A doctor reported the parents to DCS for not taking their feverish toddler to the ER
A naturopathic doctor reported a two-year-old’s parents to Arizona’s Department of Child Safety after the couple failed to bring their toddler to the emergency room for a very high fever. The toddler, who isn’t vaccinated, presented to the doctor with a temperature of 105.
When the doctor found out that the couple didn’t comply with their advice to head to the ER, Arizona DCS was notified. The agency called the Chandler Police Department to intervene, and according to ABC 15, they did so — forcibly.
The doctor advised the parents to take the child to the ER as soon as possible, but the mother states the fever broke later on, so they took him home instead. When the doctor found out from Cardon Children’s Hospital that the toddler was never brought in, the call to DCS, and eventually the police, was made.
Brooks Bryce, the boy’s father, was contacted by Chandler Police by phone where the officers requested a welfare check, which Bryce refused to agree to. At 10:24 PM that night, when officers were dispatched to the home, the parents refused to come to the door and a coughing child could be heard. Officers then “forced entry into the home” after a DCS court order to get temporary custody of the children (the family has two other kids aside from the toddler). The order was issued due to a “possible life threatening illness.”
DCS issued a statement explaining their actions. “After consultation with detectives from the Chandler Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, the residents were given a final opportunity to exit and take their child to the hospital,” the statement read. “Upon their failure to do so, the front door was breached and the family members were called out of the residence.”
The video depicts officers wearing tactical gear breaking into the home via the front door. DCS agents took custody of all three children, the two-year-old and also, his four and six-year-old siblings. Two of the kids were taken to the hospital by ambulance and the third went with a DCS agent. The parents weren’t arrested and an investigation is continuing that will determine whether they face criminal charges.
Their mother, Sarah Beck, tells ABC that her children are now staying with their grandparents, who were granted custody by DCS. There’s a hearing next month where Bryce and Beck hope to regain custody of their kids.
DCS told the news station that the police intervening is in line with a state law passed in 2017 that requires DCS to get a court order before having police remove a child from a home. The law was changed last year to allow officers to “use reasonable force to enter any building in which the person named in the removal authorization is reasonably believed to be.” Arizona House Rep. Kelly Townsend helped pass that law but thinks this situation was “an abuse of power” by both agencies.
“I think we need to re-think where we draw the line when it comes to disagreements between doctors and parents and what level we’re going to go to to keep the child safe,” Townsend stated. She said since the child’s fever was down, the parents were warranted in avoiding the hospital.
Beck’s attorney, Nicholas Boca, tells ABC in a statement, “The removal of Sarah Beck’s Children by busting in her door with guns drawn in the middle of the night was clearly unnecessary and well beyond ‘reasonable force.'”
“Sarah has a fundamental, Constitutionally protected right to the care, custody, and management of her Children,” the statement read. “These rights do not evaporate simply because the Department of Child Safety believes they know better.”