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Posts Tagged ‘hospitals’

        Another family has made the news by dropping off their children, 9 of them from ages 1 to 17 at a hospital in Nebraska.  It is in my mind, in cases of abandonment, almost as if the children are treated like a litter of unwanted puppies.  In mid July, Nebraska made its own news headlines by instituting a “safe haven law”. 

         Most states in the US have some sort of a safe haven law which is designed to protect children who are either unwanted; or, in unsafe environments regarding living conditions, or in situations of neglect or abuse.  The safe haven laws are meant to allow a safe place for children to be left such as a hospital or a fire station.  What is unique about the new law in Nebraska is that it doesn’t clarify who has the authority to drop off said children…it could be a baby sitter, grandparent, parent, neighbor or what have you.  Another important point, most of the states that implement safe haven laws usually are set up to protect infants.  Nebraska made headlines by not limiting the reach of the safe haven laws to infant only drop offs…it basically says “minors”…leaving the new law open to interpetation.

         The courts will have to clarify the definition of the safe haven law so that the protection of the children and the people who abandon them is more clear.  At the moment, anyone under the age of 19 is allowed to be dropped off in a safe haven.  There will be no legal repercussions as long as abuse or neglect is not involved.  In some ways, this may help those situations where we read about newborn infants born to teen mothers who are dumped in a garbage can or left outside alone.  Maybe in those cases, some children will be saved…but, this new law opens up a whole new set of issues regarding children and their families.

         I know that the law was set up in good faith…to protect the children.  However, you have to wonder about the psychological damage to those same children who are old enough to understand that they have been abandoned by the people most trusted in their lives.  An infant does not comprehend the abandonment until they are older and the information is presented to them…an older child certainly does understand the idea of abandoment and there certainly will ensue emotional and psychological damage.  However, i will say an infant may not understand the full scope of abandonment; but, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by it; when they are affected, it is often called an attachment disorder…where the baby has trouble bonding with their caregivers, either giving or receiving love…sometimes, it is even turned into a failure to thrive.  All human beings deserve to be loved and wanted.

         Studies have been done on babies or infants who have been abandoned in other countries and left in orphanages…if they do not get enough human interaction that shows love or caring…those children can actually die from the lack of human, loving touch.  Don’t think that when an infant is dropped off, even at a safe haven…that they won’t know the difference between being wanted and unwanted.

         People who find themselves in desperate circumstances may be tempted to go the route of the safe haven in a moment of extreme duress.  However, the long term consequences make me wonder whether this is a viable option.  People who abuse or neglect their children willingly or freely are not going to be so very concerned about making sure that the place they abandon their child is considered a safe place.  It would be better to put into place programs that facilitate helping families who are in danger of imploding. 

         Not to mention, those parents or caregivers who are feeling desperate…say…in a financial crisis…they can’t afford to feed or house their children…may think that this safe haven is an option for them.  The consequences of such an action could be considered permanent…even if their circumstances change in time.  Their custody could be forever impacted by that one moment of temptation to abandon the children in a safe place. 

         I wonder if other options are being given as much media & legal attention, such as making a short term placement with social services; for short term foster care in cases where, say a housing or financial need is threatening the ability to keep a family together? 

          Children aren’t like litters of animals…not that animals should be abandoned either!  Being a pet owner or a parent is a huge responsiblity…the demands are serious.  People should not enter into the role of a pet owner or parenting without alot of thought!  Parents need to take their commitment to parenting seriously. 

          If a parent is considering abandoning their children…wouldn’t it be better to work with an agency and make a permanency plan such as adoption?  Definately, if that were the case, doing it in infancy is better than waiting until a child is old enough to be scarred by an emotional and physical abandonment by their parents or caregivers.  At least by making sure that the child/children were placed in a safe and loving home…a child would have a chance to grow up and to be nutured in a loving environment. 

          No one should ever be made to feel unwanted, unloved or unprotected.  Abandonment leaves permanent scares that impact their young lives and often, other generations of lives as well.  What are your feelings on the safe haven laws?

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            Wow, just as schools get out for the summer…travelers have been hit with a double whammy.  Not only do people have to plan their travel plans around construction zones…but, with all of the wild weather the central states have been experiencing, now they need to avoid areas hit with major flooding.  It is worth taking the extra time to reroute your trip to avoid putting any extra strain on emergency services in these areas.

