Parallels Between Dr. Meadow & Dr. Newton: MSbP Perpetrator – Provider Type?

This series of posts discusses the Justina Pelletier case, where healthcare providers at Boston Children’s Hospital kidnapped the sick teen from her family, falsely imprisoned her while emboldened by the State of Massachusetts, and abused her for about a year.

The family is now suing for malpractice, and I am providing evidence that the accused provider perpetrators, who are Alice Newton, Jurriaan Peters, and Simona Bujoreanu, may be displaying symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP) Perpetration – Provider Type. As I say in earlier posts, the family does not display any symptoms of being an MSbP family, but unfortunately, the press doesn’t seem to be looking into the possibility of provider perpetrators.

This post will focus on the parallels between the most famous alleged MSbP Perpetrator – Provider Type, Dr. Roy Meadow, who I describe in my last post, and Dr. Alice Newton.

Fist bump

Similarities between Dr. Meadow and Dr. Newton

According to the Boston Globe article on Dr. Newton, she labored in relative obscurity for years. She originally wanted to be a surgeon, but got fascinated in the 1990s about how medicine needed to cooperate with legal in the prosecution of child abuse.

The similarities to Meadow are striking:

  • Suddenly, Newton burst on the scene – the way Meadow did – only much later, in the early 2000s, just as Meadow himself was going down.
  • Like Meadow, Newton had a few high profile cases about shaken babies overturned – one involving Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy, and one involving father Geoffrey Wilson.
  • Like Meadow, Newton defends her work even though she is intellectually challenged by peers.
  • Like Meadow, people are calling for her firing.
  • Like Meadow, she’s being taken to court by families who have been wronged by her.
  • Like Meadow, who was charged with “serious professional misconduct”, Newton is being charged with “malpractice”.
  • Like Meadow, Newton is not being criminally charged with “child abuse” – which appears to be the crime she is actually guilty of – so probably, like Meadow, she will be found “not guilty”.

Court gavel

Recommendations from the Proxy Project

  1. In our opinion, it would probably be better if Dr. Newton was criminally charged with MSbP child abuse, rather than undergoing civil actions. Then, the evidence would be about whether or not “child abuse” happened, which is what I actually think happened. It is hard to prove “malpractice” in the Pelletier case, or “serious professional misconduct” in Meadow’s case. But it’s pretty easy to show if Dr. Newton engaged in “child abuse” or not.
  2. A criminal complaint of “child abuse” would need to be filed with the city of Boston or the state of Massachusetts. I have had a lot of trouble filing criminal complaints against healthcare providers who engage in criminal behavior. I witnessed two EMT’s beat my previous boyfriend, a skinny little thing with bipolar disorder who had been throwing up for 8 hours, in the stomach. But when we went to file a criminal complaint, no one would file it. Also, providers at Arbour Counseling in Jamaica Plain (Boston) blocked me from requesting my medical records, and I could not file a criminal complaint against them.

This problem really needs to be solved. The State needs to accept a criminal complaint of child abuse against these providers for the court system to weigh the evidence and protect the community in the proper fashion.

Want to know about the other two accused perpetrators in Pelletier’s case?

Read my next post here.

Image of fists by Falco on Pixabay. Image of court gavel by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee of the US Air Force.

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6 thoughts on “Parallels Between Dr. Meadow & Dr. Newton: MSbP Perpetrator – Provider Type?

  1. This is the first I have ever heard of this case. But it shows the problem with calling all of this MbPS, because you end up talking about who does and who does not show symptoms of this supposed illness, instead of just what evidence you have that someone did something wrong.

    And while there is always a potential for abuses in any human institution, it is usually going to be necessary to separate children from parents in order to detect and deal with medical child abuse, and often this will lead to counter accusations.

    And as I know, Roy C. Meadow is completely vindicated of any allegations against him.

    I read this, a British book for health care workers:

    https://www.amazon.com/ABC-Child-Protection-Roy-Meadow-ebook/dp/B00295R51G/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472505284&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=roy+c.+meadow+child+abuse

    table of contents:
    https://www.amazon.com/ABC-Child-Protection-Roy-Meadow-ebook/dp/B00295R51G/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472505284&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=roy+c.+meadow+child+abuse#reader_0727911066

    Nomadic

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    • Now here it says that a Massachusetts Judge permanently terminated parent custody. Now yes, all human institutions are subject to corruption. But until there is evidence of this, I would still say that a judge would not do that unless there were “clear and convincing proof” of a need for it.

