Kevin MD posts a short article that raises some questions about the reporting of possible child abuse. I do not have the ability to judge the limited facts presented, but both the reporter and the alleged abusers have rights. And, most importantly, the rights of any abused child should trump them all.
Frivolous? An interesting case where parents are suing a doctor for a Munchausen syndrome by proxy diagnosis:
The parents of 3-year-old boy have sued a prominent pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic who accused the couple of faking their son’s illnesses.
Scott and Tricia Beam of suburban Chippewa Lake were outraged when their son, Tyler, was placed with a foster family while the couple was under investigation by the Medina County Department of Job and Family Services.
The agency based its investigation on a 19-page letter from Dr. Johanna Goldfarb, who had never examined Tyler or met his parents but diagnosed the toddler as a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder in which parents fake a child’s illness or deliberately harm the child to draw attention to themselves.
A juvenile court eventually ruled in favor of the Beams, returning Tyler to their care.
But the couple filed a lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court seeking damages. They say Goldfarb and the Cleveland Clinic should pay for the parents’ mental anguish, embarrassment and damage to their reputations. Both are teachers in the Cleveland school system.
Defense lawyers labeled the lawsuit frivolous. But last month a judge denied their request to dismiss the case.