Pray for Katie

Katie is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, a lymphatic cancer. This site is a request to pray for her. Call her prayer pager 1-361-333-KATY (5289), enter your ZipCode and # key, to let her know you have prayed for her. Updates of her progress will be posted on the site. The Power of Prayer is Awesome.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Meeting At M.D. Anderson, Katie Fires Doctor, Refuse High Dose Chemo

8/31/2005

Dear Lora Heil, Legal Counsel M. D. Anderson


Memorandum of Doctors Conference with Parents of Katie Wernecke at M. D. Anderson
On 8/30/2005 at 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Present at this meeting were Dr. Wells, Chairman of the Pediatric Dept, Dr. Cesar Nunez as Katie’s Physican, Dr.Petropolis, Bone Marrow Specialist, Chris Hernandez, Patient Advocate, and Fran Clark, Patient Advocate, Jones, Security Guard and many others. Present on our side were Katie Wernecke and her parents Edward and Michele Wernecke. This was a meeting to discuss the latest results and the next step in Katie’s treatment – High Dose Chemo.

We haven’t been keep informed of the treatments and test results for Katie Wernecke. I asked for a copy of Katie’s blood count data. They didn’t have a copy. They didn’t have Katie’s file or records with them. Out of their memory they said Katie had an ANC of 740 and a WBC of 1.6 . I asked about the RBC and hemoglobin and they weren’t sure. I asked them if those figures were not too low to be doing this High Dose Chemo now? Because even regular Chemo should not be done with an ANC below 750. Katie was looking a little pale and had lost 6 pounds so I was concerned.

Dr. Wells said “Katie had a dramatic improvement in her results on the PET scan, but they were NOT SURE whether the small line of tumor remaining was an Artifact (just fibrous tissue) or Hodgkin’s Disease.”

I asked for a copy of Katie’s PET Scan results and could we view the image? They refused to provide a copy of the written PET scan or show the image.

Dr. Petropolis, the bone marrow transplant specialist, discussed the details of the High Dose Chemo and the Stem cell transplant procedure. The type was BEAM. They provided no fact sheets on the chemicals to be administered. The procedure was to begin this Thursday. Sept 1, 2005

I questioned him about the risk of dying from the procedure and he said it was 10 percent.
When asked about the toxicity of the procedure he said it would damage the heart, kidneys, and lung, and that Katie could not have children.

Katie had already expressed her desire to have natural children to Dr. Wells and Dr. Nunez previously. They had made no provision to collect or store her eggs.

I asked if this High Dose Chemo treatment was absolutely necessary for Katie since they didn’t even know if the remaining tissue was just fibrous tissue or active Hodgkin’s Disease and with all the dangerous side effects. Dr. Wells said it was necessary.

I said I did not like or find acceptable the high risk of Katie dying or being injured from the High Dose Chemo. I asked if there were other alternatives to High Dose Chemo that would be less risky. They said there weren’t.

Katie Wernecke said “I don’t want Dr. Nunez as my doctor. I want a Pediatric Oncologist specialist in Hodgkins.” Dr. Nunez holds only a Faculty Temporary Permit.

Katie Wernecke then said “I do not want the High Dose Chemo and won’t take it.”

Katie Wernecke than presented the Doctors with a letter stating that she wanted no more treatments and wanted no High Dose Chemo, also stating she was stressed out and needed the love and support of her parents and wanted to go home. It was passed around and seen by all in the room.

I asked Dr. Wells how that affected the situation and he said “they would continue with the treatments.”

I told Dr. Nunez that I believed Katie had just fired him as her doctor.

I said why can’t you just continue with the two more normal chemo’s planned, or irradiate just the small area of remaining tissue? Dr. Well’s said they wouldn’t do that, and that is 50 years into the future respectively.

I asked and showed all the doctors a study in Blood, Vol 89 No.3, 1997, pp801-813 on High Dose Chemo, done at Stanford showing that 46 out of 119 patients died and 4 year actuarial survival was only 52% and severe complications and toxicity.

I asked them if they were following the NCCN guidelines for Hodgkin’s disease? I showed them a copy and said M.D. Anderson is a member of that group. Dr Wells and Dr. Nunez both said they were not following them.

I questioned them about the original diagnosis of the disease and MD Anderson’s test and why the tests between the two hospitals did not agree. They said they consulted with about 50 other experts to come to this current conclusion. I asked them to provide copies of that information. Dr Wells said “they don’t intend to provide it.”

I said there are questions of the diagnosis and of the pathology samples being what M.D. Anderson claimed and I would like to have my own doctors and pathologists look at the information before the High Dose Chemo treatments were begun. Dr. Wells said CPS had approved the procedure and he would not delay it and that there would be no second opinions.

I asked it they had considered the bio-ethics of doing these treatments on Katie when she was refusing treatments and just fired her doctor? They didn’t consider it an issue.

Dr. Wells commented to the group that they hadn’t received the court papers authorizing Katie’s treatments. (Also note CPS only has the right to take a child for medical neglect in a life or death situation. This was not an emergency, nor a life or death situation, nor was Katie’s medical care being neglected.)

I asked about their duty, and need to get a patient’s consent. Katie has never signed a consent form or seen one. They didn’t answer.

I asked the two Patient Advocates if they would take Katie’s side. They would not.

According to the court order, I have no right to consent or refuse the treatments on Katie myself. M. D. Anderson has not provided the medical data and samples timely in which for us to make an informed decision as to Katie’s need for these treatments. We are entitled to second and third opinions as to the correct diagnosis and necessity of the recommended treatments. This is not an emergency procedure and Katie is not at any risk of dying at this time or in the near future that these treatments cannot be delayed a week or two. Katie has also asked to be present at and to testify at a hearing on her CPS custody on Sept 6th, which directly impacts CPS and MD Anderson’s right to force these treatments on Katie. Katie is of sound mind and is of age and mature enough to make these medical decisions by herself or in cooperation with her parents. To violate these basic rights of Katie is wrong. Katie’s Ad Litem attorney Linda Rhodes Schauer was sent the letter from Katie and was not at this meeting to represent her and her interests.

Please do not do this with out my daughters consent. Please respond immediately.

My appeal is that you wait until we get a second opinion and she gives consent. Will you do that? Please respond immediately.

Sincerely,



Edward D. Wernecke

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Another Letter to Judge Carl Lewis:

Dear Judge Lewis:

I am writing to you request that you intervene to immediately stop the outrageous conduct Corpus Christi Child Protective Services, in respect to case of Katie Wernecke and her family.

We now know that this appalling situation is based on a charade of lies and disinformation propagated by Dr. Alter and CPS. They lied to the Werneckes and they lied to you. The fact that Katie is not under any form a radiation therapy is absolute vindication of the Wernecke’s original position questioning its necessity.

By all accounts, Katie is currently undergoing a complete emotional breakdown caused by the brutal and relentless actions of CPS. Do they really believe that forcing a child from her home at the point of a gun, and dragging her through four different foster homes, while undergoing a regime of chemotherapy with no consistent emotional support could produce anything else? It is obvious that they care nothing for this child. They know they have made a horrendous mistake, and only seem to be concerned as to how to cover this fiasco with more lies coupled with a desperate propaganda campaign against her parents.

It has long been recognized that constant emotional support is critical and indispensable for patients undergoing chemotherapy. In a recent study by Amgen virtually all patients (99 percent) thought their network of support was extremely or very important in helping them get through chemotherapy, and 95 percent said the support was instrumental in helping them get through the serious side effects of chemotherapy.

Studies indicate that cancer patients are at twice the relative risk of suicide than the general population.
A recent review of the psychiatric consultation data at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center showed that one-third of suicidal cancer patients had a major depression, about 20% suffered from a delirium, and 50% were diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with both anxious and depressed features at the time of evaluation.

