In a case that highlights the growing power struggle between doctors, government officials and parents over medical treatment of children, a Black couple was finally reunited with their newborn daughter more than three weeks after the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services placed her in foster care over a disagreement about how the infant would be treated for jaundice.1
Following a successful home birth on Mar. 21, 2023, the mother, 38, took her daughter Mila for a routine checkup where her pediatrician recommended treatment for jaundice. The family then decided to treat the baby at home under the care of their midwife.
A common newborn ailment that causes a yellowing of the skin and eyes due to too much bilirubin in the body, jaundice is generally unharmful and improves on its own without treatment in most newborns. The parents, together with their midwife, had already begun treating Mila at home with breastfeeding and sunlight, both of which are commonly prescribed and effective treatments for jaundice.2
Later that evening, Mrs. Jackson was reportedly barraged with text messages from her pediatrician, who threatened to call Child Protective Services (CPS) if they did not take the baby to the hospital for jaundice treatment. A week later, on Mar. 28, police helped CPS forcibly remove the newborn from the family’s home and she was placed in foster care where her parents were allowed less than a handful of supervised visits over the next three weeks.3
“I authorized the support of CPS to help get this baby get the care that was medically necessary and needed,” the Jacksons’ pediatrician, Anand Bhat, MD, told the court. CPS, in agreement, wrote that “due to the parents being unwilling to discuss the danger and potential consequences of this condition, it is necessary for the department to intervene.”
Father Arrested, Infant Taken From Mother’s Arms
Mrs. Jackson recounted that the officers arrested her husband, taking his keys and using them to enter their home where they ultimately peeled Mila from her mother’s arms. “When they came in and took her from me, I requested that I needed to see the paperwork. They insisted, ‘No, give her first, give her first,'” she said at the press conference. “So they took her from my arms and they gave me paperwork. When they left, I looked at the paperwork and the paperwork had another mother’s name on it.”4
During one of the few visits they were allotted, the Jacksons noticed what they described in an Apr. 6 press conference as red bumps and white discharge in their child’s vaginal area during a diaper change. Mrs. Jackson wanted to take the infant to the doctor, but was told by CPS that the foster parent would assume that responsibility.5
Weaponizing Medical Mistrust Among People of Color
The sequence of events that led to Mila’s forcible removal from parents by CPS shines a light on retaliatory, authoritarian behavior among too many medical care providers and government officials are engaging in today, especially toward people of color expressing distrust. The letter from Dr. Bhat alleged that the infant’s parents distrusted the medical-industrial complex.
Racial disparities that persist in American health care today have fostered trust issues in the Black community. For example, maternal and infant death rates Black individuals are disproportionately high. Additionally, a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that Black patients were 40 percent less likely to receive medication for acute pain compared to White patients, and 34 percent less likely to be prescribed opioids.6 7 A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found a number of alarming statistics affecting people of color, including disparities in suicide rates, drug overdoses, mental illness, and disproportionate barriers to accessing mental health care.8
200 Percent Increase in Medical Errors Fuels Growing Distrust
Among existing trust issues among many patients—Black and White—is a fear of medical errors made at the hands of tired, depressed healthcare providers. Since the onset of the pandemic, medical errors have skyrocketed to a staggering 200 percent among burned-out frontline medical workers, according to one study. At the end of 2021, nearly 63 percent of physicians reported symptoms of burnout, up 38 percent from the prior year.9 10
The Jackson family took to social media to plead for their daughter’s return while other advocacy groups held protests. “The doctor gave them options for care that the family agreed to follow,” a doula and birth justice advocate told NBC News. “They even agreed to connect the doctor with their midwife, but they were clear that they were keeping their baby under the midwife’s care. It felt like retaliation from the doctor.”11
In addition to respecting doctor-patient confidentiality, doctors are obligated to act in the best interest of their patients while respecting their autonomy. According to the American Medical Journal of Ethics, “When an autonomous patient’s stated wishes and actions are not aligned, the physician must both respect the patient’s decision and keep his wishes confidential if he has asked her not to disclose them.”12
“I did not know where to turn. They had taken my husband from me and then took my daughter from me and I was left by myself,” Mrs. Jackson lamented.
Reportedly, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services denied multiple requests for comment, with a spokesperson citing that “CPS cases in Texas are confidential, therefore I am not able to discuss any details of the case.”13
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1 Adams C. Black couple reunited with newborn taken by authorities over medical treatment, CBS News Apr. 27, 2023.
2 MedlinePlus. Newborn jaundice. June 24, 2020.
3 Reese K. Texas parents demand newborn back from child protective services after doctor has baby removed, ABC 7 Chicago Apr. 10, 2023.
4 Campoamor D. Black couple say Texas authorities took away their baby just because they had a home birth, USA Today Apr. 7, 2023.
