The parents of a 20-month-old girl say Indiana child welfare authorities threatened to take the child away from them because they chose to treat her epilepsy with a legal cannabis extract.
Lelah Jerger, the child’s mother, said personnel at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health reported her to Indiana’s Child Protective Services after she and her husband decided to use cannabidiol oil, or CBD, to treat their daughter Jaelah, rather than use the medication prescribed by a Riley doctor.
Jerger said CPS dropped the case after a state legislator intervened and emphasized the legality of the treatment.
“Our daughter was never taken away from us, but the fear was horrible to live with,” Lelah Jerger said. “I would look outside my window just scared to death I would see a police officer and CPS here to take my kid.”
Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office said CPS acted appropriately, working to ensure the child’s safety. But state Sen. Mark Messmer, who intervened on behalf of the Jergers, said CPS overreacted.
The case raises more questions about what state officials consider to be the legal status of CBD oil — and whether medical professionals consider the substance to be a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals.
Conflicting interpretations of state law regarding CBD oil have emerged since Holcomb signed a bill in April creating a registry allowing Hoosiers with treatment-resistant epilepsy to use CBD products.
A short time later, the law enforcement arm of the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission used the law as justification for seizing the product from nearly 60 stores across the state, stating the law only allowed those on the registry to have CBD.
That, however, contradicts a 2014 industrial hemp law that Indiana State Police and advocates of CBD say legalized the substance as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana users their “high.”
Lelah Jerger said she wants to ensure other parents working to care for epileptic children aren’t living under cloud — especially when they’ve found a substance that they say significantly reduces their children’s seizures.
‘Justice for Jaelah’
When Jaelah was diagnosed with myoclonic seizures in July, a neurologist at Riley recommended the drug Keppra.
Worried about side effects, Jerger said she told the doctors she wanted to do some research before committing to Keppra, which can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unusual tiredness or weakness.
After researching and talking to other moms who use CBD oil, she said she found a chiropractic neurologist in Evansville who put Jaelah on CBD oil.
Jerger later switched her daughter to Charlotte’s Web, a brand of CBD oil, after her daughter didn’t like the taste of the initial supplement. She used the Realm of Caring Foundation to calculate what dosage of Charlotte’s Web would be appropriate for Jaelah’s weight.
Jerger said she and her husband Jade were astonished by the results, as Jaelah went from at least 40 noticeable seizures per day down to almost none. They said she’s had four completely seizure-free days since she started using CBD.
But medical personnel at Riley Hospital didn’t agree with their decision, Jerger said, and reported the family to CPS for “not treating” their daughter.
A Riley spokeswoman said she could not comment about a situation involving a patient.
CPS arrived at the Jergers’ house in Huntingburg on Sept. 20, formally asking the parents to agree to keep Jaelah on Keppra, to take her for weekly blood tests to confirm she was taking Keppra and to only see a specified physician, Lelah said.
Just days before CPS arrived, the Jergers said they had already decided to add Keppra to their CBD oil treatment after consulting with another neurologist.
Jerger said CPS said it would get a court order to remove Jaelah from their home if they did not comply.
CPS contacted that family again on Sept. 26, Jerger said, telling the family to admit the girl to a specific hospital for symptoms from the Keppra medication.
The agency dropped the case Sept. 28, after Messmer, R-Jasper, called Danny Lopez, Holcomb’s legislative director, and Mary Beth Bonaventura, the director of the Department of Child Services.
The Jergers are now seeing a neurologist at the University of Louisville who is monitoring their use of CBD oil. They are no longer using Keppra, and they are thankful to once again be able to make medical choices for their daughter.
CPS said confidentiality requirements prohibit it from discussing the specifics of the child’s case. However, it said it has no specific policy regarding the use of CBD to treat epileptic children.
Stephanie Wilson, a spokeswoman for Holcomb, said Child Protective Services and the Indiana Department of Child Services acted appropriately.
“DCS is focused on ensuring child safety, and that was their focus here, as well,” Wilson said. “The agency resolved the issue once certain of the child’s safety.”
Messmer sees the situation differently.
“They had overreacted based on a complaint from the nurse practitioner in this case and should have approached it more cautiously than they did,” Messmer said. “I saw it as extremely heavy handed and over reach on the part of DCS.”
Jerger wants CPS to be held accountable for what she sees as wrongdoing by the agency. She has started Facebook pages called “Justice for Jelah” and “Parents for DCS Reform” to bring attention to the situation.
“Our hope in this whole mess is that no other family will ever have to go through this,” she posted on the page. “If a product is legal and works, then something needs to be done to prevent CPS or hospitals from reporting it.”
CBD vs. standard medication
For doctors, the decision on whether to use CBD oil to treat epileptic patients is even more complex, as they worry about the legality of the product and the well-being of their patients.
While there are studies and anecdotal evidence suggesting that CBD helps reduce seizures and pain, the product has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA does acknowledge that a drug containing CBD from GW Pharma has had successful clinical trials so far, and could be approved in the near future.
However, the FDA also doesn’t completely rule out using the product for patients with epilepsy, prior to its approval.
“The FDA understands the interest in making investigational products available to patients while they are being studied for approval, and there are expanded access provisions in both the FDA’s statute and its regulations to make this possible,” the FDA states on its website.
Thomas Vidic, a neurologist from Elkhart and a past president of Indiana State Medical Association, said CBD might be useful in the future, and studies have shown it may be effective in certain types of childhood epilepsy. But for now, he said, physicians should be using “known proven medication.”
“Under no circumstances should this substance get in the way of using established anti-epileptic medications,” Vidic said.
Part of the problem, he said, is that the product could have negative interactions with other drugs and there could be unknown side effects.