Depression is a factor in 50% of all suicides. Those suffering from depression are at 25 times greater risk of suicide than the general population. The role depression plays in cancer suicide is equally significant. Loss of control and a sense of helplessness in the face of cancer are important factors in suicide vulnerability. Fatigue, in the form of exhaustion of physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, familial, communal, and other resources, was found to increases risk of suicide in the cancer patient
CPS has provided Katie with no emotional support whatsoever other than the “privilege” of limited visits by her parents under the burden of constant surveillance.

If Katie loses the will to live and dies as a result of their abominable actions, will CPS be held accountable?

In 2003, a similar situation occurred in Utah when CPS considered seizing 12-year-old Parker Jensen from his parents, and force chemotherapy on him. In a Memorandum to Dismiss. CPS cited the following reasons why the seizure and forced chemotherapy on a 13 year old child would not work: “it is still not feasible to force an unwilling and unsupported 13 year old boy to undergo 48 weeks of chemotherapy.” “Also, in addition to the feasibility difficulties, it would also be emotionally difficult or damaging to force separation and treatment on Parker. Additionally, placement in foster care presents its own problems and could not guarantee Parker’s cooperation or successful treatment. After receiving the above memorandum, the Judge involved in the case chose to meet personally with Parker to actually hear his opinion on the matter. After doing so he immediately dismissed the case. Parker Jensen is alive and well today and living in the loving care of his parents.

I am asking you to intervene in this situation, and have Katie immediately returned to her family before CPS has the opportunity to inflict any further damage on this incredibly vulnerable child.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely and respectfully yours,

J.T.

Letter to Judge Carl Lewis

The Honorable Judge Carl Lewis
County Court of Law #5
Nueces County
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.

Respectfully,

E. Belou
On Behalf
CCC
A Child Caring Concern

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth.

The Doctrine of Ex Parte Young (1908) -- which essentially strips government officials of their official capacity and reduces them to their individual capacity so you can sue them. To date, Young has never been overturned. This is very powerful. Under the Federal Spending Clause enacted by Congress, all child protective services in all 50 states as a condition for receiving federal funding under Title IV-E and Title IV-B willingly waive their immunity. It is similar to when the state moves a case from the state court into the federal court and by doing so the state waives immunity. State Defendants also loose immunity when they lie under oath, lie to obtain warrants, fabricated evidence and other types of activities that would deny you your constitutional rights.

Family rights are God-given rights. And they should not be ignored or postponed. Every moment these loving parents and children spend separated from one another is a torment beyond what anyone should ever have to bear.
It is unworthy of human dignity to allow this terrorism and torture of families to go on without saying something, speaking out, and trying to make a change.

Posted by T.M.D.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katie Refuses Any More Caner Treatments - Sends Letter to Her Ad Litum Attorney

This letter was received from Katie Wernecke and sent to Linda Rhodes Schauer, her court appointed attorney.


August 26, 2005


Dear Linda Schauer, my attorney:

I do not want any more cancer treatments! I do not want the High Dose Chemo treatments on Monday. I do not want anyone forcing treatments on me against my will and consent. It’s my body and my life.

Do what ever is necessary to stop these treatments immediately. Please call and ask the Judge to stop these treatments without my consent.

I have told you before that I need and want to go home. I can’t stand it here any longer. I need the love and support of my parents and family to get through this. I won’t do any more treatments without going home.

I am old enough and mature enough to make my own decisions. And I want to be at and testify at the Sept 6th hearing in Corpus.


Sincerely,




Katie Wernecke

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Katie Wants to Go Home To Her Parents


Please help Katie get home by continuing to call Governor Rick Perry's office at 1-800-252-9600 and say "Please help Katie Wernecke to go home to her parents." Tell them how wrong it is for CPS to take away a cancer patient from her family. Tell them you believe it is a parent's right to make the medical decisions for their children. You may not get to talk to the Governor but stay on the line and leave a message with his aid. Also, call or write Judge Carl Lewis and tell him the same thing. You can reach the county clerks office at 361-561-6057 . If you can't speak to him directly leave the above message with the clerk. Write him at Judge Carl Lewis, County Court of Law #5, 2310 Gollihar Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78415. This is so important now. Katie is so stressed out and needs to come home now before it is too late.

Just in: Judge Lewis' email address: clewis@nueces.esc2.net and Fax number: (361) 561-6142 Phone: (361) 561-6056. Call, fax, or email him now and follow up with a hard copy in the mail cite or RE: Cause No. 05-60955-5

Katie was in Hospital Undergoing Stem Cell Collection


Katie on the left and her little brother James on the right. Katie likes to do "girl things" with James such as painting his toenails. James loved it. Picture taken on family visit to Houston on August 20th, 2005 at M. D. Anderson Hospital. Katie was in the Hospital undergoing a Stem Cell Collection.

FAMILY VISIT CHEERS UP KATIE

Family visited Katie in M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston on Saturday, August 20, 2005.
It really cheered Katie up to finally see the whole family.

Katie's Mom Missing Katie - Emotional Distress

Who can help me? Nobody seems to have the answers or willing to help because they believe the Doctor’s and the social worker lies. They also believe the CPS's lies. We did more then usual for our daughter Katie, but nobody sees this. She wants to come home so bad and I can't even help her anymore. It was always you do this or else, to the doctor and social worker. Well we found out what or else is. I lost my children, I lost my life and I lost my world. The doctor wasn't even a board certified oncologist. He is only board certified in Pediatrics. He is working on cancer patients and making major medical decisions. CPS is making medical decisions for our children and they have only known them for a couple of months and I have known them for a lifetime. These people at CPS have no medical knowledge and its not their kid, so who cares. They just rubber stamp everything the doctor recommends. Even specialists aren't always right, and I am speaking from experience. They claim this is in the best interest of my child and only parents can act in the best interest of their children because of the special bonds that exist between parent and child.

I have so many feelings locked inside and can not let them out. My children will never be the same. The CPS thinks that they are god! They just don't care. My five and two year old will not be the same, they are so insecure. They will not sleep by themselves any more. They have to know where I'm at, at all times. CPS walks all over you and pushes their power above the limit, even after you get the children back. Once again my life has been ruined by them. I would like to have my record clean and out of their systems and they just leave us alone and give me my daughter back. She is the only daughter I have and love. They can never give her the love that she needs. I also have 3 boys, I love more then anything too. To tear a family apart over wanting a second medical opinion is outrageous! They took two months and gave us two days to make up our mind. And we were calling other doctors and Dr. Alter refused to make the referrals because they had to be a pediatric oncologist and he wasn't even one himself. And Dr. Garlitos was not a Pediatric Radiologist and Dr. Alter said we had to have one. The second opinion did not agree with Dr. Alter and we asked for a third opinion and never got it. They called in CPS and took Katie away and my 3 boys too.

Do you all realize how hard it is to walk in to your daughter’s room and see her stuff that she can not touch or use now. Katie can’t go thru her clothes. Katie spent her 13th birthday in CPS custody and was told by Dr. Alter her cancer had returned on that day. Is this anyway for a teenage girl to spend her most important years in her life? Do you all realize how hard it is to go on without her by your side? I’m cleaning her room today and hoping that she will be home soon. You all think you know what is best for my daughter, you all think I’m holding up just find or we are crazy. I just want my life back to normal. I want my family whole again. I want to take my daughter shopping and take her to the movies. I want my daughter back again, to just hold her in my arms and never have to let go again.

My mom is going to need a heart valve put in soon. I would love to have taken my children to see her. I would love to see her this year. My mom and dad live in Wisconsin. Katie wanted to see them to. She is really close to them. So you all see I have been on trial everyday and it does not seem to stop and I’m supposed to keep on going. There are days you just want to quit, but you just keep on going for the children and for Katie. I just can’t quit on her. I’m so scared that she will never come home again, because a doctor and a social worker thinks they know what’s best. Everyday we find more and more lies that they tell. And you just can’t do anything about it. All they do is put everybody thru hell.

How many other families are you going to let CPS ruin?

