Portland, OR ~
On April 10, the two sides presented closing arguments in the case of Oregon DHS v. Trisha DeLaurent before Multnomah County Juvenile Court Judge Susan Svetkey. The State Attorney General’s Office was represented by proxy through Multnomah County DDA Charles Mickley, and DeLaurent was represented by Lake Oswego attorney, Shawna Meyer.
Over the past 18 months, the State has spun a yarn about Trisha DeLaurent, an innocent woman and an exemplary mother, portraying her instead as a perpetrator of Medical Child Abuse. Without any substantiated evidence, DDA Mickley has attempted to build a criminal case against DeLaurent through a civil court without formally charging her. This has become a common pattern and practice in Multnomah County.
By using a petition for temporary emergency jurisdiction, DHS had taken DeLaurent’s son, Marcus, into protective custody. DDA Mickley and the cabal of the Multnomah County Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), had Marcus removed from his mother’s care following a September 2016 surgery deemed necessary and signed off by 3 Portland doctors. The MDT includes the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services (CARES) Northwest.
Yes, a crime had occurred, but it was not Medical Child Abuse as alleged by the State. The true crime was abuse of a child through pediatric medical negligence, and the State has shamelessly pursued their false narrative against DeLaurent to create a “fall gal” in their efforts to bury potential medical malpractice.
Through Dependency litigation initiated by the State of Oregon, Trisha DeLaurent has become a scapegoat for a failure within the medical community to accurately diagnose and treat her son’s autism and anatomical birth defects of the Neurological System. If these medical conditions had been properly addressed earlier during his childhood development, much of Marcus’ suffering could have been minimized.
These facts were brought before the court in a full day of testimony by one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of Neurology and Pediatric Pathology, Dr. Robert M. Shuman. Only three doctors in the US hold the same credentials, which are specific to Marcus’ medical challenges. The State failed to call a Neurologist or a Pathologist to dispute the medical testimony of Dr. Shuman, or to support their own theory of Medical Child Abuse. Stunningly, DDA Mickley offered his own “medical opinion” in opposition during closing, and the prosecutor went as far as to suggest that Dr. Robert Shuman’s testimony should not be relied upon as credible.
Dr. Shuman, who flew to Portland from California to testify during trial, has been in practice since 1969, has written nearly 100 articles for medical journals, and has authored two textbooks. He further supported his testimony for the defense with a 70-page report that referenced Marcus’ lifetime medical history.
During his closing arguments, in an attempt to downplay Marcus’ history of seizures, DDA Mickley tried to discredit at least 10 of DeLaurent’s witnesses, including medical professionals, by claiming their witness testimony failed to prove they had observed actual seizures in Marcus. Mickley went as far to claim that the results of a 48-hour EEG performed in January of 2010 by state’s witness and Marcus’ pediatric neurologist, Dr. Marcio Sotero of Swedish Children’s Hospital in Seattle, showed no results of seizures. This was an outright lie that is verified through medical records.
Contrary to Mickley’s dubious denial, Dr. Sotero’s 48-hour telemetry on Marcus revealed electrical activity in the brain associated with seizures. Instead of prescribing anti-seizure medication typical for children, Dr. Sotero prescribed 2 of the most problematic anti-seizure medications on the market today: Trileptal and Zonegran. While Trileptal sometimes is used with children, Zonegran is reserved only for adults. Both medications were increased to toxic levels by Dr. Sotero in spite of escalating side effects reported by the mother.
Per the FDA package insert, an adult dosage of Trileptal is 600 milligrams while an adult dosage of Zonegran is 100 milligrams.
In March of 2010, Dr. Sotero started Marcus on a Trileptal regimen of 300 mg per day. By the end of 2011, he was on 1200 mg per day. By the summer of 2014, Dr. Sotero had Marcus on 1800 mg per day.
The following is the FDA consumer warning for possible side effects of Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine).
“Oxcarbazepine can reduce the sodium in your body to dangerously low levels, which can cause a life-threatening electrolyte imbalance. Contact your doctor right away if you have headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, shallow breathing, and/or increased or more severe seizures.”
Shortly after taking Trileptal, the medical record shows that DeLaurent had reported her son began to suffer memory problems, loss of appetite, stumbling and increased seizures. As unbelievable as it sounds, the physician determined treatment for such side effects was to increase the dosage with the anticipation that the seizures and side effects would eventually taper off. They did not.
In March of 2015, Dr. Sotero began to prescribe Zonegran at 50 mg per day in conjunction to the 1800 mg of Trileptal per day.
The following is the FDA consumer warning for possible side effects of Zonegran (zonisamide).
“Zonegran (zonisamide) is a sulfonamide anticonvulsant and a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor indicated as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures in adults with epilepsy. Common side effects of Zonegran include: drowsiness, dizziness, headache, tired feeling, loss of appetite, weight loss, loss of balance or coordination, sore throat, cough, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, blurred vision, or double vision.”
In the months that followed the addition of Zonegran, DeLaurent reported that Marcus continued to show the same side effects of memory problems, loss of appetite, and stumbling caused from ataxia, but now included, drowsiness, headaches and vomiting. Many times, intractable vomiting.
In June of 2015 at age 13, Marcus was finally diagnosed with tethered cord syndrome. Surgery to release his tethered spinal column was performed in July of 2015. The surgery was a tremendous success. His incontinence was greatly reduced by upwards of 90%. In addition, Marcus began a growth spurt that saw him grow 6 inches over the next 12 months. Unfortunately, the anti-seizure meds continued to increase and instead of gaining weight with his new-found height (5′ 6″), Marcus lost 6 lbs (99 lbs to 93 lbs) between July of 2015 and July of 2016.
In early August of 2016, Marcus was taking 400 mg of Zonegran, 4 times the recommended adult dosage, and 2100 mg of Trileptal per day, 3 1/2 times the recommended adult dosage. In addition to memory problems, loss of appetite, ataxia, drowsiness, headaches and vomiting, Marcus was beginning to hallucinate.
Also, at this time, the 3 Portland doctors signed off on gastrostomy surgery for the insertion of a feeding tube (G-tube) in an attempt to assist Marcus with gaining weight as medical staff began to wean Marcus from both the Trileptal and Zonegran.
In late September, just prior to surgery and two weeks shy of his 15th birthday, Marcus weighed 95 lbs, a gain of 2 lbs in 7 weeks. In spite of the weight gain, doctors still proceeded with the G-tube surgery. Four weeks after surgery, doctors ended the Zonegran prescription and reduced the Trileptal dosages to 600 mg per day.
On February 13, 2018 during the trial, DDA Mickley successfully prevented DeLaurent from submitting into evidence the FDA package inserts that showed the side effect warnings for both Trileptal and Zonegran.
During closing arguments in April, Mickley brazenly took credit for the reduction in anti-seizure medications. It was yet another desperate attempt by the State to change the narrative. This time, it was to imply DeLaurent was over medicating her son by following physician prescribed directives.
The State of Oregon and Multnomah County have real mess on their hands in regard to the malicious prosecution of Trisha DeLaurent. In closing, Judge Susan Svetkey said it may take up to two weeks before her decision is made.