Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. President Reagan knew what he was talking about when he said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
In March 2011, state child protection investigators took 14-year-old Marie from her mother, Doris Freyre, claiming Doris’ own disabilities made it almost impossible for her to care for Marie, who suffered from seizures and severe cerebral palsy. But a Tampa judge signed an order that Marie be returned to her mother, with in-home nursing care around the clock.
The last days of Marie Freyre, chronicled in hundreds of pages of records reviewed by the Miami Herald, are a story of death by bureaucratic callousness and medical neglect. The episode sheds significant light on an ongoing dispute between Florida health care regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice. Though the state claims that the parents of severely disabled and medically fragile children have “choice” over where their children live and receive care, federal civil rights lawyers say Florida, by dint of a rigged funding system, has “systematically” force-fed sick children into nursing homes meant to care for adults — in violation of federal laws that prohibit discrimination against disabled people.
Go here to the Tampa Bay Times to read the appalling rest. It would be kinder if the fiends who took Marie Freyre from her mother had simply taken out a pistol and blown out her brains. At least then she would have died with the mother who loved her instead of dying among completely indifferent strangers. If the State is going to forcibly remove a child and act en loco parentis, then the individuals who make that decision must face the same legal accountability as a parent would face for such a tragedy. Kids who are as profoundly disabled as Marie Freyre are blessed if they have a parent who loves them as much as Marie Freyre’s mother obviously loved her. Such love wasn’t enough to save her from the “caring professionals” of the State of Florida. God help her, her grief stricken mother and us.