Michele Wernecke

Friday, August 26, 2005

DONATIONS URGENTLY NEEDED - PLEASE HELP KATIE

The lawyers want another $25,000 to continue the legal battle for Katie. We really need your help! medical records and medical testimony will be expensive and lawyers are costly. Our fund raiser announced in Houston, did not receive much publicity so we have only received about $600 in donations to date.

We cannot afford to lose this battle because of lack of funds. This case is a real test case of the power of CPS, doctors, and Judges. If we lose this case it will set a precident for CPS with or without doctors to just accuse you of medical neglect and take your kids. And if the judge allowed it here other judges will know they can get away with it. Believe me we are not guilty of medical neglect of Katie. They took Katie without even a hearing or anyone trying to listen to our side. We were just asking for a second opinion. They even took our other kids for no valid reason and searched our home without a warrant. They returned the other kids to the home but they are still under the control of CPS.

This can and probably will happen to you or someone you know in the near future. We never thought it would happen to us. It has been our worse nightmare.

Hopefully everyone can donate something to help out. Even a dollar can help. If you are able, larger donations would really help get Katie back quicker. Please help! If you want to donate between $4 and $10 then go to www.helpingkidswithcancer.com and get some nice e-books for your donation.

If you would like to get a tax deduction receipt for your donation, there is a medical and legal donation fundraiser set up for Katie at www.compassionchildren.org. This is a 501C tax exempt foundation and they will send you a receipt.

You can donate online or mail a donation to Compassion Children's Foundation, P.O. Box 1983, Maggie Valley, North Carolina 28751. Place Katie's name in the memo line of your check.

Thank you for your donation from the bottom of our hearts. God Bless You,

Edward and Michele Wernecke

Thursday, August 25, 2005

HELP KATIE NOW - TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Please help Katie get back home to her parents.
Time is running out. Next court hearing Sept 6.

Please call or write Judge Carl Lewis. Write to:

Judge Carl Lewis
County Court of Law #5
2310 Gollihar Rd
Corpus Christi, TX 78415

361-561-6057 Clerks office.

We need hundreds and thousands of calls so if you are reading this call now!!!
Don't think that someone else will do it. Katie needs you.
Say what is on your mind.

This is about Katie, but it is also about a parents' rights to choose medical care for their children without interference from Doctors and CPS. Katie will not survive in CPS care. Bring her home now!

[We would also like to know how many of you have been wrongly accussed by CPS or have a complaint against them or the court system. Put those in writing and send them to E. D. Wernecke, P.O. Box 132, Agua Dulce, TX 78330. I will see that these get to the Governor's Office.]

We also want to collect information on Dr. Alter. If you had a problem with him or also had a problem with being reported by him or Laura to CPS we need to know. Please mail the information at the address above or you can email us at katiew@awesomenet.net.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Katie's Letter - PLEASE HELP ME

Following letter wrote by Katie on August 15 and received August 22, 2005:

To whom it may concern:

I hate it here at the foster home. Please help me get back home. I miss my family so much. I am under a lot of stress. Some days I just can’t stand being here. If I was back home I won’t be so stressed out and under pressure.

CPS doesn’t help either. They say that they are trying to get me back home but they really aren’t they want to keep her as long as I am still doing treatments.

My family gives me love and support, but here they don’t give me the love and support that I need. My family means the world to me, and I miss them so much.

Now I ask you to please help me get back home where I belong.


Sincerely,

Katie Wernecke

Please help me get back home.
I miss my family so much.
Stella [CPS] isn’t doing what is best for me
she is harming me and my future.
PLEASE HELP ME GET BACK HOME

[On the back of the page]
Stella Does Not give me a chance to do what I want it is always her way.
Please Help Me Get Back Home Please
I NEED YOUR HELP TO GET BACK HOME

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

PARENTS MEET WITH GOVERNOR RICK PERRY

Edward and Michele Wernecke meet with Governor Rick Perry in Corpus Christi, on Tuesday August 23, 2005, to deliver a letter from Katie Wernecke requesting the Governor's help in returning her to her parents. Katie, you might recall, was the 13 year old girl with cancer taken from her parents by Child Protective Services on June 4, 2005.

The Governor was in Corpus Christi talking to educators about the school finance plan and new executive orders he implemented for the schools. Edward and Michele were there too hoping to get an opportunity to meet with the Governor afterwards. Aids to the Governor told them they could meet with Governor Perry for a few minutes right after the meeting.

Edward and Michele met privately with Governor Perry very briefly and explained their case to him. They explained their urgent need to have Katie returned home. They asked him to investigate the situation with CPS. The Governor seemed very receptive and said someone would be in contact with the Wernecke's.

Katie Wernecke is presently in a foster home in Houston, Texas. She is receiving treatments for her cancer at M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. She has received 2 rounds of chemo treatments, a blood transfusion, and now they are collecting stem cells. A CAT and a PET scan will be done this week to evaluate the progress.

The issue in the CPS case was that Dr.Alter, her doctor, said she needed to receive radiation treatments immediately so CPS took her into custody and away from the parents. Edward said that "We just recently learned that Dr. Alter is certified as a Pediatic doctor. However, Dr. Alter is NOT board certified as a Pediatric Hematology/Oncologist. He held himself out to the court as an expert and he wasn't."

This was also supposed to be a life and death emergency situation, yet Katie received no treatments for 45 days. The doctor here said she need radiation treatments but now nearly 3 months later she hasn't received any such treatments. Currently, at M.D. Anderson she is receiving chemotherapy treatments. If the first doctors were right and she needed the radiation treatments why is she now receiving chemo? Could they have been wrong? Were the new doctors at M.D. Anderson wrong? Could it be there is no right answer? So if the treatment method was controversial and even the doctors did not agree on the best treatment for her, why not return her to her parents and let them make the decisions. Maybe the decision should have been left with the parents after all.

Edward Wernecke said CPS is not keeping them informed of Katie's treatments and consultations. He also said " M. D. Anderson has not provided the medical records and tissue samples of Katie so we could have independent doctors verify the diagnosis and treatments proposed. Edward said that "Katie's doctor at M.D. Anderson is Dr. Cesar Nunez." Dr. Cesar Nunez, holds only a Faculty Temporary License to practice in Pediatrics at the Training Institution of UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is not licensed to practice anywhere else in Texas and is certified in no specialty. Michele was very concerned and said "Where are the experts in Pediatric Oncology and in Hodgkin's disease that we were promised? "

Michele Wernecke said her daughter is under a tremendous amount of emotional distress. She has been moved 4 times and placed in 3 different foster homes since June 4th. "I get 3 to 4 calls a day from Katie and she is crying and emotionally upset" she said. "And the worse part is that I can't do anything about it" she added. Edward said "She has been so traumatized, depressed and stressed out from all the events and separation from her family lately. It has been too long a separation for any child suffering from cancer. How much longer will she be able to bear it? Please return her to our home."

Edward said "CPS has taken Katie out of her home environment and has caused this mental harm. Katie has been forced by CPS to give up everything important in her life now and has nothing left to look forward too." Michele said " A big part of the battle with cancer is not to give up hope and the will power to live." Katie said in her letter that she "needs the positive attitude, hope, and love of my family around me to get through this. Michele said, "I hope Governor Rick Perry can help return Katie to us before it is too late." Please call Governor Perry's office at 800-252-9600 and let them know how the public feels about this. We need all parents to support this, as it is a battle for parents rights to make the medical decisions for their children, yours and mine." Michele added, We are just a normal, christian, caring family, and we never thought this could happen to us. So this could happen to you and your family too.”

PRESS RELEASE BY EDWARD AND MICHELE WERNECKE
For more information:
http://prayforkatie.blogspot.com/
http://www.saveakid.us/
http://www.compassionchildren.org/

Katie's Letter Appealing To Governor Rick Perry

August 5, 2005



Dear Governor Rick Perry:

Please help me. I have Hodgkin’s Disease. I want to go home. I want to be with my mom and dad and my 3 brothers. I trust my parents to make my medical decisions and to care for me.

