Baby Given Shots Despite Parents’ Denial of Consent
Supporters have learned that “merely an hour after taking their baby,” vaccines were ordered at the Anniston Regional Medical Center for vaccines. This is despite the fact that Danielle and Christian Holm declined all vaccinations and “even signed a waiver form to deny consent of vaccination.”
The parents were reportedly heartbroken when they obtained paperwork showing the order for the shots that they had refused. Danielle has 3 bachelors degrees, including one in biology and another in psychology. She has researched vaccines and the Vitamin K shot in depth. She understands the physical risks of vaccination as well as the psychological impact of pain on the newborn. For these reasons, she and her husband made the decision to decline the injections.
Alabama law does not mandate either vaccinations or Vitamin K for newborns, so the parents are within their legal rights to refuse.
They Wanted as Close to Natural Birth as Possible
The expectant couple reportedly sought prenatal care and preparation along the way from midwives, doulas, ob-gyns, and lactation consultants. They researched and read and asked questions.
They considered seeking a midwife in Alabama, since they expected to be in the state when the baby was born, but they found information that told them that midwifery is illegal in Alabama. However, the only reference in the Alabama code to non-nurse-midwifery is in the section governing nurse-midwives, Al Code 34-19-3 (b):
(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall be construed as to prevent lay midwives holding valid health department permits from engaging in the practice of lay midwifery as heretofore provided until such time as the permit may be revoked by the county board of health.
There is no definition of lay or other non-nurse midwives, such as traditional midwives, in the Alabama statutes. Because of conflicting information in the media and online, the Holms did not know that having a traditional midwife was an option open to them. Instead, they prepared for an unassisted, husband-coached, natural lotus birth, planning to birth as closely to nature as possible.
When Danielle went into labor, they had been camping for several days at Cheaha State Park in Cleburne County, Alabama. After 2 days of labor, they reportedly became concerned about some bleeding and decided to call an ambulance, which took them to Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC). Danielle gave birth to a baby boy the next morning, and he was “perfectly healthy” according to a family friend.
Simple Lifestyle Conflicts with Standard Protocols
The couple wished to adhere to their religious beliefs and remain as natural as possible, declining any unnecessary hospital interventions. They agreed to allow eye ointment in their baby’s eyes, but declined the other typical interventions, including the hospital security band on the baby’s leg. They reasoned that, since there was never a need for the baby to be out of his parents’ sight while he was at the hospital, there was no need for the hospital security band. Danielle chose to breastfeed her baby.
The couple were able to bask briefly in the beauty of their new son, but their joy was short-lived.
The source close to the family reports that Danielle and Christian sensed that the hospital staff got a bit nervous when the parents declined a birth certificate and social security number for their baby.
There were 2 reasons for their declining the documents. Christian and Danielle felt that the naming of their baby is a spiritual experience. They wanted to wait to decide on a name for their baby until they first had time to bond with and get to know their baby to see what name would be the most appropriate. They also believed that the decision as to whether or not to have a social security number was one that should be left up to the child to make when he is older.
Because they sensed that the hospital staff was uncomfortable with their philosophy, which is rooted in their spiritual beliefs, the family friend states that Christian pro-actively decided to approach the hospital social worker “on his own terms,” to ensure that there were no issues and that they would be in compliance with applicable laws.
Instead of answering, the social worker reportedly left to seek more information. A short time later, she returned to their room with an intern from DHR, the Department of Human Resources, Alabama’s Child Protective Services. The DHR representative reportedly questioned the couple about their religious beliefs. The Holms reportedly stated that they wanted to “live as close to nature as possible, just like their native American ancestors.”
When Christian asked, “What is the most simple way we can live without being harassed?” the DHR worker reportedly told him she had never been asked that before, and that she would consult her supervisor.
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