An Okanagan family — whom we are not naming due to privacy restrictions placed on the parents by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) — says they have been torn apart by the ministry for advocating for their child. The parental rights battle began shortly after the couple became at odds with some of the decisions a medical team at BC Children’s Hospital made for their one-year-old child.
The baby, who is the youngest of the couple's four children, has been hospitalized at BC Children's Hospital since shortly after being born due to complications associated with a rare disorder called VACTERL. The disorder is a group of co-occurring conditions that can cause vertebral and cardiac defects, tracheoesophageal fistula, renal anomalies, and more. In such a short life, the infant has undergone at least six surgeries.
The parents say that after an aortapexy surgery was performed which led to their child having a severe infection, the father, who previously served as a medical technician in the Canadian military, began to express a desire to explore less invasive medical interventions for their child.
The parents also raised concerns about the use and length of time their baby was prescribed antibiotics and lorazepam, a drug linked to major side effects such as confusion, loss of muscle control, and addiction. The couple also opposed the doctors' recommendation to have a tracheotomy, which would put a hole in their child's neck, on the grounds that they had found a less invasive surgery that could take place at John Hopkins Hospital in the US.
In May, the friction between the parents and some of the doctors at BC Children's Hospital turned legal when the couple lost their bid to file an injunction to prevent the hospital from performing a tracheotomy without their permission. The Supreme Court application was denied as doctors had already involved the MCFD and ended up being granted an interim custody order for their baby.
"We wanted to have second opinions; we wanted to have mask-off trials," the mother stated to Rebel News. The concerned mother says the stripping away of their parental rights and added restrictions on their time with their child — such as supervised visits for the father, no visitors and no posting updates to inform family and friends on social media — makes them feel as though they are being treated like criminals or drug addicts, despite having three other healthy and happy children in their care.
Of additional concern to the parents is how quickly they say hospital staff set out to vaccinate their baby against their religious beliefs. The mother of the child said she had previous discussions with the medical staff informing them of the reasons why vaccinations, especially those containing gelatin in them, conflict with their Seventh-day Adventist faith.
Aside from being devastated by their ordeal and learning that the MCFD is actively searching for a foster home for when their child will be discharged, the parents remain hopeful that God will help reunite their family soon.
Watch the full interview to hear both parents further explain their struggle including what they know to date about their upcoming court cases to fight to get their son back.
Rebel News reached out to both BC Children's Hospital and the MCFD in an effort to share their side of this story. A media person from BC Children's Hospital declined to comment due to patient confidentiality, and MCFD did not respond.
Did you know that Rebel News doesn't take a dollar from the federal government, unlike 95% of media outlets in Canada? If you'd like to help support our journalism, which is independent of government interest, consider donating what you can right here.