CPS kidnapped me and won’t let me go home. They are keeping me in Houston 250 miles away from my family. I want to go to school in Banquete, Texas. CPS has had me locked up for 2 months now.

I want to see my grandparents in Wisconsin before school starts. I didn’t get a summer with my family for fun. CPS wants to keep me here for another 6 months. The 8th amendment of the Constitution is supposed to protect from cruel and unusual punishment.

My court appointed attorney won’t help me. Nobody will listen to me because I am 13 years old. Governor Perry you are my last hope! Please return me to my parents. I need the positive attitude, hope, support, and love of my family around me to get through this.


I beg you, please, please help me,

As Written and Signed by:
Katie Wernecke

Monday, August 22, 2005

PARENTAL RIGHTS

The Supreme Court of the United States of America affirms the parental rights are "fundamental". Discover the significance of this unwavering assertion affording parents the "highest respect and protection possible" in "Decisions of the United States Supreme Court Upholding Parental Rights as 'Fundamental'. Even though the Supreme Court asserts parental rights are fundamental, in practical application they have been seriously eroded. Has the state usurped authority designed for parents? Are parental rights under siege? Read "Why Do We Need Parental Rights Legislation?"

"Children's own families are the single most powerful agent for ensuring their healthy development. 'Removing children from their families for any but the most compelling reasons breaks the critical bond children needed to develop their basic personal and social identities.'"
National Commission on Children

Tex. Gen. Laws 102 (1997), mandates that the Child Protective Services “shall not contradict the fundamental rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.”

Tex. Gen. Laws 1225 (1997): “No state agency may adopt rules or policies or take any other action which violates the fundamental right and duty of parents to direct the upbringing of the parents’ child.”

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bullets Fly - Someone Shot Out The Windows of our Truck

Someone shot out the windows of our truck in our driveway on Sunday morning. Come on this is going too far. For God's sake we have children in our home and playing outside. We have caused no harm to anyone. We had nothing to do with Dr. Alter losing his position at the Hospital. That was his own doing. The Corpus Chrisiti Caller Times reported " Driscoll spokeswoman Regina Posada would not say why Alter's contract wasn't renewed but said the reason was not related to his involement in the high-profile Wernecke case." Perhaps people took the opposite meaning and are blaming it on us. If Dr. Alter or one of his patients' parents is mad about it don't take it out on us. We do not believe in vengeance. God says vengeance is mine. God is the final Judge of all matters. Please, we have already suffered enough with the loss of control of our children and separation from Katie.

Edward & Michele

Saturday, August 20, 2005

UPDATE ON KATIE

Katie has been in the Hospital most of this week and is expected to stay there through Monday. She was given another unit of blood early this week ( There was a shortage of blood last week. So why didn't they ask Michele to donate for Katie?) They then put a catheter in her leg vein at the groin in preparation for stem cell collection. They began collection on Thursday, and continued on Friday and Saturday and will collect again on Monday. A CAT and PET are next.

Edward and I (Michele), with the three boys, drove up to Houston on Saturday to see Katie. She was in the Hospital. We had hoped for a visit outside the Hospital and wanted to take her out to China Bear and hopefully a theme park. The boys wanted to have some fun with her. We have no schedule of her planned treatments or consultations with the doctors. CPS is providing us with absolutely no information. Yet the judge said we could participate in her treatments. We have no visitation schedule. We have not got a copy of any of the medical data samples from M. D. Anderson yet.

We enjoyed our 4 hour visit with Katie. It really helped to cheer her up. The boys hadn't seen her since June 19th. She has been so traumatized, depressed and stressed out from all the events and separation from her family lately. It has been too long a separation for any child suffering from cancer. How much longer will she be able to bear it? Please return her to our home. The entire visit was supervised and a security guard was present. We had no privacy.

Katie was noticeably thinner, weaker, and had no hair from the chemo treatments. She was not as energetic as normal. Her body bore the long scars of the surgery and so many needle puncture wounds she looked like a drug addict. Her arm viens were shot from drawing so many blood samples. Aside from that she was our wounderful and loving Katie.

They don't have her enrolled in a homebound program yet and school has already started. Edward would have already had all of that done for her. They took her last hope and joy by removing Katie from the Banquete school and away from her friends. She is to be enrolled in Houston. Hope is the thing that cancer patients need most to keep going. Dr. Alter and CPS has destroyed and taken away all of the things that Katie needed and wanted, thus she may lose all hope.

Edward and the family prayed over Katie before we left for home and gave her hugs and kisses.

Michele

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dr. Alter's Contract Not Renewed with Driscoll Childrens Hospital

No new contract for pediatric oncologist

By Neal Falgoust Caller-TimesAugust 18, 2005

"A local group of pediatric physicians has decided not to renew an employment contract with Dr. Nejemie Alter, one of the physicians who treated cancer patient Katie Wernecke.
In a written statement issued Wednesday, officials at Driscoll Children's Hospital said the cancellation of his contract, which expires at the end of September, would not affect his ability to treat patients at the hospital. He will be allowed to admit patients and can treat them at the hospital’s cancer clinic." Copyright 2005, Caller.com. All Rights Reserved. August 18, 2005.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Check out the Credentials of Your Doctor

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.

The physican caring for Katie at M. D. Anderson is Dr. Cesar Nunez. He holds on a FACULTY TEMPORARY LICENSE at the Training Institition of UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He may practice no where else in Texas. He has no license and no specialty listed. Would you want a doctor with those qualifications caring for your daughter if she had Hodgkin's Disease. That is the doctor CPS and the State chose for us. We want a doctor that is certified in PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY and a specialist in Hodgkin's Disease. If you know one let us know by emailing katiew@awesomenet.net

Go to that sight and check out your own doctor. I wish we had known this earlier.

Edward

Monday, August 15, 2005

My Husband Only Wanted What is Best for Katie

My husband, Edward, only wants what is best for Katie. Many people have misunderstood him. He is very direct and there is nothing to read in between the lines. He is a researcher and PhD and so he studies and researchs everything. When Katie got sick with Hodgkin's Disease he went immediately and looked up everything he could find out about it. That is his nature. He cares for Katie so much that he would even trade places with her if that were possible and bear the suffering for her. He loves Katie so much. I don't understand how people could think he didn't care enough to get her the treatments the doctors thought she needed that the state had to step in. That just isn't so. He is a loving father and spends much time with all his kids; much more than most dads. Edward was the one who took Katie to all of the doctor appointments.

Perhaps the doctors were offended when Edward asked questions. If they knew their stuff, they shouldn't have been. Parents should ask questions of their doctors. The patients rights of the hospital say the doctors are supposed to explain the recommended treatments to you, side effects, possible complications, and alternative choices. When has your doctor explained all of that to you? Ours never did! I now found out that Dr. Alter is NOT board certified as a Pediatric Hematology/Oncologist. He held himself out to the court as an expert and he wasn't.
And when we wanted to be referred to another doctor he kept insisting that it had to be a pediatric hematology/oncology doctor.

Edward did more than most parents and researched all the scientific journals for the best and latest treatment programs for Katie. He found out that some doctors were not recommending radiation for children as young as Katie because of long term side effects. He also found out that research has shown that the 5 year survival rates were usually not improved by using radiation on young children and that chemo alone avoided the secondary cancers induced by the radiation.

The doctor, either not keeping up with current research, or because of pride, or just because of some standard protocol which is due to change very shortly, or locked into a research protocol with our kid, decided that Katie had to receive that radiation and called in CPS to force it on her. CPS did not try to work or talk to Edward about this. Nor were we included in the emergency hearing before the Judge, even though they knew we had an attorney. This whole situation could have been avoided if everyone sat down to talk first, and Katie would not have to be suffering through this all alone without family. That is the real tradegy here!! She would have got treatments in our care, and possibly radiation if we had exhausted all other treatments and they didn't work. Edward is a logical and reasonable man and weighs the evidence and consequences. That is all good parents can be expected to do: right or wrong.


