Actual cases of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, where a parent is accused of seeking or administering unnecessary medical treatments to a child to get attention are incredibly rare. That’s not to say that they don’t happen, just that they don’t happen very often. So when medical staff claim that a parent (usually the mom) is trying to force unnecessary medicines, procedures and surgeries on their child, the media pays a lot of attention. And so does CPS.
A medical abuse case from Wisconsin has made national news.
Alisha Newman, a nurse, is being accused of subjecting her 10-year-old daughter to years of needless medical treatments that actually worsened her health. Newman told doctors her daughter had been previously diagnosed with dysautonomia, muscular dystrophy, mitochondrial disease, hypertension, hypotension, and severe dysmotility. However different doctors in different states have ruled out these conditions several times over the years.
Doctors claim that the mom has been abusing her daughter for years.
Treatments for the many alleged conditions included installing a pacemaker, an IV port and a feeding tube, among other things. Newman has also had several surgeries performed on the girl over the years, and has installed a Do-Not-Resuscitate order for her daughter. Apparently doctors at Wisconsin’s Children’s Hospital became concerned when Newman brought her daughter in with the second serious bacterial infection in as many weeks. Tests revealed that the child was suffering from severe shock, acute renal failure, organ damage, and acidosis.
So what are the consequences of these allegations?
After diagnosing the girl, and discovering that other doctors have expressed concern in the past regarding Newman’s mental health and her treatment of her daughter, medical staff called police. Newman was immediately arrested and has since been charged with one count of Child Abuse Through Recklessly Causing Great Bodily Harm, and one count of Neglecting a Child, both of which are felonies. (If the wording on the charges sounds a little strange to you, remember that criminal charges differ from state to state, and here in Michigan we use different wording for our Child Abuse charges.)
What if she’s not a bad mom, just misunderstood?
We really don’t know the details here, only what the media shares with us (which can sometimes be very misleading.) Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy really does exist, and this might be a classic case. Or it may be a case of a concerned mom who is trying very hard to do whatever she can for her daughter, we have no idea. But what we do know is that there have been many parents over the years who’ve come into our office, terrified that CPS is going to take their children away because a doctor didn’t like having his opinion second guessed, or because one doctor at a certain hospital disagreed with something another doctor said at a different hospital.
Have you been accused of medical neglect or Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy?
Join us next time for more details about this case, and a look at how difficult it can be to parent your kids when medical staff disagree with your parenting choices. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of abusing a child through unnecessary medical procedures or medications, we can help. At The Kronzek Firm, our skilled child abuse and neglect defense attorneys have successfully handled many cases where parents were stripped of their rights. We have a long track record of success, so call us at 866 766 5245 today.