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What price for stealing babes from their mothers?

March 18, 2014
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From the Greeks to Shakespeare, one of the most heinous things in literature is taking a newborn baby from its mother.

I am not a parent, not a mother, yet it is obvious to me that such an act is one of the worst possible things you can do to either the infant or mom.

As Radley Balko reports, in one such case of removal for 75 of the first 78 days of the child’s life due to nothing more than a positive drug test from a poppy seed salad, the price was set at $160,000 in a court settlement.

But even if these tests were 100 percent accurate, treating both patients for addiction seems like a far more humane policy than yanking a newborn from his mother’s arms — or sending the mother to prison.

Of course, if this were a Greek play, the child would grow up not knowing its background and end up ironically slaying Jameson Hospital and Lawrence County Children and Youth Services, resulting in poetic justice.

But we can’t count on such dramatic plot twists and instead must work to change policies. $160,000 will help to make other similar entities think twice.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

BAD TIDINGS FOR EAST HAWAII

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