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From West Columbia, South Carolina, USA:

My six year old daughter has type 1 diabetes. About a month ago, her father took me to court and accused me of jeopardizing her life because of high blood sugars. There was no medical documentation to support this, and her pediatric endocrinologist indicated her HbA1c was okay for a child her age. Because this was an "emergency hearing", the judge gave full custody to her father, and I have very limited visitation. Her father is now keeping the blood sugars extremely low, and she has ended up in the emergency room already. I am very concerned about her development, physically and emotionally, but can get no one to do anything about this. Any help? Any financial assistance available for situations like this?


It is sad that in cases like that of your daughter, the diabetes is so often a focus of parental antipathy. Without any access to the court and clinical records though, I can make no assessment of the chances of an appeal, and I'm sorry that I am not aware of any funding that might assist you.


Additional comments from Dr. Larry Deeb:

Divorce and diabetes are terrible bedfellows. Sounds like the judge was too hasty, but you'll have to fight it in the courts. Your pediatric endocrinologist will have to be deposed, etc. It will be expensive, I fear. I know of no "pro bono" system as likely dad thinks he is right too.


Additional comments from Craig Broadhurst:

I am unsure of any available financial assistance in your area. It does sound as if the child's diabetes has become a battleground for unfinished business in the marriage. I would encourage enlisting the help of a therapist who is skilled in the management of diabetes in children and the psychosocial issues of the disease.


[Editor's comment: As others have said, we cannot assess what is really going on without access to medical and court records. However, the judge may have made a hasty decision. For legal help, you should try contacting the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Bar Association in your state. SS]

Original posting 19 Sep 2000
Posted to Social Issues: Community Resources


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