5 Reddy S et al. DeSoto parents of newborn fight to remove baby from foster care, The Dallas Morning News Apr. 13, 2023.
6 March of Dimes, Mortality and Morbidity. February 2020.
7 Lee P et al. Racial and ethnic disparities in the management of acute pain in US emergency departments: Meta-analysis and systematic review. American Journal of Emergency Medicine 37(9): 1770 – 1777.
8 Panchal N et al. Five Key Findings on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders by Race/Ethnicity, Kaiser Family Foundation Sept. 20, 2022.
9 Motluk A. Do doctors experiencing burnout make more errors? CMAJ. 2018 Oct 9;190(40): E1216-E1217.
10 Berg S. Pandemic pushes U.S. doctor burnout to all-time high of 63%. American Medical Association Sept. 15, 2022.
11 Adams C. Protesters demand return of Black couple’s baby taken by Texas authorities after home birth, NBC News Apr. 14, 2023.
12 What’s the Role of Autonomy in Patient- and Family-Centered Care When Patients and Family Members Don’t Agree? AMA J Ethics 2016; 18(1): 12-17.
13 Campoamor D. Black couple say Texas authorities took away their baby just because they had a home birth. Today Apr. 7, 2023.
My son had jaundice and we were told to go home, breast feed, and sit in the sun with him. Then take him back to see the doctor in a few days.
omg, that Texas doctor and CPS worker need to go to jail on kidnapping charges.
The whole system screwed up.
Jaundice is treated with light.
If the judge thought there need a intervention,
The judge could have ordered the parents and midwife to treat the child in their own home for 3 weeks and return to cort with medical test.
This would have been much less bad .
Sounds like it is a female Indian doctor, as Anand is a girl’s name.
Absolutely disgusting use of force from the doctor and government services. I pray that the Jackson family will never have to deal with such a stressful and unfair situation ever again.
More medical kidnapping by an over reaching cps state authority which should not even exist in the first place. Child endangerment services is more like it. The horror stories of the children being supposedly protected, told by the same children whom miraculously survived to adults, all these decades later has already came forth time and time again. They’re trafficking children, not saving anyone. Parents should have fled the moment the doctor made that threat, and also immediately went for second, third, and fourth opinions to counter that lunatic threatening to use the power of the state against the family. Hospitals do not create cures, they create customers. Unless it’s a life or death issue, or you need something like blood work or an x ray, do not go voluntarily to those places. Cps is known to target people whom are both unaware of the law and their rights, and impoverished enough to find seeking legal remedy impossible. By the time you talk to that agency, it’s already too late. Cps has funding limitations and peramiters where if they do not land with a disposition if there is to be abduction of the children by the state, that decision must be made within twenty four hours of initial contact. This groups budget depends on how many children it ‘saves’. Perverse incentives, poisonous protectionism. Those whom focus on the depraved nature of those whom pervade the system as foster parents, will learn more than they ever imagined. And you can’t unlearn what you learn, be ready for the worst because the corruption goes all the way back to the very top. The further you stay away from all of those people the better, refuse to deal with them.
There is a family that will never willingly see a doctor again.
this doctor should be boycotted and his patients alerted to his crazed authoritarianism
They will never get those first 3 weeks back. I hope they sue and win big. I’d really love to see the persons involved charged with child abduction and every other law that can be brought to bear.
This is not the first case of this nor is it new. Most of the cases I recall where families that would have difficulty fighting back; the first I learned of was an immigrant family from Finland I think and more recently a black mother had her child taken from her because she declined the optional Vitamin D shot in a Chicago area hospital. That court case uncovered a tape of and actual conspiracy discussed at a formal meeting with hospital staff, CPS and local police.
When will we stop this?
Send Anand Bhat back to his authoritarian country, and, yes, I know that it is getting just as bad here in ‘murica.
What really makes me mad, even besides the fact that the state thinks it can do anything it wants with OUR children, is how they make it seem like they CARE about our children! We see over and over that the government cares nothing for our children. I’m so sick of this hypocrisy!
this is insane..fire your pediatrician..sue them if you can
There is very little reason to go to pediatricians other than life threatening emergencies.
This is outrageous! What is this Germany?
Sandra, how many people do you know who bought the narrative during the last 3 yrs?
I am 83 and lost all my friends, first they were mad at me for my beliefs and than several left this earth after their jabs… They cannot tell me what they think now? but I have my idea!
In Germany they went after one group, now it’s anyone who go along with their narrative and what we, over the years have allowed our politicians to get away with?
Time to make a BIG change for the sake of all children and our grandchildren? If not too late, we might have an opportunity soon?
