This is one of those stories that should make every American—no matter which side of the political fence you’re on—take pause and re-think what “freedom” really means. And in this instance, it is the Russian community and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly trying to bring justice to a young family.
Anna and Alex Nikolayev, a young Russian couple living in Sacramento, California, took their 5-month old baby Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento when he exhibited flu-like symptoms. They became concerned about his treatment, and after being told Sammy would need open heart surgery, they decided to get a second opinion and took their baby to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento. After being given the care they needed, the hospital told them they could take their baby home.
But one day later, the police and Child Protective Services arrived to take Sammy away from his parents. He is currently in protective custody with the parents granted limited visitation rights.
I spoke by telephone to Assemblyman Donnelly, who is currently working with the family. This is his statement:
“This was a massive abuse of power, where the government came in and took away a couple’s child simply because they wanted a second opinion. The couple left the hospital without discharging; they went to the second hospital to get healthcare and were sent home with a diagnosis and treatment. The next morning the police came to their home with Child Protective Services and took their baby–no warrant, no due process, no day in court.
Right now, they still haven’t gotten their child back; they can visit but the government is in control of their child right now. I spoke to the director of the hospital as well as CPS–no one suspects the parents were abusive to their child.
They have no right to take your child away from you if they don’t like how you’re making your own healthcare decisions. This is a precursor of Obamacare where the government is making decisions for you. It took the Russian government getting involved, to embarrass this out-of-control agency to answer to the parents and to the people.
My office has sent a letter of inquiry and we intend to investigate and get to the bottom of this, including requesting an audit of Child Protective Services.”
I asked Assemblyman Donnelly how (and why) the Russian government got involved.
“Believe it or not the Russian community found out about this because of posts and articles on Facebook,” he said. “I called Saturday morning to see what was going on. Basically, people on Facebook—and the Russian community–are forcing the government to be accountable. I’ve been inspired by Russian immigrants who are writing to me, telling me they have already seen this happen in Russia and they are not going to let it happen here.”
This is the letter Donnelly sent to CPS. We will post more information about this story as soon as it’s available.