A Pennsylvania woman claims doctors took her seven-day-old healthy baby and called police and social workers simply because she gave birth at home. She also says that doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital transferred her baby to another hospital without her permission.
Birthing at home was important to her, she says.
“I knew I did not want to deliver in the hospital,” she said. “… I didn’t want a random man or woman helping ME deliver MY baby.”
But those thoughts of joy changed to fear when she got to the hospital.
“[The doctor] came in the room with a stern look and said if you refuse to transfer her, we WILL CONTACT DHS (Department of Human Services) AND THE POLICE,” said the woman, Fatima Doumbouya.
Doumbouya and her husband refused permission, but they didn’t realize that the doctors had already decided to move their daughter to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she says.
The mother and her husband, Bilal Smith, only learned of the transfer when a nurse told them the baby was being moved. They had never given permission nor signed any paperwork authorizing the action. Doctors informed her that the baby would have to be transferred to Children’s because St. Joseph’s lacked the proper instruments to examine her, she says.
Police Called on Couple
The mother’s nightmare began when she took her daughter to an emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital for a checkup. Doumbouya had given birth at home and had stopped prenatal visits because she felt that she was receiving unnecessary medical treatment.
“I informed her that she cannot physically force me to take my child to another hospital,” Doumbouya wrote at a blog called Ms. Wright’s Way. “I knew what awaited us there were her vaccines and the silver nitrate eye [medicine].”
When the couple objected to the transfer, doctors called the police, she says. Three officers were waiting for them in the next room. The officers forced the couple to go with the baby to the other hospital.
A hospital worker later told Doumbouya that the hospital’s action was probably illegal and that she could get her daughter discharged by filling out an AMA (Against Medical Advice) form at the front desk, the mother says.
“When I asked the front desk for those papers, THEY BLATANTLY IGNORED ME,” Doumbouya wrote. “I kept asking and asking, [and] no one would answer me, they all looked at each other and kept doing what they were doing. It was like something out of a movie.”
Baby Subjected to Tests without Parents’ Permission
She contends that she had to wait an hour and a half for an ambulance to come and take her baby to Children’s Hospital. At Children’s Hospital, the baby was subjected to a series of tests and found to be completely healthy.
“They ran test after test after test HOPING TO FIND SOMETHING,” Doumbouya wrote.
The tests were done without her permission. She believes the reason for the tests was to find a pretext for the Department of Human Services to take her baby, she says.
In a final insult to injury, Doumbouya and her husband received a bill from the hospital for the ambulance ride they didn’t want in the first place. In a recent post on the blog, she wrote:
“I received a bill today – Remember in my story when we were FORCED to transfer hospitals? Well the ambulance ride was $3,320.00. Healthcare is the second biggest scam in this country.”
It is easy to see why Doumbouya, an immigrant from Africa, is thinking of leaving the United States.
Not The Only Case
The frightening thing is that Doumbouya is not alone. Recent Off the Grid News stories indicate that other mothers have reported disturbingly similar stories. Some examples include:
- Home birth mother Jodi Ferris said she and her husband were escorted out of a Hershey, Pennsylvania, hospital by police after they refused to let their baby be vaccinated. Ferris had to hire an attorney in order to get her baby back.
- Aliea Bidwell and Ben Gray claimed that doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, threatened to call social workers if they didn’t get their baby vaccinated.
- Amish parents Andy and Ana Hershberger took their daughter, Sarah from Ohio to Mexico to keep a court-appointed guardian from forcing her to get chemotherapy.
It looks like parents who practice natural or alternative medicine might be well-advised to avoid hospitals, or at least know the law and have an attorney at hand.
What do you think about home births? Let us know in the comments section below.