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Mandatory Reporting Laws

Mandatory Reporting Laws

She doubted the parents were neglectful, but failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect was a crime. So to play it safe, she reported the family anyway, knowing her identity would never be disclosed. This all too common vignette is the origin of many unnecessary CPS investigations. Child abuse is a serious problem, but […]

Newborn blood spot retention and parental rights

Newborn blood spot retention and parental rights

After collecting blood spots for newborn screening, the dried blood spot (DBS) specimens are sent to a designated state laboratory for testing. These blood samples in state possession include newborns’ DNA. States have different laws governing parental rights to restrict DBS use.  In some states, parents may completely restrict DBS use and request its destruction. […]

Child “blows up” Santa. CPS investigates.

Child “blows up” Santa. CPS investigates.

“Santa is dead,” 6-year-old Noah Kemp* announced grimly. The other young children at tumbling class looked at him in surprise. This was not a very merry sentiment. “No, he’s not!” someone piped up. “Yes, he is!” Noah shot back, “He came down the chimney, so I blew him up.” A few little boys seemed impressed, […]

Newborn CCHD Screening and Parental Rights

Newborn CCHD Screening and Parental Rights

What is CCHD screening? The least invasive standard newborn screening is testing for CCHD via pulse oximetry. CCHD stands for critical congenital heart defects, a broad term encompassing a variety of inherited heart conditions. Pulse oximetry is a simple device which measures blood oxygen levels by shining a light through a baby’s hand or foot. […]

Newborn Hearing Screenings and Parental Rights

Newborn Hearing Screenings and Parental Rights

Why is a hearing screening often required at birth? One screening often required for newborns is a screening for risk for hearing loss. The hearing screening is a process involving earbuds or headphones connected to sensors playing soft sounds in a newborn’s ears. The sensors measure the baby’s response to determine whether there is potential […]

Newborn Blood Spot Screening and Parental Rights

Newborn Blood Spot Screening and Parental Rights

Do I have to let the state health department have a sample of my baby’s blood? As if labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery were not enough to deal with upon a newborn’s arrival, there are also postnatal laws and regulations parents will encounter. One of these is the required newborn screening (NBS) process, which can […]

Member Story: Medical neglect for transferring to a new hospital?

Member Story: Medical neglect for transferring to a new hospital?

“Should you feed her that? We don’t think her body can handle it.”  Jason and Amy Hawkins* watched helplessly as the pediatric hospital staff started the feeding tube. Their 16-year-old daughter Alyssa had cystic fibrosis and standard hospital protocol did not meet her dietary needs. But the hospital would not listen. “How much are you […]

Top News: Mandatory reporting laws are a failure

Top News: Mandatory reporting laws are a failure

When a person has a suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected, laws in every state require members of certain professions—and sometimes everyone—to report those suspicions to law enforcement or child protective services. On its face, this seems like a good idea. But it has actually been counterproductive to the original intent of […]

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Please re-word. A poet-laureate I am not.

LAW AND POLICY

Spotlight on Washington

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