Detroit Mother Jailed for Weaning Daughter Off Risperdal

Two areas of medicine encapsulate abuses of the medical dictatorship that Dr. Rush warned against–in both cases, the majority of victims are children.

Case example:
Maryanne Godboldo, a 56-year old Detroit mother who sought help from a Children’s Center for her 13-year old daughter who experienced an adverse reaction–in the form of  sudden uncharacteristic behavior problems following a series of vaccinations–wound up in jail after a standoff with police.

The Center’s treatment plan wasa prescription for a controversial antipsychotic, Risperdal, which worsened her condition. The mother sought another doctor who agreed that the drug should be withdrawn. Mrs. Godboldo, thereupon began to wean her daughter off the drug–which improved her condition.

But Child Protective Services intervened, ordering the mother to administer the dug as ordered by the Children’s Center.

When the mother refused, she was threatened with loss of custody. A stand-off with police, resulting in her arrest, hit the news.

The Detroit News reports (below) that “Godboldo’s family and supporters, who gathered outside the court Sunday, said the woman has every right to make medical decisions for her daughter and that child welfare workers overstepped their authority. The unusual circumstances of the standoff attracted a large crowd of volunteers offering to help negotiate with Godboldo, including ministers and community activists.”

 

Vera Hassner Sharav

Was a Detroit mother right to resist efforts by Child Protective Services, police to take her child?

Monday, March 28, 2011,

Maryanne Godboldo was looking only for help.

Last year, the Detroit mother went to the Children’s Center, a group that works with troubled children, to seek advice and a treatment plan for her 13-year-old daughter. The girl, who’d never had behavioral problems before, was suddenly irritable and not her usual self following a series of immunization shots.

As part of the center’s treatment plan, a doctor prescribed the child an anti-psychotic medication. But the child’s symptoms only worsened. As a result, Godboldo sought another physician, who quickly recommended taking the child off the psychotropic drug.

The mother agreed and, according to her attorney, who spoke exclusively with MLive Detroit earlier today, Godboldo began following that doctor’s orders.

Unfortunately for Godboldo, the state didn’t agree. Child Protective Services wanted Godboldo’s child medicated according the center’s plan, and CPS workers essentially told the 56-year-old mother — who was never under any court order to follow the plan — to agree to their program or surrender her child.

She refused both. And so, on Thursday, CPS workers showed up at Godboldo’s house with the police, who said they had a warrant to take the child. But according to Godboldo’s lawyer, Wanda A. Evans, officers never produced a warrant even after Godboldo repeatedly asked to see one.

A standoff ensued. A gunshot was fired from inside the house — though, according to Evans, not at officers. Finally, after long hours of tense negotiations, Godboldo — a mother, a teacher, a dancer and a respected figure in the city’s arts circles — surrendered, was jailed and, on Sunday, was arraigned on multiple felony charges.

 March 28, Detroit News: Godboldo is accused of barricading herself inside her west side home with her 13-year-old daughter and a gun after being confronted Thursday afternoon by Child Protective Services workers who had a warrant to remove the girl because the mother had withheld her medication. Detroit Police said Godboldo fired a shot and refused to leave the home until negotiators, including a Wayne County judge, helped talk her into surrendering.

“We talked that day mother-to-mother. I asked her to come out on her porch and I promised I would come here today to walk out with her,” Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas said Sunday after the hearing. “I’m shocked by the amount of the bond. I never dreamed it would be set so high and she wouldn’t be free to care for her daughter.”

Meanwhile, according to Evans, the daughter, who has a physical disability, remains in the custody of the state even though several relatives and family friends have repeatedly volunteered to care for her in her mother’s absence: “They had a hearing that they didn’t notify anyone of, and a woman from CPS said that no family had come forward to take care of the girl. That’s just not true. Relatives were all at the house when this incident happened, saying they would take care of her. It’s like, the state just wants to medicate this child.”

  But for now, at least, the drugs are off the table. A Wayne County Circuit Court judge ordered the medication discontinued until further review.

  How isn’t this entire incident a travesty?

  How does a woman who voluntarily goes looking for help wind up behind bars because she’s trying to do what she thinks is right by her child?

How can the state make a mom who, by all accounts, has done a wonderful job of parenting give her child medicine that she and a doctor both think only worsens a problem? And how is it that we can respect a judge ordering the child off the medication but not a mother acting on her physician’s advice?

