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Mom Loses Custody of Children Over “Holistic Lifestyle” and Declining Vaccines

Lasha Cauthen

A mother of seven children is fighting to regain custody of her twin babies six months after her decision to exclusively breastfeed resulted in the order for the removal of the children. Lasha Cauthen of Cincinnati, Ohio, said policemen entered her hospital room on Feb. 10, 2023 to take her into custody while she was breastfeeding because of what had occurred at a routine appointment with a medical doctor 10 days earlier.1

According to a local TV news report by WXIX/Gray News, Cauthen took her 10-day-old twins to the doctor to establish a relationship with a primary care provider, but the visit quickly became uncomfortable when she shared that she is vegan, maintains a holistic lifestyle and does not vaccinate her children. “I don’t get vaccinations. We don’t vaccinate. We don’t use any modern medications unless necessary,” Cauthen said.1

Cauthen said the doctor then segued into voicing concerns about the babies’ weight, suggesting the twins be admitted to the hospital for observation. In the TV report, she told the reporter, “I declined, and I explained to her that I don’t have to. They are my children, and you will be violating my rights if you force that upon me,” Cauthen said. According to Cauthen, the doctor told her “I’ll give you an option of coming back in a few days to be weighed.”1

Cauthen replied:

I have a scale, and I will do it on my own by myself. Like, you can’t tell me what to do. She automatically felt threatened, I guess in that sense, and she decided to threaten me with Child Protective Services.1

According to court records, a report was then filed the same day by the doctor, who cited the concern of “failure to thrive.”1

Typically, under the law, adults can refuse medical care for religious personal reasons. However, the legal right to deny medical care does not apply to parents of minor children if denial is judged to be a threat to the child’s health or welfare. The danger of low birth weight can be subjective, and a low-birth-weight baby can be healthy even though they are small. Additionally, because babies are born with extra fluid, it is considered normal for healthy breastfed newborns to lose up to 10 percent of their weight shortly after birth.2 3

Lactation Consultant Said Twin Babies “Appear Healthy”

The court documents state the twin baby girl weighed 6.8 pounds at birth and weighed 5.8 pounds at the 10-day checkup. The twin baby boy weighed seven pounds at birth and 5.9 pounds at the 10-day checkup. The documents state that Cauthen “refused a lactation consult,” but Cauthen said that she not only worked with certified lactation consultant Wendy McHale after the doctor’s visit as directed, but McHale signed off on noticeable improvements after working with Cauthen to successfully breastfeed the twins.1

“Baby boy was now up to six pounds, 1.2 ounces,” McHale said. “So, baby boy had gained in total in the three days now 4.2 ounces.” The newborn girl gained 0.7 ounces in three days, according to McHale, who also said she was in contact with Cauthen’s case worker to confirm the babies were in fact gaining weight and appeared to be healthy.1

“I Don’t Understand How They Can Legally Kidnap My Children”

Cauthen was late to a weight check appointment the following Wednesday after the twins’ 10 day checkup, arriving after the office had already closed. She received a phone call that evening from Hamilton County Job and Family Services stating that an order had been issued to remove both of the babies from her home.

In the WXIX/Gray News report, Cauthen summarized the sequence of events that soon followed:

So, we go ahead, and I tell [McHale] I’ll meet you at the hospital now with my babies. My babies had indeed gained weight. Yet the doctors still say, ‘Well, no, we want them to gain even more weight. We want to put them on a formula,’ which I’m against. We are a vegan household. My babies, my pregnancy was a vegan pregnancy, and everything came out healthy babies.1

“Then, I get a phone call from one of my children’s fathers stating that they had been contacted from Child Protective Services, stating that they were going to take the rest of my children as well,” Cauthen said:

So, I’m distraught here in this moment. I’m not understanding what is going on. I don’t even understand how they’re legally able to kidnap our children.1

This is not the first time a health care provider has retaliated against a parent who subscribes to alternative forms of medicine. Cauthen’s case is reminiscent of Texas parents Rodney and Temecia Jackson, who lost custody of their home-birthed newborn after a disagreement with their provider about how the infant would be treated for jaundice. A relatively common development in newborns after birth, jaundice causes a yellowing of the skin and eyes due to too much bilirubin in the body and typically clears up on its own without treatment.

According to a local Texas TV station report, in that child custody case the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services denied multiple requests for comment.4

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Goes on Lockdown After Cauthen’s Call to the Crisis Hotline

After grappling with the unthinkable reality that she could lose her children for refusing vaccinations or formula feeding, Cauthen called the Crisis Hotline from her hospital room. According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, suicide is not the only reason one might call the hotline: Relationship and family problems, loneliness, or anyone who is “depressed, going through a hard time, or needs to talk” are all common reasons for calling the 24-hour lifeline.5

“I’m like, ‘but I just need to get these thoughts out,’”5 Cauthen said, adding:

I need somebody to speak to. So, I’m talking to this person, and he asked me like, ‘Do you own a gun?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, like I have a gun.’ Like, I do have a gun. ‘But where is it?’ I’m like, ‘It’s in my car.’ I’m talking to this person casually, as I am with you. And I’m just like, you know, I just need somebody to talk to, just get this off my chest. So, we’re on the phone for maybe like 45 minutes or so.5

But after sharing vulnerably and honestly while being distraught, and despite its website displaying “free, confidential support for anyone in distress,” Cauthen was greeted by Cincinnati police officers in her hospital room. The hospital was then placed on lockdown as a result of Cauthen’s call to the suicide hotline, according to court records.6

Cauthen Passes Mental Health Evaluation, Only Allowed Supervised Visitation

“You called 911 from the parking garage,” the police said. “The helpline. The crisis hotline.” “I did, yes,” she says. “So, that’s concerning to us,” the policeman said. “The stuff is in your car. Ma’am, we need you to set the baby down. You need to come out and talk to us, OK?” Cauthen did as she was told and body cam footage shows her being handcuffed. She was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation, which she passed and was cleared the same day.1

Cauthen was not allowed to see six of her seven children for six months. To date, has not been able to regain custody of—and is only permitted supervised visitation with—her children.

