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My client was denied the right to be treated with dignity

Patricia Villagomez
August 20, 2004

Please forward this to any Iranian or American newpapers company.

I am a Registered Nurse in Orange County, southern California. I am trying so hard to advocate for my Iranian client. They accused her of being suicidal, but she did nothing. She wrote a note, but it was misinterpreted. They didn't give her an interpretor to find out what the problem was. My client isn't crazy, psychotic, or a drug abuser. She has been evaluated by a clinical social worker, a psychologist, and a registered nurse (me). We all believe she is being treated unfairly.

They told her at the hospital that she needed a secerean so that the medication wouldn't cause the baby harm. They never gave her any medication. The Social Services Agency has taken her baby away, a few days after it was born.

Now they are treating her very badly. I'm afraid for her baby's life also.

Please read:

The Social Services Agency alleged that my client intended to harm her unborn baby by allegedly attemping suicide. The newborn boy was removed shortly after birth, placed in an emergency shelter home where he developed a severe case of thrush, a bleeding diaper rash, and neurological impairments. The newborn was then transfered to another foster home where he devloped severe respiratory compromise and had to be hospitalized at CHOC six days later.

The birth mother, my client, was denied the right to have an advocate of her choice (a County of Orange Registered Nurse) accompany her to the monitored one-hour visits with her baby. In addition, my client was denied the right to breastfeed, bottle feed, take pictures, and change the baby's diaper during these one-hour monitored visits.

My client was denied the right to attend her baby's medical evaluations with pediatricians and specialists. My client was denied the right to know and understand the conditon of her infant, treatment, plan of care, medical follow-up, and denied the right to participate in the making of these medical decisions. My client was denied the right to obtain in writing, in her native language, a copy of her rights, expectations, or responsibilities regarding the involved Social Services program. Finally, my client was denied the right to be treated with dignity.

My client has been in the U.S.A. approximately 3 years. She was born in Iran, raised in Iran, and primarily speaks Farsi. She also speaks some English, Greek, and Arabic. Her speach is comprehensible most of the time, but her comprehension of the English language is limited, and she frequently uses a Farsi to English dictionary. At times, she has difficulty verbalizing, and under duress, one would have increased difficulty.

My client, who was nine months pregnant on July 10, 2004, with a due date of July 17, 2004, had been suffering from heart ache since the discovery of her pregnancy. The father of the baby did not want to continue their relationship after she had gotten pregnant and she was heart-broken. The strain of the relationship and the pregnancy cause my client to suffer occasional "panic attacks" or "anxiety attacks."

On July 10, 2004, my client went to Newport Beach to clear her mind, relax, and be at peace with herself. She reported that she waded in the water from her chest to her knees and finally sat in the sand at the edge of the water, relaxing and thinking of the life she will make with her baby. After a short while, she left the water and layed in the sand close to the lifeguard tower. Then it hit her: an "anxiety attack."

She began to breath deeply and lay still. A concerned female noticed her distress and asked if she needed help. She called the lifeguard to the scene who provided my client with oxygen. The lifeguard then called for the paramedics. While the paramedics provided assistance, they found a note in her purse, and they gave this note to the Hoag Hospital staff upon arrival.

The erroneous interpretation of this note, the construed reports by the Social Servies Agency, and the complete disregard for my client's cultural diversity and language barrier led to the downward spiral and the destruction of a loving family.

Many thing have happened since, but it takes me so long to write it.

My client's first date of trial is August 24, 2004 at Orange county Family Court. Please call if you can help or provide support: 714-720-1783.

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