Medical Child Abuse Panic, Multnomah County DA's Office

State Has Jurisdiction Problem Alleging Medical Child Abuse

Portland, OR ~

After 11 days of witness testimony over the span of 5 weeks, the defense for Trisha DeLaurent rested its case on Friday. DeLaurent has been engulfed in a custody battle with Oregon DHS for the past 17 months. The State has built its case upon ambiguous allegations that DeLaurent intentionally abused her oldest son. Oregon DHS was granted temporary emergency jurisdiction and took protective custody of 3 of DeLaurent’s children based on hearsay allegations from the same anonymous caller to the Child Welfare hotline in late September 2016. Five months later, the caller was discovered to be DeLaurent’s mother, Pamala Gaddis.

The State’s claim of jurisdiction over the DeLaurent family, who were all Washington residents at the time, was supplemented by a CARES NW report completed by Child Abuse Pediatrician, Dr. Heather McKeag, working at Randall Children’s Hospital (RCH). In her report, Dr. McKeag made the assertion that DeLaurent subjected her son, Marcus, to unnecessary medical procedures. Marcus, who was 14 at the time, was admitted to RCH, for gastrostomy surgery (the insertion of a feeding tube also known as a G-tube). It was DHS investigator, Steve Jackson, not hospital staff, that made the referral to CARES NW.

In Dr. McKeag’s cursory review of Marcus’s medical records, she failed to acknowledge the three doctors that deemed the G-tube surgery as a necessary remedy for his inability to gain weight. While only speculation at the time, it was confirmed after the surgery that combining high dosages of the prescribed anti-seizure medications, Trileptal (1800 mg/day) and Zonegran (400 mg/day), caused her son to suffer from extreme nausea and intractable vomiting. This was the primary reason for his body’s inability to gain weight.

When she discovered the medical recommendation for the G-tube, Dr. McKeag amended her report to state that Marcus suffered from a ‘failure to thrive’ while in DeLaurent’s care. If this were true, which it is not, Oregon would not have territorial jurisdiction. The failure to thrive would have occurred in Washington, the family’s home state. In addition, the State failed to allege or show Marcus suffered from any nutritional deficiencies caused by DeLaurent.

“Failure to thrive” is an alleged form of medical child abuse. According to ORS 419B.005, the definition of “Abuse” means “Any assault, as defined in ORS chapter 163, of a child and any physical injury to a child which has been caused by other than accidental means, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury.”

The problem with the State’s attempt to criminalize DeLaurent is that if she had abused her son, the prosecution would have to prove intent. The overwhelming evidence shows that DeLaurent was and still is a cooperative mother seeking answers for her son’s complex medical needs. Without intent, there is no case. However, with intent, Oregon DHS would have to surrender jurisdiction to Washington DSHS because the alleged abuse would have occurred in Washington not in Oregon.

Washington DSHS made the false assumption that Oregon DHS was being truthful when it conceded temporary emergency jurisdiction to Oregon. This raises the question, why has Oregon DHS and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office failed to surrender jurisdiction and refer the case for dependency determination to the family’s home State of Washington?

Answer: Because the State’s case is a fraud. A complete and utter fabrication and they know it.

The abuse of authority by DHS is common knowledge throughout the county. This practice ultimately burdens taxpayers with the costs of unnecessary foster care placement, years of litigation and the destruction of families.


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2 thoughts on “State Has Jurisdiction Problem Alleging Medical Child Abuse

  1. This story is so true and happening in many States. Thanks to these articles the truth is getting out into the mainstream media it is time that people see all of the damage CPS/DHS/DA’s offices are causing children and families—–the very thing these agencies are supposed to make sure are safe from harm. All of the attorneys and judges involved in this farce need to be taken to task……Keep up the good work….

  2. If jurisdiction has not yet been established, that means no judge has said to DHS, “Okay, yep, you’re right; there’s a problem here and you can keep custody of the kids while working with the mom to rectify the problem so that the kids can eventually be returned home,” OR “No, sorry, you’re wrong; there’s no problem here, so you need to close the case and return the kids back to their mom.”

    Since no jurisdiction has been established, DHS hasn’t attempted to work with Trisha on a reunification plan. A reunification plan cannot exist until DHS gets jurisdiction.

    According to their procedure manual, the plan is ALWAYS “return to parent” until/unless the parent(s) cannot/will not resolve DHS’s concerns. In that situation, DHS will seek to convince a judge to terminate parental rights.

    Since DHS has no reunification plan because they have not been given jurisdiction, they should be handling this case with the intent to return Trisha’s children to her. Instead, DHS has worked since day 1 to destroy the relationships between Trisha and her children, as well as the children’s relationships with each other.

    To my knowledge, DHS has never conducted their own independent investigations in Medical Child Abuse cases. They don’t hire an independent, neutral expert to evaluate the child’s medical records; instead, they blindly accept the word of a Child Abuse Pediatrician (CAP) who is not an expert in ANY of the child’s medical conditions and may not have even met the child they are labeling as a “victim of abuse,” and they do whatever that doctor tells them to do (the police follow the CAP’s directions, as well, even to the point of requesting the CAP write out the questions to ask during interviews with treating physicians, or letting the CAP lead the questioning during interviews as though the doctor is now a member of law enforcement). DHS rushes in without knowledge of any ACTUAL “safety threat” (their terminology) and destroys a family. And if they realize they made a mistake, instead of apologizing and returning the child(ren) immediately, they keep pushing forward, fabricating their own version of reality/truth, and they do everything in their power to separate the children from the parent(s) permanently. They know that if they can get a parent’s rights terminated or get the child placed with the other parent (in the case of divorced bio parents), they have a better chance of hiding their screw-up.

    It is my opinion that this is what DHS and Mickley are doing in the DeLaurent case. DHS has made so many HUGE errors, causing so much harm to Trisha, Dan and the children. There is no way to ameliorate the damage they have inflicted. Even if Mickley charged Trisha criminally, that would not undo the illegal activity that he and DHS have engaged in over the lifetime of this case and it wouldn’t negate what they have done; it would just add zeroes to the lawsuit payout that the state of Oregon taxpayers are eventually going to be saddled with. When that happens, I hope District Attorney Rod Underhill realizes that DDA Chuck Mickley is a liability and fires him. I also hope DHS comes under fire for their part in maliciously tearing apart a family for no legitimate reason. It would be refreshing to see justice for once.

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