For years, in fact decade’s people and professions have been targeted with a clear intent to shut them down. This was seen years ago in the well documented and famous Wilk’s case where five chiropractors took on the AMA and won1. Up until 1974, the AMA had a Committee on quackery which targeted and challenged what it considered to be unscientific forms of healing. This then moved to Quackbusters and Quackwatch which made fallacious attacks by mainstream medicine on honest alternative and alternate approaches to health. In each case the people won. The alternative and alternate approaches are gaining, not losing, ground in public acceptance despite the best efforts of organisations to shut them down. As a mother and a health professional I have supported people via crowd sourcing and on petition sites like change.org donating financially to help them fight for their right to deliver information and practice their chosen alternative or alternate health approach. It wasn’t that long ago that I come face to face with what it meant to be within a system that is completely against (purposefully or naively) what you espouse, know and teach.
This is the story.
Three days before my 43rd birthday, my life changed.
I was at home on the phone and in walked our nanny. She’d arrived home with two of our three children. Our eldest was at home with me, lying asleep in our bed, with a health expression he had created for himself a few days prior. I was on the phone interviewing a new person for a different position in my company.
I sensed that something was up; not quite right. I got up and walked towards her muting the phone and called out “is everything okay?”
It was like a tiger being let out of a cage…
I walked closer to our bedroom where she was standing and our eldest was lying. I noticed she’d pulled the doona off him waking him up. She began yelling “I can’t believe he has water bottles in the bed with him and he is as hot as anything” I reminded her that he is in my bed and the water bottles were for me from the night before and they are cold. She proceeded to the freezer to get out something frozen to place on his fore head. He looked at me with a confused, puzzled look having never at the age of 8 had something frozen on his head before. After she did this I stood in the kitchen frozen, paralyzed wondering what was going on.
She turned on me again and pointed at my middle boy who stood over near the couch also looking at me with confused eyes and yelled “do you know he has a temperature?”
“And?” I said
“His temperature is 38.7C”
“And?” I said
“Well that is dangerously high and he could have a fit.”
“What’s your point?” I said
She continued finishing with the one line that I knew was about to change my world…
“I have no choice but to call CYF’s” (aka child services) she said.
My vacant stare must have said it all. This lady had been in our employ for 2 years taking great care of the children and loving them. She also knew our approach to health; no drugs, no medications, no medical intervention. Our kids were all born at home, are non vaccinated, non medicated and had not been to a medical doctor. What is consistent in their life are regular adjustments and the AlterNATE Vitalistic approach to health that I teach here at Vital Moms. They have been educated since birth about health, the human body and it’s expression which includes innate intelligence, health expressions (what others may call sickness) and what they create for themselves is an opportunity to grow.
My husband and I are chiropractors living in a vitalistic health approach which we have done for decades. We acknowledge we are self healing self regulating organisms and constantly adapt to our environment. All three of our kids are educated this way too. They are taught that what they create brings with it opportunities to ask different questions and do life differently.
At 1:00pm on July 22nd the phone call came through. CYF’s (child services) had phoned my husband informing us that we were on a critical child abuser list because we were “denying children the right to medical treatment”. We informed child services that as doctors of chiropractic we serve vast numbers of children in this particular situation – that in fact parents bring their children to us to receive adjustments cheap cialis rather then choosing to medicate.
We also informed CTF’s that our children did NOT have temperatures despite
what our nanny had told them.
Our only option to clear our name off the critical list was to take our children to a medical doctor to verify that they in fact they did not have temperatures. Our nanny had told the authorities that our middle boy had a temperature of 39.7C; she told me it was 38.7C.
All of a sudden our right to choose what health approach we wanted for ourselves and our children was in jeopardy.
Before we went I sat the kids on the couch and said “kids we are going to go and jump through some hoops. Today will be a new experience for us all and it will no doubt bring up lots of questions for us to share. Today is your first appointment with a medical doctor and she will be jumping through the hoop with us.”
So off we went as a family ready to have an experience.
Eventually it was our turn. She took each child’s temperature and, no surprise to us, the kid’s temperatures were normal… 38, 37.2, 36.8. We assumed it was all over.
Little did we know…
You have no rights over your children as you go through a process such as this. You are left in the lurch; no one contacts you, no one lets you know when your status has changed.
Eventually we got in contact with the CYF’s lady who said “Yes this appears to be an unsubstantiated allegation and we’re going to close it”.
My husband phoned me at the practice speaking through the tears of joy he told me “they called and they have closed the allegation”. I cried with him. We celebrated with the kids that night. We all went to bed relieved and exhausted.
The next day however the house wasn’t so calm…
CYF’s rang in the morning and informed us there had been a misunderstanding and a miscommunication and the allegation was indeed NOT closed. They informed us that they would be coming over to the island to meet with us”.
All of a sudden the rules had changed; allegation open, allegation closed, allegation re-opened and now they were coming to our house!
“What for?” I screamed at my husband.
“Why are they coming here and why are they changing the rules”. I felt like a lion roaring to protect the cubs.
My husband wasn’t sure. In his mind he was attempting to make sense of it all too.
They arrived at our house the following week.
They told us that this was a “routine visit” and when they go back to their offices this afternoon the case would be closed. Before that happened however they had to have a meeting with their supervisor and other colleagues to approve the closure.
For 7 weeks after that “routine visit” no one from CYF’s called us. We called CYFs many times, leaving messages… on one returned our calls. After a lot of frustration and conversations with lawyers CYF’s eventually called us to close the case. However we realized that this just wasn’t simply about a supposed fever and not giving drugs it was about how we are choosing to raise our children – home grown, home educated kids who are empowered to learn about health, the human body and it’s expression. This experience inspired me to establish Vital Moms with a vision to share information to support you in your health choice. I wanted to create a place where you feel supported and encouraged in making decisions about your child’s health. All parents have a right to choose what health approach they want for themselves and their children; we’re protecting that right!
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It must include the following: Sarah Farrant has become the ‘tell it like it is’, no fluff, mentor to moms. She is dedicated to helping individuals and families step away from the treatment merry-go-round by giving them a new way to approach their own health and the health of their children. Today she supports, mentors, and educates thousands of parents globally