Friday, April 26, 2013

OKDHS Director responds to newborn death story



Two days ago, I posted an article by blogger/activist Steve Dickson about the death of a newborn in DHS custody. This evening, OKDHS Director Ed Lake issued a statement from detailing the story from OKDHS' perspective, which I am posting in full below.

 Ed Lake, OKDHS Director

"Recent outrageous blog posts circulating on social media are falsely and recklessly claiming that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) removed a baby from life support against the mother's wishes. This is absolutely untrue and is an example of extremist bloggers not bothering to obtain factual information and twisting the misinformation for some political agenda. We have determined, in the interest of public faith and trust, to respond to these absurd claims in a manner that protects the identities of those involved."

"The situation in which these blogs are referencing was that of an infant in OKDHS custody who was born with extremely serious physical abnormalities and who had surgery to try to correct the conditions. The child was subsequently placed on life support and doctors did not expect the child to survive. A conference was held with the presiding judge, the district attorney, the child's biological mother and her attorney, the child's foster mother, two physicians treating the child, and an OKDHS supervisor."

"The judge and the child's mother both agreed to a "Do Not Resuscitate Order" (DNR) for the child if the action was determined medically necessary. OKDHS remained silent during this conference and made no recommendation, following the agency's DNR policy. The Judge also authorized the physician treating the child to do whatever was medically necessary and in the best interest of the child. The actions of OKDHS employees and hospital staff in this case complied with Oklahoma and federal laws, as well as the judge's decisions and orders. All of these actions were recorded by a court reporter who was present at the hearing in the judge's chambers."

"The child's physician later determined the child needed to be taken off life support due to ongoing uncontrolled internal bleeding. The child's biological mother was taken to the hospital, signed the DNR order along with the attending physician, and personally consented to her child being taken off life support. The mother remained with her child until the child passed away."

"We were all extremely saddened by this child's death and worked to support the child's mother and foster mother throughout this emotional decision."

"The individual who posted the despicable blog should be ashamed of himself."

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If there are any more updates to the story, I will post them.

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