I believe the Power of Christ — which is The Way, The Truth, and The Life — lay within the Covid Plandemic. It was a truth serum of sorts. We got to see who were truly God-centered and who were NOT; who believed in God’s Greatest Gift of Free Will for FREEDOM of VACCINATION CHOICE and who did NOT; who believed in the God’s second greatest gift of OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM and who did NOT.
FIRST, they take your health.
THEN, they take your money.
THEN, they take your life.
RFK, Jr., 2024 stands FOR OUR MEDICAL BODILY RIGHTS!
Check him out.
Spread the Word.
i’m sending you love and hugs for remaining courageous and keeping your wits about you! my mother was like you (also in her 80’s) and lost friends just as you did. you inspire me!
This is absolutely disgusting. the parents must sue the state dept AND the dr. for negligence. If wtp do not fight back, this crap will continue. I feel so awful for the parents. they did nothing wrong.
This has been going on for some time, with all races. It’s terrible. I am surprised they got their daughter back so quickly, usually it’s years and the child is sickly when they get him/her back. Absolute nightmare. Yes, I stopped taking my children to pediatricians years ago. We are happy and have never looked back. Scary to give birth these days.
How can I check a MD record if they ever forced treatment? Or told cort a person needs treatment?
How can I check the judges?
Allopathic Medicine is a theory, a US religion and an abusive system which is based upon profit. I am 87 and stopped beleiving in it decades ago. all pharmaceuticals are based upon an adulterated natural substance substance which is cheaper and healthier for the body.
Are you for real? This kind of statement. your opinion and it differs from reality for the rest of the world. The US has the highest mortality rate for children… I wonder why? maybe is it because they are the most injected?
Maybe you are just trying to get attention?
Lol, look up “allopathic”. Maybe you thought Patricia said “homeopathic”? You two are on the same side.
Please re-read what she said. She’s not the enemy. She’s absolutely right: we’re dealing with a RELIGION, and the fanatics will kill us if we “blaspheme” their dogma.
Homeopathy is a gift from God, a TRUE MIRACLE.
Never go to an MD. Use alternative chiropracter, herbalist, homeopathist, etc. AND KEEP YOUR HEALTH PRIVATE. Especially from government who is the enemy. Avoid hospitals. Do home birth, home school, and home death. Or else you will be a profit center for the power-mad and money-hungry medical industry.
In the early ’80s, my wise-man boss said to me:
Never go to doctors and hospitals; if you aren’t sick when you go in, you will be when you come out.
If at all possible… one has no need for doctors especially pediatricians. I understand it was a long time ago, but in 1968 after my son was born at the hospital, I took him for a first visit, just t to make sure all was OK… since I never saw a doctor until 7 mths pregnant. When the pediatrician said: next time we will have to start vaccinate, I replied: you saw me fore the last time… And never went back. He never got a jab neither my 2 grandkids now adults? I am 83 and never vaxed, like most of my generation; no medication either.
Today one has to hide… to be healthy… It could motivate more people to say: my body, my choice! with Natural means.
This is absolutely absurd! Just one more example of the collusion between big pharma, mainstream media, big tech and our “justice” system to take over every aspect of our freedom. Now with this scheduled meeting, it’s closer than ever –>>The World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Assembly (WHA) will convene May 21-30 in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the proposed “pandemic treaty” and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR).
It’s time for every law-abiding citizen to contact their elected officials and demand that this sham be stopped!
The problem is that they are NOT “our” elected officials.
LOVING the home birth and midwifery.
Gonna say this OUT LOUD: Are we sure this child born to parents of color was ACTUALLY experiencing jaundice?
Medical kidnapping and FORCED MEDICATION/VACCINATION is *not* new.
WAKE UP, everybody!
BEWARE of mental health “holds!” Some scary S***!!!
There are NO peaceful solutions.
This doctor should get some feedback about his behavior. He is easily searchable and perhaps should receive phone calls and reviews. Other parents need to be warned!
Mark, this doctor should not just be boycotted; he should be de-licensed!!
I don’t trust pediatricians at all, they are the big pharma first kit to get a child overly vaccinated and from that moment kids develop all kinds of health issues… we lost a kid in our family due to SIDS, which we know were the multiple shots they give in one visit.
Having an alternative health care system should be our choice. Now we see lots of adults dying suddenly in their sleep because of the COVID shots. what a coincidence.
We have to identify and solely use medical doctors that are of a more natural disposition, those doctors who will work with us in guiding us through instances like these, allowing parents to choose more natural options. Our communities need to come together and support each other with our choices. Clearly, this couple chose the opinion of the midwife. I am not sure why they needed to consult with a mainstream pediatrician. I am sure the midwives can recommend more nature-leaning doctors who will work with them and with parents.
Absolutely sickening. I hope that this couple sues the pants off of every single person involved in this criminal act. I pray that they can somehow heal from this traumatic nightmare. My heart breaks for them.