AZ Law states than drug use in pregnancy is not child abuse Post #1
From the Az Republic 08/23/02
In 10 short days of life, a cuddly bundle of joy with a beautiful name turned into a crinkly bag of death.
Anndreah Robertson's death was senseless and outrageous. To say that it shouldn't have happened doesn't do justice to the series of bad decisions that caused it.
Anndreah's mother is a cocaine addict who admitted to smoking crack cocaine on the day of delivery. Her grandmother, who takes care of Anndreah's two small brothers and to whom Anndreah was entrusted, also smokes crack cocaine.
"The use of cocaine or drugs is not in itself abuse," says Anna Arnold, the assistant director of the division of Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Economic Security. Abuse, she says, is tied to a child's condition, for example, how well-fed and clothed the child is and whether there's physical abuse.
Anndreah's mother, Demitres Robertson, is in jail without bond, accused of murder and two counts of child abuse - and pregnant again. Anndreah's grandmother, Lillian Butler, is charged with two counts of child abuse.
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center followed procedure and kept Anndreah for three days to cleanse her system of cocaine. They notified Child Protective Services. And they leveled with Anndreah's mother: The baby would die if she were exposed to cocaine again.
She was, and she did. An autopsy concluded that Anndreah died of complications from cocaine exposure and dehydration. The pathologist ruled her death a homicide. A witness alleges that Demitres Robertson and Butler smoked "large quantities of cocaine together" in the presence of Anndreah.
This was a beautiful, healthy baby at one time, that actually died of NEC due to exposure to second hand crack. I am just sick over it.
In Az, where we do not consider inutero drug use child abuse, what can we do to protect out patients.
Would prosecuting these addict mothers result in more "garbage can babies"?
How can we convince child protective services that they are not "saving" a baby by placing him with the druggie mother's mother. Meticulous charting was done on this child, but it didn't help