Parents of an unvaccinated toddler felt pressured to stay at the hospital 24 hours AFTER their daughter recovered under the force of the threat of CPS. It was only after the doctor stopped the fever-reducing intervention does the child make a rapid recovery. These are loving parents, gainfully employed, a healthy home, respected members in their community. They wound up following the coercive and unnecessary advice of the hospital. Even after the child's health improved (the 24-hour stomach bug passed) and all tests for bacterial infection came back negative, the hospital forced an extended stay by 24 hours.
Kootenai Hospital staff tells parents of a dehydrated toddler with the stomach flu "This is not a prison.” When parents decide to take the recovering toddler home they are told, “You are free to leave, if you do, we will call CPS."
Later that week, the parents are visited by CPS AND Law Enforcement AFTER they were discharged and left the hospital a scathing review on facebook. Your tax dollars were spent on a hospital carrying out retaliation over valid and negative criticism. To unnecessarily and further traumatize the child and family.
Clearly, this hospital is attempting coercion, abusing the brute force of CPS and wasting first responder's resources in retaliation.
“When Max Lathrop left a scathing review on the Kootenai Health page friends brought it to my attention. I reached out to Max and he agreed to an interview. Max is a dad who wants his family’s story to be told in hopes that it will prompt change and spare other families from the undo stress of needless threats that CPS will be called if you don’t comply with the hospital’s recommendations. Why is Kootenai Health against parents making medical decisions? My takeaway from his story is that Kootenai Health must stop using the threat of CPS to force tests, treatments, or extra nights stay at the hospital. It may appear that Kootenai Health is using CPS to increase funding.” - Miste Karlfeldt, Health Freedom Idaho Executive Director
This is the review father Max left on Kooneia's facebook page July 20, that prompted a call to the family from the patient advocate of the hospital trying to mitigate a pr nightmare perhaps?
The following is not a criticism of the nurses and doctors. They were great! This is a top-down policy failure that begins with the administration. I do not blame the staff for following the rules.
My wife and I follow a lot of medical freedom groups online. We've read countless horror stories about medical fascism. When you read enough of these stories and time passes by you start to think that as terrifying as these stories are that it probably will never happen to you.
Well that all changed on July 17, 2019, when our 2-year-old daughter suddenly came down with a nasty gastric intestinal virus (there are no vaccinations against these viruses). You know the ones. The nasty little bugs that level you out for a solid 24 hours with projectile vomiting and fever.
There was blood visible in her vomit, so we rushed her to urgent care where we were then told to take her to the ER at the hospital across the street. She had lost all color and was extremely lethargic. She had spent the day with my cousin, her babysitter, so we had no idea what was going on. We weren't taking any chances.
Our daughter is petite for her age but very healthy. She's in the 30 percentile for her height and weight. My wife and I both have small women in our family, so this is no surprise to us. We also chose not to vaccinate her after hours and hours of research and consult with multiple family medical professionals who read medical journals for fun. The bottom line is that we chose not to vaccinate her because we spent the time to inform ourselves, not because we're ignorant.
Once we got into the ER, our daughter was treated with blood draws, a catheter urine draw, and an IV. At this point, everything seemed reasonable, and we appreciated the help. Our daughter was clearly massively dehydrated, which is expected, and we feel the IV was necessary. After the initial blood work came back, they found things that normally come with a viral infection; elevated white blood cell count and elevated liver enzymes as well as a low-grade fever. We were later admitted to the pediatric hospital for what we thought would be one night of IV hydration. All seemingly normal at this point.
We met with the pediatrician on staff, Dr. Parker, and she was nice. But of course, it was brought up that she was unvaccinated. Also, they wanted to know who our pediatrician was. We told them that our daughter had only been to a pediatrician once when she was 9 weeks old to establish care. This was only the second time in her life she had gotten sick. She is ridiculously healthy. They clearly took note of this.
Nurses came in all through the night checking her vitals every four hours and to give her Tylenol suppositories to fight the fever even though it never topped 102. Usually, you'd let the fever go so the body could burn off the virus.
Needless to say, nobody got any sleep that first night. Our daughter was even woken up out of a dead sleep at 6 a.m. with no warning to have blood drawn. Can you say "traumatizing"? A little more bedside manner would've been nice. Here comes day two.
Day two was a blur. We had sleep deprivation.
During this day, they decided to keep her hooked up on the IV, which made her not want to drink orally. They also kept her loaded up on Tylenol. Again, not allowing her body to fight the virus off with a fever. Dr. Parker told us that they had sent some of our daughter's urine to be tested for culture in case her infection was bacterial and not viral as well as a new blood test to see what the trend was with her white blood cells and liver enzymes. She also told us that because of our daughter's size, she was going to send a dietician up to talk to us.
All the dietitian did was ask some questions and take a look at our daughter. She said everything looked good and we were relieved. By the end of the day, she wasn't eating or drinking, so we were told she needed to stay another night. We didn't put up much of a fight because she wasn't self hydrating and were of course, worried. She slept a lot better the second night, and we all got some rest.
The next morning we were visited by a new doctor, this time the medical director for the pediatric department, Dr. Carol. She seemed nice and genuine. She told us she wanted to unhook the IV and stop the Tylenol to give our daughter a chance to fight the virus as well as see if she would try self hydrate. Why did it take this long to do the obvious? This was day 3!
