Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do Parents Have The Right To Not Medicate Their Children? One Woman's Story

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

Have you heard the story of Maryanne Godboldo?  This Detroit mother made a parental decision to remove her daughter from psychotropic medication to pursue non-drug alternatives after she observed negative side effects.  When she did, the local government authorities apparently did not agree with Maryanne Godboldo's medical decision, and thereafter stormed her home with police and a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team to take away her minor daughter, Ariana.  Maryanne's attempts to keep the police from taking away her daughter failed, but only after a ten hour stand-off at Maryanne's home in 2011.  Ariana was thereafter placed in a psychiatric facility for approximately one month.

Maryanne was criminally charged and incarcerated for 5 days.  The criminal charges were later dropped.  Thereafter, after months of fighting and many court appearances, Maryanne Godboldo finally had her parental rights restored.  Maryanne explains in the video below that "I did it because I wanted to save my child."  Eventually the order removing Ariana from her mother's care, based on her decision not to medicate Ariana, was overruled.

This story is heart-wrenching and horrifying.  The shock of it all is that this mother was arrested and separated from her thirteen-year-old daughter, allegedly all because she made a private medical decision.  The term "big brother" seems quite appropriate.

The video below is of Maryanne receiving an award from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a psychiatric watchdog group.  Check it out (and you may want to have some tissues nearby when you do).

This story should remind all parents that they need to be vigilant in protecting their children and their parental rights, as the government, which appears in the form of  your local school district or social services office (and many other forms), may not always be acting in the best interests of the parent or the child.  

Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-444-9064
Fax: 916-444-1209
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Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting, etc. etc.!  This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship.

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