Canada

Woman arrested at BC hospital denied access to newborn

Advocate says hospital was holding her child hostage, from woman’s perspective

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A woman who threatened staff and patients with a “knife” at a maternity ward in Vancouver treating mothers with substance use disorders was a former patient, police said Friday.

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The Vancouver Police Department called officers at the so-called recovering families department at BC Women’s Hospital for subduing a mother who was described as “uncontrollable, violent and trying to break into a locked nursery where her baby was.” praised. .

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Several hospital staff, including a social worker, called 911 shortly after 10:30 a.m. Thursday to seek police help.

Sergeant Steve Addison told police the woman chased the doctor and rushed at the staff.

“The caller reported to us that she had a knife. She did not have it when we arrived at the scene. I was there,” said Addison. “In this case, our only option was to deploy her beanbag shotgun and restrain her.”

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According to Addison, the incident followed conversations between hospital staff and the mother regarding child welfare and access to the child. escalated to.”

VPD hopes to encourage criminal prosecution.

The executive director of the Vancouver-based Battered Women Support Service was told by inside sources that those detained were new mothers who were denied access to their newborn children.

“The initial narrative police posted on social media on Thursday was to no avail,” said Angela Marie MacDougal. Friday.

“They obviously experienced a deep marginalization and a great deal of stigma as new mothers and as someone who might be grappling with substance use issues, not to mention being black, indigenous or of color. It paints a very different picture of a woman who is

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“From a mother’s perspective, she was also dealing with a hostage situation: a child she doesn’t have access to,” McDougal said.

VPD tweeted Thursday morning that “a woman was walking around the ward with a weapon and staff were barricaded in the baby’s room,” and that “911 callers heard screaming in the background. ” was reported.

The VPD said it had dispatched crisis negotiators to the hospital.

However, according to Addison, the woman posed such an imminent threat to those around her, including herself, that officers were “forced” to fire the beanbag at her.

“She was armed and unsubmissive. We talk about Uvalde, Texas, Sandy Hook, and other school shootings and where deadly threats are active. Knife in hand.” I’m not going to wait until someone is killed or someone is seriously injured before I act.”

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The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault, possession of a weapon, and violating probation. No serious injuries have been reported.

Addison said at a press conference on Friday that the officers’ use of force was a “success” and the “right decision”, but declined to elaborate on the woman’s past interactions with police, adding: “This If so, I don’t think so. It’s appropriate to start talking about criminal and police records.”

John Roberts, of the VPD’s Tactical Training Center, told reporters that a round from a beanbag shotgun is “like a police officer going full force with his baton, but the luxury of a beanbag shot is a Being able to do it from a distance.”

Roberts said the risk of serious injury from the round was “pretty low” and the results were generally bruising.

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When asked about the woman’s conversation with hospital staff, the State Department of Health Services said it would not comment, citing patient privacy protocols.

“We are providing support to those involved,” spokesperson Jenny Penn said in an email Friday. “The health and safety of patients, their families and staff is our top priority.”

In its 2020 care document, the specialized department states its goal to keep children with their mothers and help women plan parenting.

Before the ward opened in 2003, “infants were routinely removed from women who used substances,” PHSA documents said. The unit said it had “found a specific strategy” to keep the woman and her baby together.

sgrochowski@postmedia.com

twitter.com/sarahgrochowski

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Woman arrested at BC hospital denied access to newborn

Source link Woman arrested at BC hospital denied access to newborn

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