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Getting a second opinion about their baby’s medical options resulted in a police raid on a California home. Anna and Alex Nikolayev’s 5-month-old son Sammy was being treated for a heart murmur when the shocking ordeal began. The couple had been taking the baby to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento since he was born for treatment.
During an interview with local ABC Channel 10 Action News, Anna recalled her dismay after discussing with a nurse the medication about to be given to her baby. According to Anna, the nurse stated that she did not know what type of medication was in her hand. The concerned mother reportedly later discovered that the medicine was an antibiotic, one that the doctor allegedly said little Sammy should not have received.
When the Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento presented the idea of the infant undergoing heart surgery, Anna and Alex opted to get a second opinion about the procedure. The Nikolayevs were not adamantly opposed to the idea of surgery, but they did want a different doctor to treat their child.
Anna Nikolayev had this to say about the parents’ decision to get a second opinion:
“If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe.”
The doctors at the hospital allegedly pressured the family to keep Sammy at the hospital to undergo the heart surgery. Anna and Alex remained steadfast in the desire to get a second opinion and went straight to nearby Kaiser Permanente Hospital. In doing so, the Nikolayevs removed the baby without going through the standard discharge procedure.
The medical staff at Kaiser Permanente Hospital evaluated Sammy’s condition and wrote a release for the infant to go home. Before the family could leave the second California hospital, police officers arrived on the scene.
“They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms,” Anna stated after the incident. After the officers saw the written release from the new doctor, the officers reportedly told the family to have a nice day and left the hospital without any further action.
The reprieve from outsiders intruding on the medical decisions being made for little Sammy did not last very long. The next morning Child Protective Services (CPS) arrived at the Nikolayev home. Alex maintains he was pushed against the exterior wall of the home and was then “smacked” onto the ground after asking if he was under arrest. One CPS worker allegedly yelled, “I think I got the keys to the house.”
After watching the scene unfold outside her home, Anna ran to grab her camera and began shooting a video. The scene captured by Anna reportedly shows police officers entering the home without a warrant and taking the infant.
In an excerpt of the video, you can hear a voice saying:
“I’m going to grab your baby and don’t resist, and don’t fight me okay?”
At that point the police officers took Sammy from his mother’s arms and walked out of the home. Multiple news organizations have contacted both the local police department and Child Protective Services to garner a comment about why the baby was taken, but no statement has been forthcoming.
Anna Nikolayev stated that a CPS staffer told her that Sammy was removed from the home on the basis of “severe neglect.” The only official response from the Child Protective Services agency read:
“We conduct a risk assessment of the child’s safety and rely heavily on the direction of health care providers.”
Alex, a Russian native, said that the couple had behaved rationally when seeking a second opinion about a major surgery on their infant. The worried father also noted that it seems like parents do not have any rights and said the situation reminds him of the communist regime in Russia.
The only known impropriety that Anna and Alex committed was taking Sammy from one hospital directly to another without completing the proper discharge paperwork. The heart-wrenching ordeal began for the family two weeks ago. Last week Anna was finally able to spend one hour with her sick baby.
The family was due in court to address the matter – and hopefully bring Sammy home, on April 29. During the visit with Sammy Nikolayev, the parents were reportedly not allowed to see his medical chart or speak with his doctors.
“The mistake that they made was, without signing out the child, they left the hospital and went to a different hospital and in my opinion what they did upset the initial physician and he decided to make a call to the Child Protective Services and say that there’s a child who is in imminent danger of death. What he did not know at that time was that they had gone to a second hospital and a different doctor said, no, it is not an issue,” Anna and Alex’s attorney Joe Weinberger stated during an interview with ABC News.
California may be the most liberal state in the union, but residents still have not had all of their rights yanked out from beneath their feet. Although all of the information is not yet known about the parenting habits of Anna and Alex Nikolayev, there is no evidence that a CPS report or any type of complaint had ever been filed against the family before.
Sammy’s parents were not denying him life-saving medical care; they merely opted to get a second opinion. It is taking far too long to right this wrong and return the baby boy to his parents. The police officers were doing their job when following up on a report that a child was in an emergency situation and refused medical treatment by his parents. Once the officer saw the baby was at a new hospital and read the second physician’s report, the situation should have ended there.
Once CPS became involved, the situation quickly spun out of control. I cannot even imagine the emotional pain both the parents and the baby have been forced to endure since the removal. If parents no longer have the right to switch doctors or hospitals due to fears of substandard care, Alex Nikolayev is exactly right, we are now living under a communist regime in America.