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Today's sunday express and vitamin D

I link to the opinion section in the Sunday Express. This was a vitamin D deficiency case (of which I am aware of two more cases which are similar) where the court of appeal refused to hear the case because the child's life had "moved on". This is the story.

So, let us fast forward say 16 years. The child finds that the court would not hear any suggestion that she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and the court decided to prevent her mother from putting forward arguments that she suffered a vitamin D deficiency.

Is that really in the "best interests of the child" or is it moreso in the "best interests of the system."

There are many victims of this system. The birth parents, the child and the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents are told that the child has been the victim of abuse. I would hazard a guess that they are not told that the mother has been prevented from adducing evidence that it was a medical problem.


Jerry said…
John, I have just been given a case as well with Vit. D deficiency written all over it, Radiologists ruled that out and now the parents are under investigation from the police.

The protection system is just that protection of the truth getting out, why does this keep happening, do they think we cannot handle the truth or are those on the bench chose to simply say, "Not in my yard"
Stephen Booth said…
Are these people in your constituency or do you have some other interest in the case? As someone who lives in you constituency I have an interest in the answer.

Regarding the article...maybe I'm cynical. My experiences have made me that way. There's been a lot in the press in recent years about dietary related illnesses (e.g. Rickets) making a comeback due to the poor diet many people have, consisting of processed ready meals and take away food. In the case of vitamin D deficiency even the tendency of children to stay indoors playing on their X-Box, PS3 or whatever has been cited as a cause. And then we have this case. Parents grab a hold of the latest media frenzy de jour as an alternate theory for the injuries suffered by their child. Reminds me of when I was a kid and Dyslexia first became well known and featured in the press. Immediately every parent of an under achieving child claimed their lazy underachieving numbskull of a child wasn't a lazy underachieving numbskull but was a victim of this new and terrible disability (ignoring the fact that Dyslexic children may struggle in certain areas but tend to excel in others, in particular the more kinaesthetic ones). The harm there was that it took resources from those who did genuinely have Dyslexia (or similar issues) whilst also making the educational establishment cast doubt on parents who have a child in genuine need, when you've already dealt with 99 sets of parents making false claims it's difficult to give credence tot he 100th. Today it's vitamin D deficiency and the social care system dealing with claims that it's vitamin D deficiency and not abuse that broke their kids' limbs.

Maybe it was a lack of vitamin D that caused Georgia's arm to break when other wise it wouldn't. It's possible. the article does mention that she did have a low level when tested and there is a family history of low levels. Which begs a question, how did they get so low? Why was it only when the parents needed a 'get out of jail free' card that she was tested? If they knew that there is a family history of deficiency why didn't they make an effort to give Georgia a diet high in vitamin D or to give her supplements? Even if they couldn't get supplements on the NHS (and I'd be surprised if they couldn't for a child, given the push for prevention since 1997) then £8.99 in Holland and Barrett would get them supplements that would provide the entire family of three with tablets that would give them 200% of their RDA of Vitamin D, along with many other of their essential micro-nutrients, for 80 days (although obviously they'd have to get the child's version for Georgia). A whole year of improved health for less, it works out, than the cost of a PS3/X-Box game.

Seems this case is not whether they abused Georgia or not, but whether it was with their fists or dietary choices they abused her.
John Hemming said…
These are not constituents.

I do argue against miscarriages of justice whether they affect my constituents or other people.

If people are making wrong dietary choices and that causes problems then the first step really needs to be education. With Vitamin D there are issues of genetics and exposure to sunlight that also need to be considered.
Jerry said…
Vitamin D deficiency is not widely recognized by most medical practices, however with your comments Stephen I wholeheartedly agree with you, babies when born undertake a plethora of tests and checks, bloods taken and the likes, surely then the issue would have been raised, or more so should have been apparent, either lack of education on the medics side or something is clearly missing here, hereditary illnesses and diseases should be known from when baby is known, if not then the question John should ask is why not
John Hemming said…
It is important to note that some (if not all) of these cases involve human milk being short of Vitamin D. Mothers are (in my view rightly) encouraged to breast feed, but sometimes that can be insufficient. The health service should assist here.

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