Nanny state

I hate stupid legal proceedings. And this one takes the cake. The court in the UK should be absolutely ashamed of this.

Here’s the summary of the story:

The couple’s nightmare started in October 2003 when Mrs Webster took their second son to hospital with a swollen leg.

He was found to have a number of small fractures which doctors said could be caused only by physical abuse.

The following year they were permanently removed and put up for adoption after a one-day court hearing.

Medical experts later concluded that the injuries were not caused by violent twisting and shaking, but were symptoms of rare case of scurvy.

Mr Webster, 35, and his 27-year-old wife fled to Ireland in 2006 to stop their fourth child, Brandon,  being taken into care at birth.

The Appeal Court ruled on Wednesday that even though the Websters ‘may well’ have been victims of a miscarriage of justice the adoption order on their eldest three children could not be revoked because the youngsters are now settled with their adoptive parents.

Apparently the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” and a parent’s fundamental right to raise their children are both things of the past in the UK.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

3 thoughts on “Nanny state”

  1. It’s pretty hard for a kid to get scurvy – perhaps there was abuse in the form of neglect? I have read a case report around the same time as this of a kid with scurvy because he was autistic and only ate cheese sandwiches. Might be the same kid. Anyway, point is, if there is no disorder stopping the kid from getting his vitamins, abuse in the form of neglect would be a real possibility.

    1. This is true – but it’s hardly the point. Assumed innocence would mean the children should not have been adopted out until the court proceedings were finalised.

      I’m fine with the kids being taken into care pending the outcome of the trial – but to make it impossible for the parents to get their kids back on the basis of an accusation made by concerned medical professionals seems stupid.

  2. I have heard various stories about various disagreements between parents and Government welfare departments based on medical issues and misdiagnoses.

    I think I may have read this story recently, and the scurvy was found to be caused by a rare disorder that the kid was found to have.

    It’s a rather sad story.

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