Letter to Judge Carl Lewis
County Court of Law #5
2310 Golihar Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78415
Re: Katie Wernecke
Dear Honorable Justice Lewis,
We are currently writing to you on behalf of Katie Wernecke, a matter that is being heard before your court.
We are a public, not-for-profit organization that has a particular interest in the welfare of children, their families and have taken opportunity, on occasions to come in as Amici on certain cases.
We are greatly disturbed by Katie’s current situation and believe that both the rights of Katie and her parents continue to be violated by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. In fact, the public statement of the DFPS Investigator stating that she mistook a watermelon seed as rat excrement is what we have discovered, in our research, to be a common ploy of child protection investigators nationwide. These types of “mistakes” are often used to defend the need for the investigation and open the door for the Department to force families to accept community based services. What can, in this case be simply addressed and closed is prolonged on a bed of imperfect facts and covers of falsehoods produced by the people whose veracity is rarely questioned by the trier of fact. We have found that this is the monetary survival of the agency’s functions and existence. Therefore, very few if any cases leave the courts without some Court Ordered services. This is how the federal funding stream stays active and ensures the job of each and every DFPS employee. We have found that Judges, who are to be the gate-keepers of these types of ploys are often romanced into believing the agency holds expertise beyond question.
We are troubled as to how the issues arose. It was on the medical opinion, initially, of a medical professional that has questionable credentials – licensed in pediatrics only and has had malpractice complaints as can be confirmed at this link.
You may verify Dr. Alter's Licence at the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners found on the internet at http://reg.tsbme.state.tx.us/. He is certified in Pediatrics only. He also has listed a Medical Malpractice Jury Award.
Dr. Alter insisted Katie needed irradiation even with the disagreement of his colleague. To add insult to injury DFPS let a spokesperson – without any professional medical degrees, publicly state that the family was endangering the life of their daughter by not allowing treatment to proceed. It never mentioned that Dr. Alter was in disagreement with other Doctors at Anderson Cancer Center. It was also not mentioned that Dr. Alter’s expertise lies only in pediatrics and was giving a knee-jerk, generalized mode of treatment option for a child with Hodgkin’s Disease. Texas DPFS in its over-zealous approach seized control of Katie and has added insult to injury by assigning another medical professional of their choosing, Dr. Cesar Nunez who holds no specialty licenses and is a UT Faculty Temporary Licensed physician. He received his medical degree in South America. It is with the same misinformation or twisted truth that the DPFS spokesperson announced on national television that the child was in serious danger and in a life-threatening situation without one piece true fact to support this notion except the opinion of a mandated reporter who has not had his contract renewed at Anderson Cancer Center. DPFS hopes that by character assassinating the parent as “a bad parent with poor judgment” that they will create enough hysteria to gain the support of the public.
We recall a similar “mistake” and “poor judgment” of overzealous Utah child protective workers. In this instance, they insisted on seizing a young boy, Parker Jensen because he had cancer. Again, without professional diagnosis or licenses, the workers decided the medical protocol and publicly character assassinated the parents as “guilty of medical neglect.”
However, the Jensen parents did exactly what the Wernecke parents did; they protected their child. The Supreme Court has established that this is a fundamental liberty that is afforded all parents free from governmental intervention unless clear and convincing evidence shows unfitness. In fact, Parham v. J.R. stated that parents who must make difficult medical decisions do so in the “best interests of their children.”
Since Hodgkin's Disease a problem with the white blood cell count, it is clear that radiation also could seriously endanger Katie’s life. This would make the Ed and Michele Wernecke’s concerns very valid indeed and in the “best interests” of their child.
Our organization beseeches you, Justice Lewis, to take a careful view of all the facts being given to you and not only that of TX DFPS. Cancer patients’ emotional state of mind is indicative to the speed of their recovery. This has been established by a plethora of social research and the insurgence of “camps for children with cancer” which bring renewed hope to many of these children. Katie is in an emotional pressure cooker. Forced to take treatment against her will (which has been protected by In Re Gault) and then completely void of supporting family members. It has been shown that children who cannot see the family and siblings that they are an integral part of tend to become hopeless, despondent and lose the ability to fight either health or mental health problems.
We urge you to be the “gate-keeper” and do not rubber stamp findings without investigating. Let justice prevail.
A Child Caring Concern