            The national weather service has given warnings in 15 counties in Indiana because flooding is becoming a major obstacle for both residents and travelors alike.  In fact, residents in central Indiana have been being evacuated because of fear of dams failing.  This is massive flooding that endangers many people.

             In fact, major highways are being closed down because of flooding.  Highways, I-65, US- 31, and I-70,  all have portions of their roadways closed.  In Terre Haute, US-41 was the only option available and only one lane was open at that.  This is scary…where will that amount of people go for safety?  If in doubt contact the authorities if you are affected by flooding.

             To add to the confusion and difficulty, thousands upon thousands are without power in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan due to the storms that have been assaulting the area.  Businesses, hospitals, homes, nursing homes, and school buildings are all affected.

              This time of year it is wise to remind people of emergency safety precautions.  If possible prepare ahead of time.  Have available bottled water, blankets, extra clothing and non-perishable food items.  Keep medications and important documents in a handy place to make a quick exit if need be. 

             Also it is important to remind people not to go near downed wires.  Report any gas leaks immediately.  Never, never try to drive through areas where water covers the roadways; too many people end up stranded or dead from flash flooded roadways.  It doesn’t take much water to make a vehicle uncontrollable in these types of conditions.  Safety first.   Keep a cell phone handy to report any emergencies to the authorities.  Keep up to date on the latest weather conditions in your area.  www.nws.noaa.gov/.   Be safe everyone!

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         Are you safe and warm; do you have food to eat and clean water to drink where you are?  You are blessed.  China is in the middle of a mass of miracles and mourning after the earthquake this past week.   Families are suffering; and, grieving losses of people and possessions.  Many are without a safe place to live.  This devastation is large scale and overwhelming to those in need as well as to the aid workers. 

         Getting clean water, food and shelter to all those who have need is no easy task.  Adding the additional strain of flooding from rivers, streams and lakes that have been blocked by debris and backed up water flow; only makes getting aid supplies into remote areas more difficult.

         In a country that encourages a family practice of having one birth child, it has a significant impact because, the earthquake has taken the future from many families.  Many have honored the Chinese government’s policy to only have one birth child to cut down on the over-population problem.  Since this earthquake brought down many schools, hospitals and other institutions that housed children…the impact has devastating, life-long consequences on China’s infrastructure.

           Those most vulnerable are the elderly and the young children.  The future can be bleak for those who only had one child to care for them in their elder years.  If they are past the age of child bearing…this can bring an end to their family line. 

          In the center of all of this madness, the Olympics are to be held in China in 81 days.  The International Olympic Committee has decided to pause the torch relay out of respect for the victims.  There will also be three days of national mourning, starting on Monday.  

           There have been stories of miracles; people who have been buried, under debris and rubble since the quake, who have overcome the circumstances and survived.  There will be many such stories as communications improve and time goes on.  One man in particular survived 139 hours trapped in rubble from a hospital and came away with minor bruising.  

           Each miracle brings hope to the hearts of those who have missing loved ones; as experts have said that, a person could survive in these conditions for up to a week as long as they had some access to water and the temperatures were at a survivable level. 

      

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         China is the place of the most recent earthquake…there are over 10,000 people dead.  Many were buried under rubble; children were trapped as school buildings came tumbling down.  Landslides closed roads needed to allow access to receive help; phones became disabled, electricity lines were disrupted causing power outtages.

       Chaos is ensuing with rail lines broken, running water that is scarce, hospitals with patients who are leaving in a panic, the streets are covered with many people who know not, where to go, or what to do.  The military is trying to get to those in need; but navigating the roadways is difficult at best.

       As China continues to acess the damage the death toll will continue to rise, as will the number of people who are injured and displaced.  It seems that the very bowels of the earth are churning to and fro and we the residents of it’s surface will be tossed around much like kernels of corn.  We must pray for those around the world who are in need and offer assistance where we can be effective.

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       Got a phone call from the high school today regarding my 16 year old son.  The teacher said he was having a hard time breathing and had chest pains.  I tried not to panic and actually did well, considering that i knew the new medications he was on could be causing him a bad reaction. (more…)

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