The Indiana State Medical Association itself has no policy on CBD, but emphasizes that doctors need to follow the law and “take care of patients with known scientific data,” Vidic said.
Michael Brady, ISMA’s director of advocacy, said their team has only received one question from a doctor on the legality of the product. Their attorney’s advice was to wait until Attorney General Curtis Hill issues a legal opinion on the legality of CBD.
Hill’s office said in July it is working on providing a legal opinion on CBD and will issue one in the “very near future.”
Messmer, who voted for the 2017 CBD law that created the registry, acknowledges the legislation likely wasn’t clear enough and needs to be clarified.
“The medical community and the ATC are probably going to make changes to how they view CBD oil only if directed by the legislature to do so,” Messmer said. “I don’t see that change happening without some direction from the legislature.”
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Famous holistic author, naturopath and researcher Ann Boroch was found dead in Los Angeles on Thursday, as the community of physicians seeking to operate outside the confines of Big Pharma continues to be decimated. She was 51.
Ann Boroch, the author of Healing Multiple Sclerosis and The Candida Cure, was famous for curing herself of multiple sclerosis at the age of 24, and remaining symptom free for over two decades.
Boroch was also outspoken on many issues including the dangers of vaccination, and she was actively campaigning for people to take control of their lives and reject Big Pharma’s crippling products in favor of natural healing. She believed that education is the most important tool to heal your mind and body.
Her sudden and unexpected death has left her family and supporters in such a state of shock that her cousin Lisa had to confirm on Facebook that the news was unfortunately correct.
From her official Facebook page:
“It is with a heavy heart we share with you that Ann Boroch, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. Many of you are familiar with Ann’s story…..
“Throughout her early 20’s, she battled Multiple Sclerosis. When traditional medicine provided no relief, she created her own self-help program and discovered that yeast and fungal toxins are the main culprit in autoimmune disease. By diligently maintaining a strict candida diet, Ann was able to cure herself of MS. Grateful for the healing triumph, she realized that it had become her mission to educate the public.
“Ann went back to school and became a naturopath, certified clinical hypnotherapist and certified nutritional consultant. After that, Ann opened her own practice in Los Angeles, and for almost 20 years has been the guiding light to healing for thousands of people around the world.”
Over 60 holistic doctors and researchers have been found dead in the past 18 months, most of whom died in suspicious and unsolved circumstances.
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Hello – thoughts from past Wendytheredhead
I wrote the following statement over 4 years ago. Sadly, it still remains true. Please know that I don’t want to tell anyone what to do but seek knowledge, live life, and just try and be a good person. My thoughts below are incomplete but I think some will be empathetic and compassionate to the message…
“I was trying to decide what to write about, if I should write anything at all, and should I explain a little about myself. I decided maybe I should. I am not claiming to be an expert on anything. I have way too many questions for the average person and have an overwhelming need to verify answers I do receive. Needless to say, I tend to piss off some people, or at least I am tiresome and annoying. That isn’t done intentionally though, but because I realize the history I learned in school is not fact based and most people only speak out of self interest. I find myself verifying most things I am told these days to the best of my ability. (and I can only assume many others do as well.)
The problem I have seen arise repeatedly in many media forums is that they are demonizing of the questioner. I was raised, and I am sure many of you share this mindset, that if you don’t ask the question – you can’t find the answer. So imagine my surprise, when I asked questions in a/some chatroom(s) and I was called a troublemaker, an instigator, toxic, and even that I was trying to destroy a network. All because critical, thoughtful questions are equivalent to attacks.
The above statement is obviously absurd to those with any common sense. Throughout history, those that put out information in any type of media welcomed questions. This interest was seen as an opportunity to further explain theories, ideologies, paradigms, and change others mindsets (or at least hope they may start thinking.) Most people that have knowledge or experts in a field want to share and do not mind questions.
It disturbs me that people in the “alternative media” want to put out the information, but few want to answer questions about it. They turn everything into a personal vendetta against the one just wanting a few answers. I never listened to a show or a network to bolster myself. I never tried to gain credibility where I had none. I never name-called, put out entrusted personal information or cyber-stalked people. I didn’t make a habit of sending private messages to people that were young enough to be my son or old enough to be my father.”
I only find it necessary to share these thoughts after an encounter with the “owner” and host of a network once again, very recently, attacked people in a chatroom. Of course, I was one. I’m a great target. I made mistakes but I did not lie about them. Unfortunately, this can not be said of the “man” I write about. We do not need a cult mentality or someone that causes division. We should be proud to be the free thinkers we are.
I’ve been taking a break but very interested in posting again. This world is in turmoil and it’s sad, scary, and sobering.
To those I follow…thank you for your dedication and work.
To those that follow me…I may want to shift. My beliefs are tried-and-true but others bring things to light and I don’t feel the need to replicate. I’ve spent about 4 years with a wonderful man that is still doing his blog and researching and bringing things to light which we appreciate.
I believe I want to focus on some positives in my blog. Maybe household tips, hacks, and things I learned from my family and through research. I also am interested in medical research, especially holistic and organic. The cannabis research that has been widespread as of late is of special and personal interest. I hope I may share things of interest to y’all. As a woman, I feel this may be needed and necessary to us all.
Thank you All,
INCONTROVERTIBLE is the first and only feature length documentary we have which portrays the frank and candid views of Police Officers, Firefighters and Soldiers as they express their grave concerns about the official explanation for the events of 9/11. The film is intended to act as a practical aid in combating the mainstream media’s propaganda and outright lies concerning the attacks on September 11th 2001.
This film is intended to be viewed by Police Officers, Firefighters and all those serving in the Armed Forces as they are the among the best placed members of our society to have the ability to change things for the better. If you have friends or family who are serving then please pass this film onto them.
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Source: Safe Versus Dangerous