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/03/27/justina_pelletier_ruling_boston_children_s_hospital_and_judge_perform_parent.html

      And I don’t know if they really suspect that Justina has a psychiatric disorder, as much as just showing the effects of parental child abuse, and being made to believe that she has disorders.

      The article also says, and this to me sounds likely.

      “It’s the kind of diagnosis vulnerable to manipulation by parents,” Dr. Alice Newton said.

      Again I hope people can see how political this is, and understand that parents with money will lawyer up and counter attack, and there will be many journalists who come to their side, while the Boston Children’s Hospital people remain gagged.

      This journalist wrote, “But if I were a parent who felt a hospital was interfering with my rights and harming my child, I can’t say that I would act any differently.”

      Well, the one that has immediate jurisdiction is the Family Court. They deal with dependency issues, and they try to keep families together.

      Mass. granted permanent custody of Justina Pelletier
      http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/03/25/permanent-custody-justina-pelletier-awarded-state-massachusetts/puyPhesGkKE6rGLid2VM2L/story.html


      The judge’s four-page decision, which was provided to the Globe, was remarkable for its detail and forcefulness. Johnston faulted Connecticut’s child protection agency for its failure to get involved in a case involving a child from its state, and faulted Pelletier’s parents for their verbally abusive manner and haphazard decision-making that he says has sabotaged plans to move their daughter closer to home.

      Johnston wrote that the parents called Boston Children’s Hospital personnel Nazis “and claimed the hospital was punishing and killing Justina. Efforts by hospital clinicians to work with the parents were futile and never went anywhere.”

      More recently, he wrote, “there has not been any progress by the parents. Rather, the parents . . . continue to engage in very concerning conduct that does not give this court any confidence they will comply with conditions of custody.” He noted that because of allegations that Justina’s father, Lou Pelletier, threatened a state social worker assigned to the case, the worker had to be reassigned.

      So this decision by the judge does to me make it sound like the parents are causing problems and interfering with Justina’s care. This alone does not mean MSbP, but there is clearly a problem. And again, if the parents don’t agree, then the thing to do was get a court case started right away. BCH doctors and CPS never are the final decision makers.


      The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, who has become the parents’ spokesman, said Tuesday that Lou and Linda Pelletier are “outraged” by the decision.

      So I hope people see, the main opponent of all child protection is usually Christian based.


      Since the start of the year, several conservative Christian organizations have gotten involved in defending the parents, seeing the case as an example of government interference in the sanctity of parental rights, and have instigated massive phone and letter-writing campaigns to the judge and other state officials.

      So Justina stayed at BCH for almost a year, in the locked psych ward. This Judge Johnson faults the parents for impeding progress in gaining a resolution.

      Now this looks like Right Wing Media, critical of Boston Children’s Hospital and its child protection efforts.
      https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/02/28/boston-childrens-hospital-pioneers-parent-ectomy/

      Parent-Ectomy

      Now here, we have a foolish legal mistake by the Boston Globe.

      http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/12/15/justina/vnwzbbNdiodSD7WDTh6xZI/story.html


      In Massachusetts, the Department of Children and Families investigates all child abuse and neglect complaints and is supposed to be a neutral referee assessing the charges against the parents.

      Of course they investigate all child abuse and neglect complaints, as this is what is required by federal law. But this child protection agency is there to protect children, not to be any kind of a referee in accessing charges against parents.

      If parents are charged with child abuse, then they will be entitled to the same due process protections that any other criminal suspects are. But this is not the role of child protection.

      Child protection is there to try and figure out what is best for the child, and then recommend that to the court.

      I also feel that this Boston Globe reporter is being taken in by the mother’s saint and martyr routine. This will usually be what you find in MBsP cases.

      Here, the Globe also says, “Pediatrician Carole Jenny and her psychiatrist husband coined the term “medical child abuse” some time ago, but it has taken hold in the medical world just in the last few years. It has become a controversial catch-all for a wide spectrum of cases in which health care providers deem parents acting against the best interests of their child in a medical setting. ”

      And


      Many such parents used to be diagnosed with Munchausen by Proxy, a psychiatric condition in which they seek attention from the medical community by exaggerating, fabricating or even inducing a child’s illness. The new term avoids references to parental motivation.

      Noted child-protection specialists say signs of medical child abuse, whatever the motivation of the perpetrator, must be taken seriously.