Edward and I wanted what was best for Katie for her specific type of cancer and for her as an individual. These treatments do not have to be set in stone. Edward looked at the situation and looked at the short and long term treatment effects and made the best choice for our daugther at the time. Katie and I agreed with him. The doctors never looked at the long term effects of the treatments. The reseachers have, but much data is lacking beyond 5 and 10 years. Here we have a girl of 13 that has 70 years of life to live. What will they be like after these treatments? What right does the state have to override the parents choice in medical care as long as we were continuing to seek and accept medical care for Katie. None! Edward won't stop or rest until Katie is returned home. He never gives up. He puts his kids first in his life. They are his life, without them he would give up and die.

Michele Wernecke

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Katie Suffering Physically and Emotionally

Katie's blood counts are still down even after the blood transfusion. White blood cell counts were 2.8 on August 8, 0.2 on August 11 before transfusion, and now .02 on August 13 after transfusion, nearly non-existent. The possibility of a life threatening infection are great. Before and after transfusion her counts were WBC 0.2, .02, RBC 2, 2.53, Hemoglobin 6.8, 8.4, Hemacrit 18.7, 23.3, Platelets 11, 28 respectively. These are all way below normal values. The blood and platelets didn't help much.

Judging from the number of phone calls and the conversations, Katie is very emotionally distraught. Katie is also having difficulty adjusting to her new foster home. CPS has taken her out of her home environment and has caused this mental harm.

Katie has had to give up everything important in her life now and has nothing left to look forward too. Dr. Alter destroyed her hopes of winning Bible Drill saying it wasn't important and refusing to give her a few days off. She had to give up softball when CPS kidnapped her out of our home in early June. Katie had no summer fun time and has not seen her brothers for months. Her brothers keep her going. Katie has been isolated and removed from all her friends. Katie wanted to be enrolled in her old school in Banquete this fall, and is now being forced to go to school in Houston by CPS. School was very important to Katie and now they have completely taken everything away. Her friends were there, and we gave Katie every opportunity to attend, even if just at lunch time, to see and be with her friends. Katie has nothing left that she enjoyed or could look forward to. School classes do not match between the two schools and so if Katie returns in mid-year she will lose at least 2 classes and be behind in her school work. This too causes stress to Katie. She did read several books for the Banquete schools English course this summer and that was lost. She done the work and didn't get any credit for it. This is a straight A student. She will also be taking classes that are not all adaptable to homebound instruction. Will Katie lose all hope and her will to live?

Can Katie survive having lost all hope and separated from the love and care of her family? We don't think she can take any more. We do our best to encourage her by phone and try to keep her going. She really needs to come home before it is too late.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

KATIE RECEIVES BLOOD TRANSFUSION

Katie's ANC, platelets and hemoglobin were dangerously low again. Katie received 2 units of red blood and one unit of platelets.

Once again we were not notified of the emergency by CPS. Katie told us. Michele was not asked to come and donate blood nor have they ever tested her blood. Once again they violate our religious rights. The doctors know this will happen in advance and could have arranged to collect, test, and store Michele's blood for Katie's use. They have to process someone else's blood the same way to give her. It is much safer to use Michele's blood for Katie than unknown and possibly unsafe public blood supply. Michele and Katie are of the same flesh and blood.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

WHY IS KATIE NOT RECEIVING RADIATION?

If you recall the court battle of Katie Wernecke, Dr. Alter testified that Katie needed to receive radiation treatments and would die in 10 days without it. By the way I just found out Dr. Alter is board certified in Texas as a Pediatric doctor only. Dr. Alter is NOT board certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. This does not qualify him as a medical expert in cancer no more than any other baby doctor.

Actually they said 5 doctors recommended radiation treatments including one from M.D. Anderson. Three of these doctors were Radiologist, so what do you think they would recommend. None of these doctors were Hodgkin's disease experts.

So why isn't Katie receiving radiation? Had she received radiation she would have been home in 21 days. Katie is currently receiving chemo treatments. Katie has been gone two and a half months now and will be gone at least 5 more months. Too long for a cancer patient to be separated from her family.

If the first doctors were right and she needed the radiation treatments why is she now receiving chemo? Could they have been wrong? Were the new doctors at M.D. Anderson wrong? Could it be there is no right answer? Maybe the decision should have been left with the parents after all.

Her doctor at M.D. Anderson, Dr. Cesar Nunez, holds only a Faculty Temporary License to practice in Pediatrics at the Training Institution of UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is not licensed to practice anywhere else in Texas and is certified in no specialty. He attended a medical school in Univ De Caldas, Manizales, South America, which appears to be a virtual internet university. Would you trust your daughter's life to someone who is in training? Well, we have NO CHOICE, and NO SAY in this matter. If something goes wrong and Katie is injured or dies, who will take the blame - the Doctor, CPS, the Judge? Are all immune under the court order? We were never guilty of medical neglect!!! Just guilty of asking for a second and third opinion.

Where are the experts in Pediatric Oncology and in Hodgkin's disease that we were promised? We are not included in the discussions of her treatment plans. They have failed to share her medical records and medical samples so that we could have them examined by our choice of doctors.

Here are some statement to think about:

The doctor said Katie needed to receive the treatments in 10 days or she would die.

Katie was given no treatments for over 40 days and she was very healthy and at no risk of dying. So where was their emergency that justified tearing this family apart?

The peace officer that picked Katie up in Duval county said " she doesn't look like she is dying to me." Dr. Voorhees of the Radiation Oncology Center in Corpus Christi examined Katie on 6/13/05 and found a "Well-developed, well-nourished female who appears in no acute distress at the time of the examination. She appears alert and oriented times three." He noted her hair was growing back, her heart strong, and lungs were clear. He palpated and found no lumps or masses in the neck or lymph nodes. That would have indicated that the cancer was growing or spreading.

Why if this cancer is back, was it stated in the report to the court by the doctors that there was no change in the CAT scan done by M.D. Anderson on June 20th and the one done in Corpus Christi on April 22, 2005. You see they make detailed measurements on the size and mass and growth of the tumor in the CAT scans. If this is active cancer then it must be growing and increasing in size. Yet, they find no changes in 60 days (90 days since the last chemo treatment). Where is the at risk factor of dying that justified taking her away from her parents and keeping her in CPS custody and care?

We ask the doctors at M.D. Anderson to be honest and open with us in the care and treatment of our daughter Katie. Provide us with the full medical records and biopsy samples so we can have them examined by doctors of our choice. What do you have to hide? Give us a plan and schedule of upcoming treatments. Schedule conferences when Michele is already in Houston for a week during chemo treatments not a day or two after she leaves, and we are never told about them through CPS, but learn later about them from Katie.

Edward

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

KATIE MOVED TO NEW FOSTER HOME - KATIE TRAUMATIZED

Katie was moved to a new foster home today. This is the fourth time she was moved since being taken into custody and is the third foster home she has been placed in.

Certainly it was wrong to have taken a cancer victim out of her home and away from her parents and family. This can never be in the best interest of the child that has cancer and a loving and caring family that honestly wanted to see that she got the right and best treatment available for her.

If the state thought the parents weren't capable why wasn't Katie placed with relatives as required by law? Why did CPS lie in court documents that there were no known relatives to place her with when they had names of all of them and one testified in court she would see that Katie received the treatments?

Katie was moved to Houston away from family and relatives, which makes visitation difficult and financially difficult. Katie was first placed up there in a foster home with 11 other children with various medical needs. This was a bad medical decision on CPS's part for someone like Katie undergoing chemo and needing to be in a home where no one is sick. The fewer people she is exposed to the better.

Now Katie has been traumatized by being moved to another new foster home. She didn't need this mental, emotional, and pyscholigical abuse at this critical time in her treatments.

