Is poverty a crime? (The Public’s Health)

A SEPTA police officer takes Jeremiyah, 2, to CHOP after he was found wandering around LOVE Park late on Oct. 16, 2015. BILL NEWBOLD

By Cynthia Connolly, Kara Finck, Debra Schilling Wolfe and Cindy W. Christian

One story in Philadelphia recently captured a lot of attention. Just before midnight on a Friday two weeks ago, a SEPTA police officer found 2-year-old Jeremiyah wandering in LOVE Park, alone. He had no shoes and no coat, despite the fact it was one of the coldest nights of the fall season thus far. The officer contacted the city Department of Human Services; a worker took Jeremiyah to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation and subsequently placed him in foster care. A few hours later his parents, Michael Jones and Angelique Roland, who had been sleeping in a cardboard box with Jeremiyah and his 4-year-old sister, Malaysia, woke up. The parents panicked when they realized Jeremiyah was missing and contacted authorities. Within a few hours, Malaysia, too, was in the city’s care.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Is-poverty-a-crime.html#2KPUgYThqyKrTVRs.99

Life, liberty, and the right to infect others with measles: Rand Paul on vaccination

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tried to merge his medical training and libertarian philosophy last week. It was tough. (John Locher/AP)

By Jeffrey P. Baker, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky confirmed his membership in the “doctors who shouldn’t have gone into politics” club with his comments last week supporting the right of parents who don’t want their kids to be immunized. While acknowledging vaccines to be “one of the greatest medical breakthroughs that we have,” Paul asserted that they should be voluntary. He talked of “walking, talking, normal kids” who had been left with “profound mental disorders” after getting several vaccines at once, and admitted that he had used an alternative schedule for his own children.

Continue reading

Set aside ‘Little Orphan Annie.’ How do we really deal with Unwanted Kids?

Originally posted at The Public’s Health blog (Philly.Com).

By Cynthia Connolly, PhD, RN, PNP, FAAN

Americans prefer stories about our most vulnerable youngsters to have a happy ending, like the comic book character “Little Orphan Annie,” so popular that she returned as a musical and was recently remade into the move “Annie” It allows us to indulge in the fantasy that plucky orphans and foster children benefit less from governmental investment (one that might require increasing taxes and more infrastructure) and more from wealthy larger-than-life private citizen rescuers like “Daddy Warbucks” (the comic strip) or “Will Stacks” (the 2014 movie).

Continue reading