Something is Rotten in England

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 4:56 pm by Neal

What in the hell is going on in England? Talk about the literal nanny state gone berserk!

This story is entitled, “Threat to take new-born over emotional abuse,” but that title doesn’t do this story justice. First, the facts:

A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of “emotional abuse”, even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child in any way.

Social services’ recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met.

Hexham children’s services, part of Northumberland County Council, said the decision had been made because Miss Lyon was likely to suffer from Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy, a condition unproven by science in which a mother will make up an illness in her child, or harm it, to draw attention to herself.

Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications. Social services’ request for an emergency protection order – these are usually granted – will be heard in secret in the family court at Hexham magistrates on the same day.

From then on, anyone discussing the case, including Miss Lyon, will be deemed to be in contempt of the court.

Miss Lyon, from Hexham, who is five months pregnant, is seeking a judicial review of the decision about Molly, as she calls her baby. She described it as “barbaric and draconian”, and said it was “scandalous” that social services had not accepted submissions supporting her case.

“The paediatrician has never met me,” she said. “He is not a psychiatrist and cannot possibly make assertions about my current or future mental health. Yet his letter was the only one considered in the case conference on August 16 which lasted just 10 minutes.”

Northumberland County Council insists that two highly experienced doctors – another consultant paediatrician and a medical consultant – attended the case conference.

The case adds to growing concern, highlighted in a series of articles in The Sunday Telegraph, over a huge rise in the number of babies under a year old being taken from parents. The figure was 2,000 last year, three times the number 10 years ago.

Critics say councils are taking more babies from parents to help them meet adoption “targets”.

Under England’s wonderful “universal health care” system, a government worker decides Miss Lyon is “capable of emotional abuse.” Capability is now a crime? This is worse than an Orwellian “thought crime:” she has been convicted before any crime occurred.

The circumstances under which this mother-to-be is deemed “unfit” are dubious enough, but did you catch that last sentence? England is “taking more babies from parents to help them meet adoption targets.”

What the hell? This is insanity! Does England even pretend to be a free country anymore? What’s next, redistributing more babies to achieve multi-racial family quotas?

Government is power, and the power to control is the power to destroy. Even when an overzealous government has “good intentions” (e.g., removing children from abusive homes, and seeking to reduce the number of children in foster homes), the unleashed power of government inevitably results in perverse incentives.

For an American example, local governments — with Supreme Court permission — use the power of eminent domain to seize private property from one person and give it to another person to develop. This perversion is justified as a “public use” because the property generates more taxes to the government. This power has destroyed the integrity of property rights.

England has destroyed the right to raise a family.

The power of government must be restrained or it will grow and destroy. Just ask Fran Lyon.

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