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>Baby Riley – a Phenomenon Brews

>Get a load of this epic saga of Medical Ethics brewing in Seattle.

Basically, doctors tried to force Tina Marie Carlsen to allow them to put implants into her baby, Riley, so that he could undergo dialysis. Carlsen refused, insisting that she wanted to seek non-surgical alternatives or alternatives that don’t involve dialysis (the details are unclear in the current news articles). The state responded by taking custody of Riley and moving to perform the surgery without Carlsen’s consent. To prevent the surgery, Carlsen abducted Riley from the hospital. This resulted in her being declared a Kidnapper, hunted down by the State, and thrown in jail for five days without being allowed access to her baby. Meanwhile, the doctors are again planning to do the surgery without Carlsen’s consent.

Carlsen was hunted down by the State because they believed that the baby was in imminent danger if he didn’t receive immediate treatment. Now, after the fact, the Hospital is admitting that Riley was not actually in imminent danger at all. Now the State is trying to wash their hands of the situation, implying that they were misled. More imporantly, possibly Carlsen has/had time to seek out alternative treatment for her baby?

What were Carlsen’s medical alternatives? Why doesn’t she want her baby on dialysis? Nobody seems to be giving a clear answer to these questions.

I can’t wait for Anderson Cooper or Nightline to sniff this one. I want info.

It’s been hard to find an article that gives a good breakdown of the situation, but here are two pretty good ones:

Mother, doctors fight over care: Kansas City Star, MO, June 29, 2006
Off track over baby’s welfare: Seattle Times, June 29, 2006

People have set up a website in support of Carlsen and her baby: http://www.helpbabyriley.com/

Wild stuff man.

tags: medicine dialysis baby riley seattle surgery ethics kidnapping

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