      “If the parent won’t work with you, and you really think the child is suffering, you’ve got to act,” said Jenny, who until recently ran the child protection team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

      And I would note here that the excellent book I suggested is also coming out of the isolation ward of that children’s hospital in Providence RI.

      https://www.amazon.com/Medical-Child-Abuse-Munchausen-Syndrome/dp/1581101368

      And yes, this Carole Jenny is the second author. The book gives good statistics. And having that one isolation ward for the entire state, means that they see cases across racial and socio-economic lines.

      continuing:
      http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/12/15/justina/vnwzbbNdiodSD7WDTh6xZI/story.html


      She was told Flores was not on call, and later that he wasn’t coming in. Instead, a young neurologist, Dr. Jurriaan Peters, took the lead in Justina’s care. Peters tried to draw out Justina by making the shy teenager guess where he was from, based on his accent. It was a good ice-breaker, and Justina smiled, though she declined to hazard a guess.

      Peters, who was in his late 30s and had come from the Netherlands to Boston for his residency, had completed his medical training just seven months earlier. He found it much easier to get Linda talking. She told him that a few years earlier, Justina had suffered excruciating abdominal pain and constipation. Doctors at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford had removed her appendix as well as a long congenital band that they’d found wrapped around her colon. Still, her chronic constipation persisted. Despite taking powerful laxatives, Justina sometimes went more than a week between bowel movements.

      After several colonoscopies, Justina had undergone “cecostomy” surgery at Tufts, in which a tube was placed permanently in her intestines. This created a “button” port near the belly button through which a solution could regularly be passed to force the colon to contract and flush her system. Peters took note of the new and relatively rare procedure, which a Tufts surgeon had recommended.

      Linda explained that Korson, the chief of metabolism at Tufts, had diagnosed Justina with mitochondrial disease, the same disorder that another of her four daughters, 24-year-old Jessica, had been diagnosed with several years earlier.

      “It’s mito,” the mother said.

      But Peters had already begun to question that assessment. Here was a girl who was on multiple medications and who had undergone multiple interventions at the hands of multiple specialists, but all that care “has not yielded a definitive unifying diagnosis,” he wrote in Justina’s medical chart.

      He noted that two of the criteria often used in arriving at a mitochondrial disease diagnosis were not present in Justina’s case. “Metabolic workup was unremarkable,” he wrote, adding, “She has not had a muscle biopsy.”

      Just a few hours after Peters had first examined Justina, he entered a lengthy addendum to his admission notes, writing that he was concerned about the care she had received from numerous providers in different facilities and states, “the number of invasive procedures Justina has been submitted to, [and] the black and white thinking of Mom.” And he challenged Linda’s declaration of the mito diagnosis, saying Justina’s medical records suggested much less certainty.

      So this new doctor Peters from the Netherlands was good at getting Justina and her mother Linda talking. The number of different doctors they have seen and the number of different highly invasive procedures was in an of it self concerning. Read the article, it is interesting.

      I read it and just to me it does sound like one has to at least suspect medical child abuse. And the parents are very bossy with doctors, one of the signs, and even more than bossy with Child Protection.

      So because of the mitochondrial condition, Justina was taking a long list of pills. But a group of BCH doctors decided that this was unnecessary.

      So this case started in Connecticut, and one of the allegations Massachusetts is making is that in Connecticut they did not do a very good job of pursing the Medical Child Abuse angle.

      So Dr. Alice Newton is in charge of child protection. As is usual she does not personally meet patients or parents, she lets her highly capable staff do this. I think this is better, as it is someone else’s perceptions which are being brought into play in the various cases.


      At Children’s, her team filed a formal request for the state to investigate — a maneuver called a “51A,” after the statute authorizing it — in about 400 cases a year. Most were parental neglect cases. Newton estimated that only 2 to 4 percent — or 8 to 16 cases a year — involved allegations of medical child abuse.

      Okay, so Dr. Newton did file the proper formal request for a state investigation.


      In the first days after Justina’s admission, records show, Newton consulted with psychologist Bujoreanu and other Children’s colleagues involved in her care. As Newton later explained to state investigators, she found much that troubled her: how Linda demanded that Justina be given a naso-gastric, or NG, feeding tube for nourishment, when hospital staff felt the girl needed to be given a chance to eat on her own. How Justina appeared to act more impaired when her mother was at her side. And how Linda and Lou had moved Justina around to multiple hospitals, drawing frequent complaints about their difficult personalities.

      Finally, Newton was troubled by Justina’s many medical interventions, particularly the cecostomy “button” surgery she had undergone at Tufts in 2012, which struck her and others at Children’s as severe and unnecessary.

