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. http://voicesnetwork.org/index.php/2018/02/20/munchausen-grandma-dupes-oregon-dhs-gains-temporary-placement-of-grandchildren/
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.