Newborn Seized in Hospital by Police, Social Worker

HSLDA.org, Mar. 27, 2012
Jodi went into labor a bit earlier than she had expected—and the baby was coming rapidly. Given their location and other factors, the midwife they had hoped would deliver the baby at their home encouraged them to get in an ambulance and head to the hospital.

Their baby, whom I will call “Annie,” was born in the ambulance in the parking lot of the Hershey Medical Center—a state-affiliated hospital in Pennsylvania. Hospital personnel arrived very quickly and took charge of both baby and mom.

As any mother would do, Jodi immediately began to ask the nurses and attendants how her baby was doing. The hospital staff was utterly unresponsive. When they started to give Jodi an injection, she asked what it was and what it was for. They gave her vague answers like, “It’s just to help.” Only after giving her the injection of oxytocin did they tell her what it was and then asked, “You aren’t allergic to that are you?”

Eventually a doctor told her that Annie scored a 9 on a physical exam applied to newborns known as the APGAR test. A score of 8 or higher is considered healthy. (It is unclear when the score was given since she was in the ambulance at birth.) But shortly after this a different doctor told Jodi that Annie was “very sick” and would need to stay in the hospital. This doctor’s comments were accompanied by an explanation of his disdain for midwives saying, “Too many people think they know what they’re doing.”

Then the hospital demanded that they give Annie shot for Hepatitis B. Jodi said that she would agree only if they tested her or Annie to see if either of them were positive. If so, then she was quite willing to have the shot for Annie. The hospital claimed that they had forgotten about this earlier when it was still possible to test that day, and that they needed to give the shot anyway without any testing

The social worker left the room and called the police. Without a court order they took custody of Annie, immediately claiming that she was suffering from illness or injury—a patently false claim. The social worker consented to the administration of the Hepatitis B shot even though no blood test had been done. The police made Jodi Ferris get up out of her hospital bed and escorted her to the entrance—they were expelling her from the hospital because she had not signed the “safety plan.”

Jodi and Scott were forced to spend the night that she had given birth in their car in a nearby parking lot. You read that right. They kicked this mother out of the hospital, and in order to be close enough to feed her child, she had to sleep in the car.

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