According to officials, a white mother in Washington state forced her adoptive black 6-year-old to undergo multiple unneeded operations and over 470 medical treatments.
Sophie Hartman, 31, let her adopted daughter wear leg braces and have surgery to put in a feeding tube and a tube to clean the child’s intestines.
In a situation that medical professionals are dubbing “medical child abuse,” Hartman is now facing second-degree charges of assault on a child and attempted assault on a child.
Dr. Rebecca Wiester, director of Seattle Children’s Hospital, stated in a Feb. 19 letter that sparked an investigation by the Department of Children and Youth, “It is not required to know the probable purpose of a caregiver, only the consequences of the behaviour.”
The letter, which stated that the child was in “deep danger,” was co-signed by several doctors and was included in the charging document from the King County prosecutor’s office, which was published by KING15 ABC.
Hartman was accused after the youngster, identified only by her initials C.H., was kept under observation for 16 days for a variety of diseases and treatments.
The charging statement, filed May 24, stated, “At no point throughout her admission were there any evidence or reported symptoms to corroborate any of her past diagnoses.”
“All available evidence obtained during her admission suggests C.H. is a healthy young 6-year-old who would benefit from medical support being reduced and her childhood experience being normalised.”
With a July 2017 surgical insertion of a tube to bring food, drink, and medicine straight into the stomach, the youngster was compelled to undergo “increasingly invasive” treatments. She had a tube surgically implanted into her intestines to flush out her bowels in December 2018.
Prosecutors stated the child’s adopted mother had requested a surgical hormonal implant to prevent early puberty.
According to the charging documents, Hartman was told the child, who was removed from her care in March, didn’t need leg braces or a wheelchair, but she continued to force C.H. to use them.
“Moreover, around this period, fundraisers were held, and the defendant used fundraiser monies to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle,” according to the affidavit.
While this was going on, she allegedly told someone that C.H. could “leave us at any time,” and investigators said they discovered Hartman had done internet searches for “funeral songs” and “How to get paid to take care of a family member with a disability” after a court order.
Hartman told KING 5 in 2019 that she had adopted two sisters from Zambia, one of whom had alternating hemiplegia of childhood, a rare neurological disease (AHC).
Hartman remarked at the time, “I know she’s walking right now, but she was like really paralysed all day yesterday.”
The Make-a-Desire charity granted the child’s wish in 2019, according to Q13 Fox. Hartman discussed the influence of AHC in a video with the foundation.
Make a Wish expressed its displeasure with the allegations in a statement to Q13.
The statement read, “This is a very serious allegation, and any harm to a child’s well-being is not in keeping with our mission’s child-centered approach.”
“In the greatest interest of the child, we hope this situation is promptly resolved.”
In a statement to KING, Hartman’s attorney said the charges were unfounded.
According to the station, Shapiro stated, “The doctor from Seattle Children’s Hospital who is substantially behind the charges for this case is not an authority on this condition.”
“She presumably hasn’t dealt with this sickness before.”