Medical Kidnap

November 2, 2017 12:22 pm
Parents whose children have been taken from them by Child Protective Services often tell us that the system is backwards. Instead of being presumed innocent until proven guilty, everyone involved with CPS assumes guilt, even in the face of no evidence of guilt. Some jurisdictions are taking this presumption of guilt without evidence a frightening step further: they are using “predictive analytics” to see which parents MIGHT abuse or neglect their children in the future. In several cases reported to Health Impact News, we have already seen such allegations used against parents. Social workers have literally written in their reports to the courts that a parent has characteristics that might indicate that they may abuse or neglect their child in the future, even though there is no evidence that they have harmed their child in the past. This is reminiscent of George Orwell’s “thought police” in the dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is inconsistent with one of the foundational principles underlying the U.S. Constitution, that of the presumption of innocence. Some have equated the predictive analysis model with racial profiling, because the algorithms tend to disproportionately target people who are poor or part of a minority group. The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform recently addressed this alarming trend.
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