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A Florida woman was jailed after she refused to take her newborn baby to the hospital because she wanted her baby on a vegetarian diet.
When Sarah Anne Markham wouldn’t comply with a doctor’s orders, police forced their way into her home and took her baby to the hospital.
“She didn’t want her child ingesting anything with animal byproducts,” Corporal Kristine Pamatian of the Casselberry, Florida, police said of Markham. “She wanted a second opinion with a holistic doctor.”
Markham was afraid that doctors at Florida Hospital South would feed her baby something she opposes. Markham is reportedly a Seventh Day Adventist who believes consuming animal-based foods is prohibited by the Bible.
Jailed for Not Following Doctor’s Orders
A doctor had told Markham to take the baby to the hospital because of dehydration.
“Our No. 1 priority is to make sure that person or that child is OK and that their life isn’t in jeopardy,” Pamatian said in an interview with an Orlando TV station. “It was imminent the child needed to have this medical attention, so we have to go on the information at the time, and that’s where we would be in making decisions.”
When Markham didn’t take the baby to the hospital, somebody reported her to a Florida state hotline for child abuse cases. The hotline alerted Casselberry police who went to Markham’s apartment and questioned her.
When Markham wouldn’t cooperate with police or open the door, officers had a locksmith open the door. They then entered the apartment, arrested Markham and took the 13-day-old child to the hospital. Markham was charged with child neglect, and she was later released from jail on bail.
The baby will be placed in state custody once he or she leaves the hospital, Pamatian told Orlando TV station WFTV. The child’s sex was not revealed in the news stories.
Markham’s family told WFTV that she had wanted to seek a second opinion from a holistic healer before taking the baby to the hospital. The doctor apparently blamed the baby’s dehydration on a vegan formula Markham had purchased for the child at Whole Foods.
Other Parents Losing Custody of Children to Hospitals
Markham isn’t the only parent who has charged that medical professionals took custody of a child because of lifestyle choices. Some disturbing incidents uncovered by Off The Grid News include:
- Fatima Doumbouya, who charges that doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Philadelphia transferred her newborn baby to another hospital without her permission because she had given birth at home. Doumbouya also claimed that hospital staff refused to give her papers that would have allowed her to secure the infant’s release.
- Justina Pelletier, 15, who was taken from her parents and placed in a psychiatric ward because doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital thought she was a victim of medical child abuse. Pelletier was later placed in a residential treatment program. Pelletier’s parents, Linda and Lou, claim they were escorted out of the hospital by police when they disagreed with a doctor’s diagnosis.
- Jodi Ferris, who is suing the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania for violating her rights. Ferris claims that doctors had police throw her and her husband out of the hospital because she didn’t want to get her newborn vaccinated. Ferris and her husband had to hire an attorney to get the hospital to release custody of their child.
- Alea Bidwell, who charges that a doctor at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, threatened to turn her newborn son over to state social workers if she did not get him vaccinated. Bidwell’s baby wasn’t taken because she agreed to the vaccination.
The conflict between parental rights and the medical profession appears to be growing. Some doctors, it seems, are now using police to force their idea of medical treatment on children whose parents believe in alternative medicine.
Should police and doctors have intervened in this case? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.