The legal definitions within the Texas Family Code of abuse and neglect are:

Abuse includes:

a: mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child's grouwth, development, or psychological functioning;
b: causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child's growth, development, or psychological functioning;

Neglect includes:

a: the leaving of a child in a situation where the child would be exposed to a sustantial risk of physical or mental harm.....
b: placing the child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a resonable person would realize requires judgement or action beyond the child's level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or substantial risk of immediate harm to the child;
c: failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a child....
d: placing a child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the child;

Is CPS guilty of neglect and abuse of Katie? You be the judge.




Monday, August 08, 2005

Doctors and CPS Use Each Other for Cover

Sick Children? Doctors and Child Protectors Use Each Other for Cover


June 14 2005

A recent Amber Alert placed Katie Wernecke, barely 13, in foster care and her three brothers in a children’s home until her parents “quickly complied” with doctor-directed power-backed social workers’ plans. The Werneckes agreed to radiation treatments they and Katie thought were risky and not needed.

News reports indicate that “new test results” were announced last week in juvenile court Medical results were available only then? They had to be delivered in a highly-charged setting, justice scales tilted against parents?

Previously told Katie’s Hodgkin’s disease was in remission, and after hearing her express desire to have children someday, her parents believed they acted in her interests by declining treatments that could stunt growth and alter development. They relocated Katie to a relative’s home instead of volunteering her for treatment she wanted to avoid.

That protective move was described as “abscond(ing)” with her by a Nueces County judge. Increasing chances Katie’s parents would cave to orders of the doctor who treated her since January, one who made a prior child protective services (CPS) report, Katie’s siblings were whisked to a children’s home, Katie to foster care and their mom to jail. She is under a $50,000 bond.

The same state in which doctors use child protection agencies for cover has its share of publicized as well as less known errors and egregious cover ups.

Anybody Taking Responsibility?

Are doctors accountable, do judges waive their own immunity, will the State repay families and restore lives if predicted results of demanded treatments, or withholding or interfering with other ones, fail?

If the parents and Katie were right about her life quality, and doctors and child protection agents are overreaching and wrong, will parents and taxpayers be compensated by the system? Will those making health care choices for children repay property owners when suits against the State and agents succeed?

The Wernecke family’s story adds a chapter at another custody hearing this week. For Katie and her brothers, children needlessly traumatized when doctors and child protective services wrongly wield the purse and sword of the State, the damage is done. If posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the only residual effect of their experience, it is a frequent gift of similar government behavior.

If usually mute media and the public’s elected representatives expose how child protectors and doctors need and use each others’ powers to “win” with impunity, they and all will be amazed at the counterproductive protection tax dollars buy.

Health Care: For or Against?

“Under Texas law, parents may withhold medical treatment from a terminally ill child, but not in lesser situations,” claimed a wire story with a Corpus Christi, Texas dateline and appearing in a Florida newspaper.

Tell that to the mother of a child whose amazing life was effectively extinguished by Texas doctors. The story of non-accidental injury against that mother and child is being written. It involves nationally known “experts” in a baseless motivation theory used to remove and reallocate children and newborns for praise and profit to agencies and adopting homes.

The prime offending doctor, one whose failed attempts to have CPS remove the hyper-vigilant mother from her medically fragile child’s side became a challenge, ignored the mother’s and his colleagues warnings about medications that would injure the child. His pediatric team at the same hospital had settled for multiple millions of dollars after an avoidable error recently had killed a teen. He couldn’t make another mistake. What he did was purposeful and he walks free. He, too, had CPS call law enforcement to haul away that pesky parent from the hospital.

How best to divert the attention of a family than to do a cost-free, tax-subsidized smear? Why not have the alert parent, who observes and documents everything, publicly labeled abusive or medically neglectful? How cool to have Fox 4 in Dallas run a “Mother or Monster?” program then misplace the last video of the spunky child’s final upright hours?

Even better, what if the station never reports the mother’s full exoneration or mentions the child’s miserable years of state-covered decline before death? Oh, and forget the mysterious blot on the mother’s credit report that no one will describe but prevents her getting credit or employment and inspires dirty looks and occasional out-of-the-blue cruel comments.

“Shawna’s Bill”—one that legislators throughout the nation should vie to patron and sponsor—is that child’s lasting legacy. It supports justice for defrauded taxpayers as well as for wrongly prosecuted families and terrorized children.

Ordering Professional Payback

Simple tenets of Shawna’s Bill require professionals (medical or mental health doctors, social workers, counselors, school employers, any volunteer or “mandated reporter”) who make serial “mistaken” or malicious reports be flagged in the system (as are alleged offenders, parents, caretakers or others).

Prosecutors are required to pursue repeat offenders to regain misspent tax money: for needless investigations, wrongful removals, unnecessary foster care, inappropriate court time and agency administration, as well as costly prosecutions and payouts due to wrongful reporting and personal injuries.

For 30 years, since the Mondale Act (Child Abuse Prevention the Treatment Act or CAPTA) required states to simplify reporting “suspected” child abuse or neglect, accept anonymous reports, and to give immunity to growing numbers of “mandated reporters” with varying motivations, some children—prayerfully Katie among them—survive odds against benefits of government “help.” That is what removal from siblings, grandparents and all loved ones, including many who begged to provide safety if needed and family security, is called even if unwarranted.

Others, such as Shawna, were snuffed out with an abundance of “documented” justification that backwashes against injured and innocent parents as official and eternal injury. Where were official ethics of “health care treatment” for her? The myriad reasons professionals need CPS, and the reasons the agency requires validation from professionals for actions such as removing children first and asking questions later, if ever, are supported financially by Congress, generally ignored by States, and overused with immunity by local front line CPS agents whose actions mostly are unmonitored or described imaginatively in “records.”

Shawna’s Bill holds accountable professionals who defraud taxpayers for personal protection or gain. Hopefully, even in my native Texas with its seemingly impenetrable sovereign immunity, prosecutors will want to stop financial fraud if not official child abuse and legalized family fracturing.

Barbara Bryan (BHBryan@aol.com)Communications DirectorNational Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center Phone : 540-345-1952

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Help Save Katie Wernecke and Your Kids

Are your kids next?

An Open Letter From Michele Wernecke mother of Katie Wernecke

My life had ended the day CPS took my children and kept my precious daughter Katie. She did no harm to any one. She belongs to me not them {CPS}. All I wanted was for my daughter to be happy and healthy again. I accepted her having cancer, that is not a problem with us. I feel right now that when they are done with her, she will never be the same and never trust a soul again. I want to let you guys know that I love her very much and I miss her a lot. What I don’t understand is how they can do this to her and her family. She needs us and we need her for our family to be complete. Stella Klein (CPS) thinks it so easily just to go and see her so far away. The state pays her expenses and no one pays for ours. They lied to us all the way. I was told by Kim Garcia (CPS) that she would be in Corpus Christi to receive her treatments, she would stay with a LVN nurse in her home. When they took her they put her in Skidmore! She is now somewhere in the Houston area.

My daughter is very homesick right now. She is in a house with 11 kids and she has to share her room with 2 of them. If she was here, she has her own room. That is another thing that gets me, is that in CPS’s eyes that Kim had asked us is Katie in her own room, because I have 3 boys and 1 girl, now she doesn’t even have her own room. Once again its okay for CPS and not for us. Why are rules always different for everybody else and not for us. I try my best and it is never good enough.

I know I was brought up the right way. I helped my mom take care of 6 younger kids. I went out of my way to help and take care of things. My parents could count on me. I’m very responsible for everything. But you know I never had anyone look down on me, because I did it all. Now I’m told I can’t make decisions for my own daughter, and my daughter can’t even count on her mom anymore because CPS says so. I can’t even move or take steps without someone looking down your neck anymore.