Dr. Carol also implied that she may want to keep our daughter there for the third night!
She even went out of her way to tell us that we weren't in prison and that we could leave freely at any time (this will be important in a minute). Anyway, during the morning all my daughter wanted to do was sleep, so we let her sleep. She slept for 3 hours before waking up clearly more refreshed and looking better. She had obviously burned off the bug quite a bit. She wanted to drink and chugged an entire bottle as well as took in a little water. This was the sign my wife and I were looking for to take her home. We knew that as long as she would self hydrate, we could safely take her home and finish this thing out there where she'd be happy. By now, she was miserable in the hospital and was not very cooperative. This is where things got bad.
We decided that we were ready to go home and comfortable in doing so.
We could handle a low-grade fever and pushing fluids at home. But when we told the nurse, we'd like the leave the first thing out of her mouth is that she would have to contact child protective services because that's their policy when a parent wants to take their children home "against medical advice." We were blown away and horrified. So this wasn't a prison, and we are free to leave at any time. But if we do try to leave they will contact CPS and try to get our child taken away! Threatening our most precious thing?! Sounds more like a gun to the head to me!
The nurse told us it was because our daughter wasn't vaccinated that they were taking extra precautions and wanted to wait until the urine culture came back. This made no sense. I asked what the possibility of a bacterial infection had to do with my daughter not being vaccinated against viruses. She didn't answer and just reverted back to, "this is just our policy. It's not my call."
The anxiety set in big time, and we asked to talk to Dr. Carol. They said it would be a while, so we waited for almost 2 hours. When the doctor finally came, we were scared and had called everyone we knew who we thought could help us; my sister, who's a nurse and our midwife. They did their best to coach us. The doctor explained her concerns. She wanted us to stay there until the urine culture was done the next morning. Why? Because we didn't vaccinate our daughter and she was worried it could be something really bad like Hepatitis A. I guess there was also a second blood lab they were waiting on too. This made no sense why they would keep us there when they could just send us home, and if the results came back positive for a bacterial infection, they could just call in a prescription to a pharmacy, and we would pick it up. Why did they want to keep her there another night? The doctor then left and let us discuss what we wanted to do.
After talking about it and seeing just how miserable our daughter was there, we decided we wanted to leave and just let them call CPS then. We had nothing to hide and know we're good parents. It would be a waste of CPS resources, and we knew they'd see that. At this point, our daughter was begging to go home and swing in her backyard and was done. We were all done. At this point, it was 5 p.m. on the third day. We were exhausted and felt like prisoners.
I then approached Dr. Carol and told her my wife, and I decided it would be best just to go home. She was surprised. She started a whole sales pitch to convince me to stay. She used the threat of CPS again in a backward way, saying, "I just want to send you home clean. There's no reason to get CPS involved. Nobody wants that." Sounded more like a mafia-style threat, "That's a nice family you have there. It'd be a shame if something...happened to it." She even went on to say that if we had vaccinated our daughter, we would have been in-and-out of thereafter that first night.
So she basically admitted they were keeping us there longer just because we didn’t vaccinate! We were clearly targeted.
Then she said vaccinations would be a different conversation between the pediatrician and us that they had already set up an appointment for us to follow up with. She went on to say that the reason they call CPS is to protect the children because they cannot speak for themselves. In other words, they're saying that they know more about what's best for a child than their parent, the only ones who have the legal authority to "speak for them."
At this point, I was too tired to fight anymore. I decided as long as there were no more tests or invasive procedures or shooting up my daughter this wouldn't be my hill to die on. I told my wife that it was already evening, so let's just stay and leave first thing in the morning. We felt threatened into staying. No doubt about it. This was medical kidnapping.
The next morning our daughter's blood and urine came back clean as a whistle just like we knew it would. This was a joke. They didn't even do anything that entire third day. We watched her the entire time. All they did was check her vitals every four hours.
What a waste of time and money!
So this is our story of medical tyranny. It’s real. It does happen. So be aware! My wife is a full time middle school teacher and I am a full time professional videographer. We own our home and are loving parents. This can happen to ANYONE!
Several days later, as they returned to 'normal' life the family had a shock two police cars and CPS showed up at the door.
This terrifying experience happened because the family chose not to follow up with the hospital assigned pediatrician. The child, in full health, had returned to daycare and their life had returned to normal. Or so they thought. Hospital records reveal that the staff made notes to call CPS to disrupt their family even after "discharge with a clean bill of health" should they seek a care provider other than that assigned by hospital staff.
The family was not aware that their visit to this specific practitioner was contingent on avoiding CPS and had canceled their appointment.
No this isn't the first time for Kootenai Health, and yes this is becoming a "thing."
You might remember Baby Elijah two years ago. If you dare to have an opinion that isn't 100% in line with the doctor providing your care, you get CPS called. Loving parents, gainfully employed, a normal home, members in the community. They wound up following the coercive and unnecessary advice of the hospital, but CPS was called ANYWAY, only AFTER they were discharged and left them a scathing review. Your tax dollars were spent on a hospital carrying out retaliation over a true and scathing review meant to unnecessarily and further traumatize the child and her family. That alone should be investigated and should wake you up to the tyranny if you haven't started to see it yet.
Health and Welfare sent a letter to the parents: the case UNFOUNDED