      Nationally, some child protection specialists have warned that mitochondrial disease, because of all the interventions used to treat it, could be a dangerous vessel for medical child abuse. A 2011 paper published in the journal Pediatrics suggested that simply an evaluation for mito was a red flag. As Newton would explain later in an interview, “It’s the kind of diagnosis vulnerable to manipulation by parents.”


      Although inherent in these cases is the suggestion that doctors like Korson were giving care that a child shouldn’t be getting, Newton, like many in her field, generally saw the physicians as innocent victims who were misled by remarkably persistent and deceptive parents — almost always mothers.

      Korson counseled caution. By its very nature, he stressed to Newton, mitochondrial disease can be a “setup” for accusations. (Korson and Newton both declined to speak specifically about Justina’s case, but records and correspondence obtained by the Globe describe their thinking.)


      He had never read the Children’s handout on parents’ rights, which stipulated that a transfer to another hospital “will be made only when medically appropriate.” He also didn’t know that if the hospital filed a 51A report with the Department of Children and Families, state law gave the hospital even wider discretion in holding on to a child.

      This father does not understand that children are not property. He also seems not to understand that if the child is considered a person, there is no such thing as parent’s rights.


      After some time, a social worker ushered the parents into a small lounge. Peters, the neurologist, and Bujoreanu, the psychologist, entered. Bujoreanu did most of the talking, explaining, according to the Pelletiers’ recollection, that they didn’t feel it would be medically safe for Justina to leave the hospital. She also informed Justina’s parents that the hospital had filed an allegation of medical child abuse against them.

      I read this and I feel that this family could very well be engaging in Medical Child Abuse with their daughter Justina.

      If they really cared about what will become of Justina, then they would lay back and let the doctors and this separation interval proceed. They should consider that even if they are not intending to cause Justina to be ill, they could nevertheless be doing so.

      I am not saying that Justina suffers from a mental illness, only that their is a large chance that she is showing the effects of a psychologically abusive home environment, usually revolving around the mother, and that this is being further compounded by extremely invasive medical procedures.

      So if the parents really cared, they would lay back.

      Nomadic

      *************************************

      Laura Zdravkovski , Royal Oak Michigan, Clinical Psychologist, specializes in child psychology, emphasizes importance of Mandatory Reporting and how anyone who works with children is covered by it.

      Also Pediatrician Zoy Patouhas, Sterling Heights Michigan, Medical Child Abuse expert.
      https://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-zoy-patouhas-2tmht

      interviewed here:

      Munchausen By Proxy – Interview with Victim Author Julie Gregory

      Dr. Nandi, speaking about the perpetrators of medical child abuse, “The perpetrator is a cunning liar.

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  2. Angela,

    Thanks for the reblog and the comment! Also, thanks for the initial post. It was helpful to our group to see what others think.

    I hear what you are saying, but unfortunately, a “malpractice” suit of any sort in the US is usually a loser. For example, Tufts Hospital gave a woman the wrong dye for an imaging procedure and it killed her. The surgeon saw the error and apologized to her adult sons. Yet, Tufts walked back on that and now the sons have to sue for malpractice, and it’s not clear they will win. In those conditions, using “malpractice” as the charge against Dr. Newton will probably not work.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/08/30/surgical-error-tufts-medical-center-prompts-widespread-changes-operating-rooms/8JFgKrx6FIvLLT6Uja2bkJ/story.html

    Partly, the problem is “malpractice” is a civil charge, not involving a jury, a prosecuting government, or the weighing of guilt or innocence.

    However, a criminal complaint of “child abuse” against Dr. Newton would result in the opportunity for discovery along with plea bargain, and if not, a jury trial. This is what is needed to convict MSbP if it really happens. So far, the medical establishment has thrown the perpetrating parents under the bus and they medical cooperators have not been punished. But here, there are not perpetrating parents, so I feel the child abuse charge should be brought against Dr. Newton, and the criminal court system should be used to see if it sticks.

    Thanks again for your insight!

    -Monika

    Like

  3. I don’t think it will be difficult to find grounds for malpractice in the Justina Pelletier case. From the moment the parents were escorted out of the ER malpractice began.

    Good post to reblog

    Like

    • Separating children from their parents is how child protection works.

      Is it wrong to arrest suspected bank robbers or murderers, or just to try and protect children?

      Remember the Alice Newton and Boston Children’s Hospital side are gagged in this and obliged to always protect confidentiality. They cannot be feeding stuff to the news media to steer public protection their way.

      And besides all action the hospital took were subject to review by a court.

      Like

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