Both Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Hamilton County Division of Family Services said they cannot comment on the case.1


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Click here to view References:

1 Jayanth A et al. Mom says holistic lifestyle led to newborn twins being taken away from her. WXIX News Dec. 12, 2023.
2 Goldstein S. When Can a Parent Deny Medical Treatment to a Minor Child? LawInfo Jan. 29, 2021.
3 American Pregnancy Association. Average Newborn Weight. 2023.
4 Baker A. Homebirthed Newborn in Texas Forcibly Taken Away from Parents. The Vaccine Reaction, May 8, 2023.
5 Tracy N. Reasons People Call a Suicide Crisis Hotline. HealthyPlace Jan. 10, 2022.
6 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

17 Responses

  1. This Mom must have the sickest 7 children that hospital has seen.
    Don’t you all know that brest fed children without vaccines are healthier.

    1. I whole heartily agree with her on vaccines.However how can she claim to be raising her infants vegan when they are consuming breast milk, certainly not vegan.

  2. This story plays out again and again and again, in various forms. Dare to look…

    Pick your search engine, enter this term; Medical Kidnapping Children Foster. Unbelievable that people will trust a government and medical industrial complex whom behaves this way. The better thing with a doctor disagreement is to suddenly get a call, be in a hurry, promise to come back, and schedule with someone else instead immediately. It’s called doctor bouncing, because sometimes you absolutely must bounce away from doctors whom do not respect medical autonomy or have the best interest of everyone involved. Whenever doctors try to ask me to justify my position, I’m in too much of a hurry to have that conversation. Maybe next time doc. (Fear of tyranny as we run away from the system and tyrants contained therein.) They go after impoverished people and those on the fringe because there is a complex series of perverse incentives on the back end most regular people are not aware of. More patients, more customers, more money. In patient care is a real money maker, so is the foster care system, the state institutions child welfare service locations, the brokers whom shuffle the kids here and there, the legal requirements to provide service. Everyone makes a damned fortune by simply removing parental rights. Never under any circumstances rely on the state systems for this reason, one slip up and you’ll go from free lunch on your fully charged EBT card, to having your children removed from your care and sent to the foster system, where you’ll only regain custody after years of participating in for profit care systems yourself and truly learning and conditioning yourself to embrace their systems and ideals. It’s all so orwellian, to be required to embrace the slogan and directives of the party or they’ll take your victory gin away. In this instance, the mother blindly trusted that any doctor would do, did not pre research her doctor, or come prepared with a ready to go support network and additional adult humans could have deflected and absorbed some of the doctors less rational positions and inquisitions. She made a serious mistake in being casual at a hospital.

  3. This is HORRIBLE. Parents are losing parental rights for choosing what’s best for their children’s health under this medical dictatorship. CPS is a totally corrupt organization given powers they should not have, they are involved in child trafficking. Don’t trust any govt organization nor the medical establishment, all authoritarian and totally corrupt.

  4. poor mother. Poor dear. She trusted Doctors to be caring and what used to be a (somewhat) trusted proffession. How was she to know that ppl can be SO bad abd do what is SO illegal….just by twisting the facts ???
    Terrible trauma for them all. Pray that The Lord comes in for her and she gets her precious children and babies back, and the tyrants are made powerless. what terrible wickedness.

  5. She is just another victim of an unlawful administrative state. She is denied due process by having an administrative tribunal act as though its a court of record. They do this because they get paid from the social security trust. Every single one of them (the judge, both attorneys, the case workers, the foster parents). This plays out to a billion dollars a year in Arizona alone.

    @realdavecares4u on X to learn the fundamental law and how to undo the CPS tyrants. He has successfully won hundreds of times getting kids reunited with their parents.

    1. veganism isn’t “alternative health care”. it’s a religion. and a newborn gaining .7 ounces in 3 days is really not in normal range. this story has nothing to do with refusal of vaccines. this woman ‘s babies should not be taken from her, but she needs to change her diet or theirs (supplement) for their health, despite her vegan religion.

  6. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag is: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Please explain how the actions by our government agrees with the Pledge of Allegiance concerning the reported serious parent and children issue above.

  7. The USA has become a place that is not fit to live, and most especially, no place to raise a family.
    I read a story about the ATF passing a law to allow illegal aliens to pass background checks to purchase a firearm, and some states like CA, NY, and IL considering hiring illegals for police officers.
    There is a coming war in this country, arm yourselves and your families, and be prepared.
    The US government is the greatest enemy of US citizens, and humanity in general.

  8. What a horrible story. That poor woman! I’m a Vegan. What is the problem with doctors and others? That is WAY too much power. This is CRAZY…

    I am so disgusted with all this…

  9. This type of thing is disgusting and people definitely need an advocate lawyer and counselor to step in and show they are just fine and their children are healthy! Taking away children from a mother, let alone young little breastfeeding twins, when they are healthy is a travesty of justice! This should never happen!

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