Evans compares Godboldo to comic Jenny McCarthy, who has railed publicly against vaccines as a potential cause of autism in children. Granted, the science weighs heavily against that theory, but as Evans says, “Nobody is kicking in Jenny McCarthy’s door. She has the right to do what she thinks is in the best interest of her child. Why can’t this woman?”

Hell, this isn’t about vaccines even: Godboldo had gone along with the shots. She wasn’t some religious nut denying her child a life-saving medical treatment. This was a mother who, along with her doctor, didn’t believe her child benefited from psychotropic drugs.

As Judge Thomas’ remarks suggest, the incident has sparked shock and outrage among many in Detroit who believe that Child Protective Services overreacted (and that state agencies are often far too quick to recommend medication for kids, especially black children). A rally of support for Godboldo is being held at Detroit’s Hartford Memorial Church on April 2.

I doubt that anybody’s trying to justify standoffs with cops or warning shots or any of the other sensational elements of this incident. But early evidence strongly suggests that the CPS workers overstepped their bounds in a major way.

 If so, then how could Godboldo not resist? Because regardless of whether it’s to mental illness, physical disabilities or state agencies, good parents do not simply surrender their children.

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


THE  DETROIT NEWS

  March 28. 2011 12:27PM

  Detroit mother jailed after standoff

  Detroiter faces felonies in dispute over daughter’s medication; shot fired, police say

Doug Guthrie

Detroit — A 56-year-old woman faces multiple felony charges and is being held on $500,000 bond after a 10-hour standoff with police, claiming she was protecting her 13-year-old daughter from unnecessary medication.

Maryanne Godboldo, 56, was arraigned Sunday before 36th District Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. on charges of firing a weapon in a dwelling, felonious assault, resisting and obstructing an officer, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Barthwell set an April 8 preliminary examination.

“What has happened here is a travesty,” said Wanda A. Evans, Godboldo’s attorney. “This family has never been under the jurisdiction of the court. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Godboldo is accused of barricading herself inside her west side home with her 13-year-old daughter and a gun after being confronted Thursday afternoon by Child Protective Services workers who had a warrant to remove the girl because the mother had withheld her medication. Detroit Police said Godboldo fired a shot and refused to leave the home until negotiators, including a Wayne County judge, helped talk her into surrendering.

“We talked that day mother-to-mother. I asked her to come out on her porch and I promised I would come here today to walk out with her,” Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas said Sunday after the hearing. “I’m shocked by the amount of the bond. I never dreamed it would be set so high and she wouldn’t be free to care for her daughter.”

Godboldo’s family and supporters, who gathered outside the court Sunday, said the woman has every right to make medical decisions for her daughter and that child welfare workers overstepped their authority. The unusual circumstances of the standoff attracted a large crowd of volunteers offering to help negotiate with Godboldo, including ministers and community activists.

Thomas said she eventually talked Godboldo out with a promise her daughter would be turned over to a relative, but family members say the girl was taken into protective custody anyway. Evans said a hearing on removal of the child will be April 6 before Wayne County Juvenile Referee Leslie Graves.

Penny Godboldo, a dance professor at Marygrove College, said she and her sister, Maryanne, trained as dancers in New York before opening a studio in Detroit. Maryanne Godboldo became a stay-at-home mother after the troubled birth of her daughter, who was born with a defective foot that required amputation of her leg below the knee.

Maryanne Godboldo home-schooled the girl. She said her strength and confidence grew, and despite her handicap, she swam, sang, danced and played the piano.

Penny Godboldo said as her niece approached middle school age, she wanted to attend school but needed to catch up on required immunizations.

“We believe she had an adverse reaction to her immunizations,” Penny Godboldo said.

“She began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunizations.”

Evans said Maryanne Godboldo sought help for her daughter from The Children’s Center, an organization that helps families with at-risk children, where a medical and mental health treatment plan was developed. Godboldo told relatives the medications ordered by the doctor worsened symptoms, including behavioral problems.

“It is an undiagnosed condition, but the doctor had given her psychotropic drugs that caused a bad reaction, made things worse,” said the girl’s father, Mubuarak Hakim. “Maryanne’s decision to wean her from that was making a difference, making her better, helping her to be a happy kid again.”

A rally for Godboldo is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens Freeway.

dguthrie@detnews.com

(313) 222-2548