They don’t know my daughter like I do. They can’t help her with her things like I do. My daughter needs a lot of love and support to get thru this. CPS can’t do it. All they do is force the treatments on her. They never explain things to her. Who takes away my pain that I feel everyday that Katie is not in our home. Who listens to Katie’s voice and hears in her voice how home sick she is. They don’t care at all. They just think they are doing the right thing for her.

Parents think this couldn't happen to them. My house was as neat and clean as anyone else's that has 4 kids and works 2 jobs. Cancer is now happening to 1 in 3 and has surpassed heart disease as the number 1 killer. We never thought of our child getting cancer. We thought we would never need cancer insurance as we lead a healthy life style and didn't have a history of cancer in our family. Doctors, clinics, and emergency rooms are waiting to report your family to CPS if you show up there with a kid with an injury, bruise, cut, burn, etc., most of which are just ordinary common accidents kids might incur. Schools and teachers report suspect child abuse to CPS. Your hospital has social workers who spy on you and report to CPS. Like in our case. And you thought the social worker was there to help you and your child through your illness. CPS questions your kids at school without your knowledge or permission. Soon the federal government will use a short questionnaire to screen your school age child and will force you to place your child on mind altering drugs and enforce it with CPS.

This case sends a message to parents that you can't even question your doctor. Everyone should have a right to a second opinion or a third opinion. Believe me these doctors never told us or explained nothing except what they were going to do with Katie. They didn't discuss side effects or treatment options or alternatives. Patient rights are a joke both at Driscoll's Children's Hospital and at M. D. Anderson. They use our kids in cancer experiments. Parents have no say or choice in the treatments done on our kids. Believe me we just wanted the best treatment for our daughter Katie. Dr. Alter reported us to CPS just 2 days after the second opinion by a doctor in the same hospital and they didn't even agree on the treatment. CPS didn't wait, or try to talk to us about it. We weren't included in an emergency hearing in front of the judge even though we had a lawyer and CPS knew it. The next thing we knew they were knocking on our door to take Katie. Couldn't get her immediately, so they take the rest of my kids. No reason at all for this. My kids were abused in their care, both physically and mentally. Judge Lewis wonders why I ran off with Katie. Why indeed, the judge signed that emergency order, without hearing our side of the issue. Who was left to protect Katie and her rights? The court appointed lawyer for Katie never took Katie's position, siding with CPS. Where was their proof this was an emergency and needed to be done right away? They didn't do any treatments on Katie for 40 days after they had her. In fact Katie was very healthy at the time they took her and had no signs of cancer in her body. She had to be at risk of dying without this emergency treatment in the next 10 days for the Judge to approve the court order to take her. The doctor and CPS lied for the Judge to approve the court order to take her.

I am just one person trying to fight the whole system. Our daughter is now under a treatment plan at M D Anderson that will take at least 6 months. And Katie was already out of our home for 2 months now. So she has over 5 months to go if there are no complications. This is so wrong. This is too much to ask of any child to be separated from their parents and brothers and friends. I am torn on one hand because I don't want to speak out and lose my visitation rights to be in the hospital with Katie. They have refused to let my husband, Edward, stay in the hospital with Katie over night for no real reason. Katie's brothers haven't seen her in about 2 months now. It is financially prohibitive to spend $1250 to fly everyone to Houston to visit Katie for 1 or 2 hours. They won’t give us a plan.

We had done everything responsible parents should have done. We researched the options, addressed the risks to our daughter Katie, and proceeded with caution in order to protect her. No treatment option is set in stone. That Katie and our family had to face the gravity of such an illness is painful enough. For CPS to take a child in such circumstances away from them is egregious beyond words. The arrogance and ignorance with which this CPS agency has intruded upon our loving family has done nothing to enhance or protect the health of Katie. It is in fact compromised. The removal of 90% of the Thymus gland is going to be very detrimental to Katie’s recovery.

I need your help and I am not sure what would be the most effective way to fight the system. Child protective Services was created with the best of intentions, but it has no system of checks and balances. It is not comprised of medical experts. Workers only need 90 days of training and most have never even been parents themselves. There is no avenue for parental appeal. This is wrong. The result is that the protection has actually become abuse. CPS is an agency out of control and the South Texas area is the worst in the state. Now they are adding 800 workers to the agency and increased the budget greatly. CPS taking kids are up nearly 42% this year in the Corpus Christi area just to justify the increase in workers and budget. Less then 10% of the cases are true abuse situations. Are your kids next? Believe me this can and will and has happened to many other innocent families. Will you be next? We need parents to stand up and say this is wrong.

Nobody has really written the Judge in this case and please don't tell him I said to write him but his address is: Judge Carl Lewis, County Court of Law #5, Nueces County, 2310 Golihar Rd, Corpus Christi, Texas 78415 .

It would help to let him know that we are good, caring, loving parents and how other people and parents feel about this situation. Katie needs to be returned to our care. She can not survive these treatments alone. Parents have the right to make the medical decisions for their children. The state should only step in when the parents are proven to be unfit or abandon the child.

We need the public behind us. In a similar Utah case, people were behind the parents and the people put pressure on the state to drop the case. We need that here. Please help us. We can't do this alone. Please help return Katie to her parents and protect your kids from such abuse. Please continue praying for Katie. Thank you all so much.

People writing may also send me a copy of their letter to the judge by sending it to: Michele Wernecke, P.O. Box 132, Agua Dulce, Texas 78330. Also, please write and call your local state representatives to bring Katie home. Call the Governor ,Rick Perry, at (512) 463-2000, asking him to bring Katie home, and the Texas Attorney General, Gregg Abbott at: (512) 463-2100 and complain about CPS abuse of this family, that taking a cancer patient away from her family is cruel and abusive, and that parents have the right to make the medical decisions for their children. We need everyone of you to do this now. We need to get all the calls this week to Governor Rick Perry that we can and maybe they will investigate into this deeper. I beg you please help me and Katie.

Michele Wernecke

Please go to these websites for more information: You can find sample letters to write at http://www.compassionchildren.org/katie.htm In addition to these please write, call, or email your local state representative. You can give a donation at http://http://www.compassionchildren.org/ for Katie's medical and legal expenses or get free e-books with your donation at http://www.helpingkidswithcancer.com.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

THERE IS SOMETHING BAD HAPPENING TO OUR CHILDREN IN FAMILY COURTS TODAY

“There is no system ever devised by mankind that is guaranteed to rip husband and wife or father, mother and child apart so bitterly than our present Family Court System.”

Judge Brian Lindsay
Retired Supreme Court Judge
New York, New York


“There is something bad happening to our children in family courts today that is causing them more harm than drugs, more harm than crime and even more harm than child molestation.”

Judge Watson L. White
Superior Court Judge
Cobb County, Georgia

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it best, “The government’s interest in the welfare of children embraces not only protecting children from physical abuse, but also protecting children’s interest in the privacy and dignity of their homes and in the lawfully exercised authority of their parents.”
Calabretta v. Floyd, 189 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 1999).

The mere possibility or risk of danger does not constitute an emergency or exigent circumstance that would justify a forced warrantless entry and a warrantless seizure of a child. Hurlman v. Rice, (2nd Cir. 1991)

A due-process violation occurs when a state-required breakup of a natural family is founded solely on a “best interests” analysis that is not supported by the requisite proof of parental unfitness. Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255, (1978)

“Permanent termination of parental rights has been described as the family law equivalent of the death penalty in a criminal case.” Therefore, parents “must be afforded every procedural and substantive protection the law allows.” Smith (1991), 77 Ohio App.3d 1, 16, 601 N.E.2d 45, 54.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Parker Jensen Case - Similar to Katie's - Did the State Go Too Far?

