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Parents could lose child custody due to medical child abuse

When parents are awarded custody of their children, it is important that they properly care for them. In some cases, this means getting their child treated for their illness or taking them to the doctor when there's a serious health issue. Many parents may feel as though they are making a smart decision when getting help for their children's medical issues, but they should be careful because the decisions they make about their children's health could get them into trouble.

Recently, medical child abuse has been a growing issue in the United States. A parent may believe that they are simply trying to cure their child's illness or get them the medical treatment they deserve, but doctors may not always view these acts as wise or in the best interest of the child. In fact, even something as small as seeking a second opinion can be seen as inappropriate and may lead to a medical professional claiming that parents have committed medical child abuse.

When a medical professional feels as though parents have gone too far when getting medical treatments for their children, the result of their claim of medical child abuse may not be one of which parents will be fond because child custody is often affected by it. For example, children may be removed from their parents' homes or parents may lose custody. This may be seen as unfair because in the parents' eyes they were doing what they needed to do to help their child, but because the doctor felt that the parents' efforts were excessive, they lose custody.

Once a child's parent has been awarded custody, the last thing they want is to have their child taken away from them, especially when they feel they were doing the right thing by tending to the child's medical needs. Parents who have questions about child custody may want to speak to an attorney, as they may be able to help in situations where child custody is in jeopardy.

Source: The New York Times, "The New Child Abuse Panic," Maxine Eichner, July 11, 2015

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