get him to the hospital. When the facility reported that the child had not been seen in the emergency room, the doctor notified Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), who ultimately obtained a warrant to remove him.
The doctor informed the mother that she feared the high fever could be a sign of meningitis, a very serious illness that involves swelling of the brain, which can kill a person in hours if not treated. But the toddler’s fever broke and the parents decided they didn’t need to seek medical attention. A DCS caseworker asked for assistance from the police department to check on the welfare of the child. When the caseworker and authorities arrived, the father would not allow them entrance into the home. Law enforcement and DCS continued to try and get in, and made repeated phone calls to the parents that went unanswered. An officer wrote in a report that he could hear a child coughing. The warrant was obtained and the Chandler police department, in riot gear with guns drawn, tried again to get the parents to open the door before battering it down.
Besides the toddler, there were two other children in the home. Police reports claim the house had piles of laundry laying about, a concrete floor, and a rifle laying across a bed. All three children were taken into custody and the toddler was taken to the hospital. It was determined the boy had RSV, a highly contagious and serious respiratory virus.
Law vs Child Safety
Rep. Kelly Townsend (R-AZ) helped to write legislation that required DCS to get a warrant removing a child from home in non-emergency situations. She said she was outraged at the police tactics. “It was not the intent (of the law) that the level of force after obtaining a warrant was to bring in a SWAT team,” she said. “The imagery is horrifying. What has our country become that we can tear down the doorway of a family who has a child with a high fever that disagrees with their doctor?”
Perhaps appearing in riot gear was a bit over the top, but then who knew what would be discovered behind that door? When parents are informed their child may have a potentially deadly illness and refuse to seek treatment, it is a good idea to take precaution before entering the home.
“What about parents’ rights to decide what’s best for their child?” Townsend said. “Parents felt the child was fine. Next thing we know, the Gestapo is at their door.”
The parents’ refusal to make sure the child was okay and not contagious, especially when they had two other children in the household, should be cause for concern. A parent’s right to decide what’s best for their child should not be all encompassing – that’s why we have child protective laws in the first place.
The parents are convinced this is all because they do not agree with vaccinating their children, and claim the DCS is somehow punishing them by making it difficult to get their kids back. All three children were placed with the service while the matter was held before the court.
Vaccinations vs Public Safety and the Illegal Migrant Elevated Threat
The decision (or right?) to deny vaccinations to children has been a controversial topic among medical professionals and parents for some time now. Many fear that vaccines cause autism in young children, even though this has been proven false. Is it really a parent’s right to forego this form of protection when it could affect society?
Many of the deadly diseases from ages ago have been mostly eradicated due to vaccines. Smallpox and polio used to run rampant, and thousands of people died before the population started getting inoculated. Now, with the epic swarm of illegal migrants pouring into the U.S., we are seeing a huge increase in infectious diseases. Measles, in particular, has nearly become an epidemic, to the point that Washington state declared a health emergency and has drafted a bill that, as Liberty Nation’s Laura Valkovic reported, would “make the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine mandatory before a child can attend daycare or school, except in cases of certified religious or medical reasons; personal and philosophical objections would not be tolerated.”
Should local authorities have the ability to enter a home and retrieve sick children if parents are not seeking appropriate medical attention? When does a parent’s rights supplant society’s safety? Clearly, a line needs to be drawn, but where?