Military Family Fights US Army Hospital Over the Release of Their Child

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The wife of a US soldier stationed in Germany fighting for her child’s release from a US Army hospital and its staff that have admitted to the mother that there is no medical need for the child to be held. This story started on March 12 when the Dickenson family rushed their two-month-old child to the emergency room and reported that their 16-month-old daughter fell off the couch and onto the infant while sleeping in his bouncy seat. The Army physician at the emergency room contacted the family advocacy program councilor due to the child having cracked ribs. This initiated the mandatory reporting required when the nature of injuries are such that child abuse cannot be ruled out.  This story is not focused on the allegations of abuse that followed, but on the mother’s constitutional right to make medical decisions for her child and her parental rights and custody in light of the fact that she is not being investigated for child abuse, by the civilian child protective services, and no formal charges have been filed against either parent.

One worker from the hospital who was adamant about remaining anonymous for fear of retaliation in speaking out has stated to ASN that the goal of the hospital was to move the child to the state of Missouri under the guise of a medical transfer to the Children’s Mercy hospital, so that hospital could act as the mandatory reporter in the state of Missouri and activate another investigation with CPS in the state once the child was in Missouri to obtain the outcome they did not receive from the German authorities.

Mercy hospital has declined comment about the transfer.

Medical Staff including a commander in the hospital have openly admitted that the need for inpatient medical treatment or transfer to the US is no longer needed despite advising the staff judge advocate that this was necessary and that the only reason the hospital would not release the child is because it was the decision of hospital staff and family advocacy program councilors that the Dickenson family did not have the autonomy to make legal decisions about the child, including giving temporary guardianship to a grandparent. This decision is the role exclusively reserved for civilian authorities and civilian civil courts as outlined in army regulations and confirmed by the pentagon.

ASN has obtained recordings from a whistle blower inside the hospital containing hours of audio recordings between hospital staff, administrators, and the Dickinson family. Let’s listen to a few segments to gain some insight into this families struggle.

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The medical protective custody order placed on the child by the hospital has been called into question because section four 3-20 for the army regulation 608-18 states when circumstances requiring immediate measures to protect a child abuse victim may arise before the alleged abuser is apprehended or questioned… This was not the situation with the Dickenson family. The medical protective custody was not put into place until 3 weeks after the child was admitted to the hospital. As admitted by the Colonel the MPC was used to prevent the grandmother from having the autonomy to move the child back to the United States. The MPC also states that the treating physician made the determination that no safe environment was identified for the child. This job is expressly designated to the civilian Child protective services of the host nation as stated by the DOD.

The medical protective custody order also cites the need for a medical evacuation to a hospital in the united states, directly contradicting statements from multiple physicians treating the child and the Colonel himself.

The mother has stated that she feels the Army has let her family down after her husband’s six years of honorable service to his country, and is currently obtaining legal counsel in what she believes is a case that includes medical malpractice, the falsification of legal documents as well as medical records and the illegal abduction of her child by removing her parental rights without authority to do so. ASN has obtained the medical records for the child that where partially released to the family and noticed large gaps in treatment records and transfer orders back from the German hospital. Along with the alleged abuse on the child, being documented as confirmed abuse in the medical records from a report written by a speech pathologist.   The mother stated that she had been told by the hospital that this was a clerical error and that they were also working to get her the rest of his patient records that have still not been made available to her.

The most incredulous part to this story is that when ASN again reached out to a military official for clarification, we were told that the hospital had obtained a court order from the German government to move the child back to the United States. As of yesterday no such order exists, and the hospital administration did seek to have the mother sign a power of attorney granting the hospital authority to place the child on a medical flight back to the united states, which she refused and despite the Family advocacy program worker stating in the recordings that we just heard that the mothers travel was restricted to an ongoing investigation, the hospital had also provided the mother with military travel orders to leave the country.

ASN is reaching out to the DOD again further clarification on the matter and will be updating this story as it develops. Stay tuned to ASN Global News for more updates on this story and more.

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