THE PARKER JENSEN CASE: HAS THE STATE GONE TOO FAR? This case has become somewhat of a national cause celebre for family rights advocates as well as proponents of the superiority of alternative therapies to establishment cancer treatment. Twelve year old Parker Jensen developed a small lump under the tongue which was removed surgically. Pathological lab work determined the lump was malignant (Ewing's sarcoma - a rare form of bone cancer) and Parker's Utah doctor insisted the boy be subjected to chemotherapy. When the parents resisted, and tried to seek second opinions, expressing a desire to consider alternative therapies to chemo, the doctor filed a complaint with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) who moved rapidly to take custody of the child from the parents. The parents fled the state rather than submit to this derogation of parental rights. The State, in turn, charged the parents with kidnapping and got the FBI involved, who used their ample surveillance tools to quickly track down the parents in Idaho.
Constitutional conservatives in Utah immediately organized a huge outpouring of sympathy for the Jensens, simultaneously heaping wrath upon Utah Governor/EPA designate Michael Leavitt and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who should have called off the State authorities, but did not.
Daniel Newby of AccountabilityUtah.org summed up the state's position when he outlined the full implications of the present legal powers claimed by DCFS: [my comments in brackets]
* Does not include the right to a trial by a jury of your peers before your children are permanently separated from you. [One man, a judge, has all power to decide the fate child and family].
* Does not require the state to find the parent or parents guilty of any actual wrongdoing or criminal behavior prior to terminating their parental rights (see, for example, 78-3a-407(1)(f)). Simply not complying with every jot and tittle of the 'permanency plan' is evidence enough that you did something wrong in the first place, yes?
* Grants DCFS and its agents near complete governmental financial and criminal immunity (save in cases of fraud and perjury that have been proven in court) when they do destroy innocent families. Apparently, government is beyond accountability and families who can't afford to defend themselves are just out of luck. Or is it that our public defenders are so good, poor families should completely rely on them to fight the combined forces of the Utah Attorney General's Office, the Guardian Ad-Litem's Office, DCFS, CPS, and loose statutes that can mean just about anything? Of course, your statistics do not account for many poor families who accept horrible plea bargains because they have no financial alternative to defend themselves
* Allows judges to continue to garnish the almost non-existent wages of families to continue to pay for their children in foster care (Utah statute 78-3a-906) and the cost of counsel appointed by the court (78-3a-913(6)).
* Allows courts to be held in complete secrecy, eliminating the chance for families to expose the behavior of errant judges." [end of Newby quote]
Has Utah gone too far? According to legal precedents, no, but according to higher legal principles, yes. All state children's services rely heavily upon the legal clout of the all-pervasive "State Interest Doctrine" which allows the state to intrude in family affairs ranging from education to health and welfare - all excessively general terms that defy limitations on intrusion. A more appropriate legal doctrine would limit State intrusion into family affairs only when there is an imminent and dangerous threat to life.
Advocates of state intervention on medical grounds feel they are justified when cancer is involved because it is a life threatening disease. While this is true in the long-term, it doesn't meet the test of immanency, especially when there is time to experiment with a variety of treatments, and no single treatment (especially chemo and radiation) has a proven track record of success. The problem with all state employees, including judges, is that they work under the presumption that only if they side with the medical establishment will they be above criticism. The bottom line is, they choose to prosecute families for preferring alternative medicine simply because it serves their aversion to professional criticism. These people already enjoy near total legal immunity, so it is hard to see how their selfish personal preferences stack up against the damage they do to non-mainstream families.
As a matter of higher legal principles, I believe there is also room for taking into consideration the wishes of a child, especially when they are of the age of Parker (12). He is certainly old enough to understand the issues and declare his own wishes, whether to follow the counsel of his parents or declare his independence from them and ask for outside assistance. Only in the case where a child of this age requests protection of the state should the state be allowed to intervene. A simple allowance in law for the wishes of the child over the age of eight, for example, to have priority over state mandates would avoid most tragic "takings" where children are removed from the homes of loving parents in the growing dispute over who has the ultimate authority, the parents or the state.
There is a certain arrogance in the medical and mental health professionals who file claims of child neglect on parents who resist their demands. After this particular case winds down, parents in the future will think twice about taking their children to the establishment medical community for advice. Wise parents will seek alternative therapies first.
In another sense, both the State of Utah and the medical professionals have gone too far. By opening up a hornet's nest of protest, legislators may well have to heed the call to reign in the power of the state to intrude upon families in the name of "the state has an interest" in your child. As I have said before, I don't care who has an interest in my child. I want to know who has the ultimate interest - meaning, authority. It used to be that the State of Utah was openly hostile to home schooling outside the direct control of public schools. It was only after killing a home schooling father, John Singer, who resisted state powers that Utah changed the law - out of embarrassment, not principle. Perhaps the same thing will happen here.

From http://www.patriotsaints.com/MyChildMyChoice/cases/
ParkerJensen/Joel_Skousen.htm

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

CPS Violates These Laws in Every Case

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241 Conspiracy Against Rights
Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 241
This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured. Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 242 This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S. .....Acts under "color of any law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under "color of any law," the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs. Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 245Federally Protected Activities
Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 245
1) This statute prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person or class of persons because of their activity as:a) A voter, or person qualifying to vote...;b) a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by the United States;c) an applicant for federal employment or an employee by the federal government;d) a juror or prospective juror in federal court; and e) a participant in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.2) Prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin and because of his/her activity as:a) A student or applicant for admission to any public school or public College;b) a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by a state or local government;c) an applicant for private or state employment, private or state employee; a member or applicant for membership in any labor organization or hiring hall; or an applicant for employment through any employment agency, labor organization or hiring hall;d) a juror or prospective juror in state court;e) a traveler or user of any facility of interstate commerce or common carrier; or f) a patron of any public accommodation, including hotels, motels, restaurants, lunchrooms, bars, gas stations, theaters...or any other establishment which serves the public and which is principally engaged in selling food or beverages for consumption on the premises.3) Prohibits interference by force or threat of force against any person because he/she is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or class of persons from participating or affording others the opportunity or protection to so participate, or lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate in any of the benefits or activities listed in items (1) and (2), above without discrimination as to race, color, religion, or national origin.Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life or may be sentenced to death.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1001 Fraud and False Statements
United States Code TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES CHAPTER 47 - FRAUD AND FALSE STATEMENTS
U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01 Section 1001. Statements or entries generally
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully - (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

18 USC Sec. 1203 TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDUREPART I - CRIMES CHAPTER 55 - KIDNAPPING
Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 1203
STATUTE
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure, or to continue to detain another person in order to compel a third person or a governmental organization to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the person detained, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life and, if the death of any person results, shall be punished by death or life imprisonment.

United States Code TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES CHAPTER 109 - SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01
Section 2234. Authority exceeded in executing warrant
Whoever, in executing a search warrant, willfully exceeds his authority or exercises it with unnecessary severity, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year. U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01
Section 2235. Search warrant procured maliciously Whoever maliciously and without probable cause procures a search warrant to be issued and executed, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year.
Section 2236. Searches without warrant
Whoever, being an officer, agent, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, engaged in the enforcement of any law of the United States, searches any private dwelling used and occupied as such dwelling without a warrant directing such search, or maliciously and without reasonable cause searches any other building or property without a search warrant, shall be fined for a first offense not more than $1,000; and, for a subsequent offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
This section shall not apply to any person - (a) serving a warrant of arrest; or (b) arresting or attempting to arrest a person committing or attempting to commit an offense in his presence, or who has committed or is suspected on reasonable grounds of having committed a felony; or (c) making a search at the request or invitation or with the consent of the occupant of the premises.
More on Section 2236
Title 42 USC Section 1983Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 42 : Section 1983

Sec. 1983. - Civil action for deprivation of rights
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia

Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141Pattern and Practice
Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 42 : Section 14141 This civil statute was a provision within the Crime Control Act of 1994 and makes it unlawful for any governmental authority, or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the Attorney General, for or in the name of the United States, may in a civil action obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice.Types of misconduct covered include, among other things:1. Excessive Force 2. Discriminatory Harassment3. False Arrest4. Coercive Sexual Conduct 5. Unlawful Stops, Searches, or Arrests