- Vitamin K shots have been recommended at birth to prevent a rare but life-threatening blood clotting problem since the 1960s
- Illinois officials once considered the shots ‘medically necessary’
- Parents could sign informed-consent refusal forms but doctors had to report the refusal to the Department of Children and Family Services until 2018
- According to a lawsuit filed last week, staff at several hospitals used this to claim temporary custody of babies, give them the shot and return them to parents
- But several families were investigated for neglect subsequently
- Audio recordings reveal that policy makers questioned if ‘any of us really care what happens next’ after babies were given the shot against parental wishes
- The state has since rescinded the policy calling the shot ‘medically necessary’ and requiring hospitals to report refusals , a move made in August 2018
Audio recordings reveal that some doctors in Illinois used a loophole in the state’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to give newborns vitamin K shots against their parents’ wills, PJ Media reported.
As a result, the families were left confused and, in some cases, were subject to weeks of DCFS investigation thereafter.
Vitamin K shots have been routinely given at birth since the 1960s in an effort to prevent a rare but life-threatening blood-clotting disorder in babies.
But a growing number of parents have been refusing the shots.
In Illinois, several hospitals allegedly took temporary custody of newborns, claiming that their refusal of the shots constituted ‘medical neglect’ overriding signed refusal forms, administering the shots then returning the children to their families.
In the newly discovered audio, a hospital board member said: ‘You give the vitamin K and then do any of us really care what happens next?’
For the parents, what happened next, in some cases, was an investigation by DCFS that they claim was ‘traumatic,’ in a lawsuit filed last month.