Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vegan mom is arrested and loses newborn

Florida news:
A new mother is fighting for custody of her son, who she hasn't been alone with since he was 12 days old, because of her vegan beliefs.

Sarah Markham's baby was taken from her because she opted not to take him to the hospital when he was losing weight.

Instead, she told investigators she wanted to try feeding him vegan formula.

Now she's fighting to get him back while she faces criminal charges.

“They've kept a child away from mom,” said attorney Mark O’Mara. “My client can only see her child once a week or twice a week because they're requiring the child be out of county.”

Sarah Markham was arrested in June when her son was less than two weeks old. He had lost 10 percent of his body weight.

But instead of taking the boy to the hospital under doctors' orders, Markham wanted to try supplementing breast milk with vegan formula.

Markham is a Seventh-day Adventist, according to an arrest report, and holistic healing is in line with her beliefs.
A 10% body weight fluctuation is completely normal for a 2-week-old baby. The story gives the impression that veganism is the cause, but I doubt it. The stores sell baby formula based on soy, rice, or other vegan sources, and they have the same calories and nutrient value as other formulas.

This sounds like some over-reaching pediatrician who is suspicious about a mom's religious view. My guess is that members of these non-mainstream religions have to circulate lists of pediatricians who are know to be friendly to their views.

Update: Markham has won:
On Wednesday, a Seminole County, Florida, judge told Sarah Markham that she would get custody of her son Caleb, with the provision that she provide a nutritionist's report within 10 days. ...

"There's no case, there's no abuse, there's no neglect – there's simply a doctor who has been challenged by a mother, and he didn't like it," said Bo Markham, Caleb's grandfather.

The judge agreed, throwing out Seminole County Child Protective Services' claim that Sarah Markham was not fit to care for the child.

Attorney Mark O'Mara said he expects the criminal case against the mother to be thrown out, as well.

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