realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Trauma of the O'Hara family

From today's Irish Times: "'I went over to the house last Sunday and it was like a morgue. It's one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a parent: to have your children taken from you when you've done everything you possibly can to help and protect them. You don't need to be found guilty of anything. That's the most frightening thing of all.'"

This story says an awful lot about the role of the State in family life and the role of the State in helping those with disabilities to reach their full potential in society.
Without any particular procedure or informing the family beforehand, the State can come and take the children into care, because they have deemed in their infinite wisdom that they know best and they have the children's best interests at heart. Despite the State's superiority in deciding what's best for children with autism the State is unable or unwilling to provide the necessary extra care that these children need.

This is the true scandal in the Department of Health this week, not the Travers report.
The Travers report is indicative of the bureaucratic and static culture in the DoH for years where middle manager posturing overshadowed the needs of patients. The quiet desperation of a Meath family in searching valiantly for the little extra care that their children need and deserve contrasts sharply with the opportunistic calls of the opposition for Martin's resignation over Travers when they should be screaming and shouting so no other family should spend a week like the O'Haras.

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