Meadows....Should he have been struck off, by Bunglie.(49 Posts)
I thought that the most useful thing that I could do is to repost my story again. I realise that many of you 'know' my name but you do not know why I was so happy to have my son comwe to stay for example, so he is the first post I ever made on Mumsnet.
By Bunglie on Tuesday, 20 January, 2004 6:30:10 PM
I am a mother of two, 15 years ago I was accused of having Munchausens-Syndrome-By-Proxy. I had to go through a criminal trial at which I was acquitted, with 'No case to answer' and as a result I had my children removed, made wards of court and finally adopted. They were 2 and 3 when they left me, I was given contact that I maintained twice weekly for 2 years and then the court released them for adoption, they were adopted when they were 6 and 7 years old. I was lucky and was granted an 'open' adoption. My son is 18 now but they have new names and I am no longer on their birth ctificates. I have since been proven not to have Munchausens or Munchausen-by proxy. The man who insisted to the social services that I had it was Professor Roy Meadows. He never interviewed me, my doctors or even saw any of my medical records. he wote his report based on an interview with my step-mother and a social worker. I know I was not imprisoned like some poor women as I was acquited, but the wardship hearing is a civil hearing, in private and done on the 'balance of probabilities'. I was naive, I thought I would get my children back and that it was a ghastly mistake. I was wrong. My children are beautiful and I love them, but they have had problems with their adopted parents. Up until a few weeks ago I never told anyone about this as I had been labled and was ashamed and thought that people would believe that I had this illness (I knew nothing about it at the time as it was a new thing). I now know that I am not the only person in this situation. What do I do now, is there anyone I can tell my story to so that I can right this wrong? I hear about the women being released from jail, but what about people like me? Professor Meadows evidence destroyed my life but more importantly he has destroyed my childrens lives. I am glad that it has been shown that he was not correct in a lot of cases but I do not feel vindicated. I do not want revenge or anything I just want someone to know the truth. I would never hurt my children and he made me out to be a liar. I have a very rare illness (only 14 people in the country have it) and at the time it had not been diagnosed, it has now, but for 5 years I could not get any treatment as the doctors thought I had this Munchausen Syndrome. Based on that it was then stated that I must have had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy as my little girl developed an illness and I was accussed of causing it. She is fine now but at the time I believed in the social services and that they would not take my children away. I think the government, not the General Medical Council should hold an enquirey as to how this man destroyed so many lives for so long. Is there anyone in the same position as me, who can help?
Now I have every reason in the world ro hate this man, and I mean hate a word I would not normally use and I am embarrassed to admit that this is the way I feel.
Now that he has been struck off, the last year of paying solicitors and getting a case together, which involved an application to the Royal Courts of Justice, (RCJ) seems to have been for nothing.
I can not explain to you the trouble yjat people had gone to in order that I had a chance to have "my day". I do not know what I expected from it but what I do know is yhat I feel cheated and I can not find closure. My DS in a way has made my feelings more intense, when he asks "why did he do it" what do I say? I did tell him that I he probably thought he was right in his views and was too narrow minded to see that others disagreed. But he does not except that explanation because I had many, many, doctors as expert witnesses and the Judge chose to ignore them all.
The hit that hurts most is in his judgment, this is not word verbatamum, but it is just about what he said....
Epilepsy has only played a small part in this case I feel that it would be a kindness to tell the children and the prospective adoptive parents that it is because of the parents epilepsy that they are unable to live with them, without deceit.
As you know my children were given letters telling them that I had Munchausens-Syndrome-bty Proxy (MSBP) and that I had tried to murder my daughter.
I feel very lucky that my son did not like the AP's and I think this has had a lot to do with him trying to find out the truth and making contact with my dh and I again.
There is no defense against MSbP, you can never win, and yet they gag you so you are unable to tell anyone what has happened and your children are gone...forever.
I will never forget the pain of the day I heard the Judge say..."Released for adoption". I was told I was lucky because he had ordered an 'open' adoption. The Adoptive parents persuaded the Judge at the local county court that t6his was not necessary and they would maintain contact with us. The Judge believed them. I have fought foe every access visit, and often I have not seen them for over a year with the excuse, 'We forgot, we have been so busy'
Bunglie, is there anything you can now do, to get your case out into the open?
Bunglie, I didn't know this.
I have nothing constructive to say except that I am truly sorry that you have suffered like this.
I am so sad for you and your children. I hope that you continue to get the support you need on MN.
As for Meadows...should he have been struck off....? In my opinion they had to because they knew what was coming if he was not struck off. My case was one of many and we are all still a bit numb, but I have spoken to several solicitors who just say..."That is the end of it". It is only the end of it as regards Meadows and the GMC, I do not know if we can all affrd a private prosecution against this man....or any of the other suggestions put forward.
I Would ask you to write to your MP and ask for a parliamentary enquirey. I know they say that there will be one but I am now a bit sceptical especially after Margaret Hodges promise to relook at cases where diputed medical evidence was the cause for the children being removed. I still do not understand why my case did not fit in her remit, but I know of no case that did!
The other thing that you can do is watch the MAMA DVD. It has the last known interview with Meadows on it, (In the extras at the end!, I know that there were 5 or 6 in circulation and Janh has stamps and envelopes etc to send it to you free to watch. All I ask is that you pay the return postage to Janh. Anyone know where they are at the moment?
Link to MAMA DVD thread
Dejags - thank you I am posting this again because I became aware that many Mnetters did not know 'my story. I just want you to know that there are hundreds of women with worse stories.
I do not say child abuse does not exist, It clearly does and those responsible should be called to account for their actions. In MSbP you are penalised for being too careing, and in most cases involving doctors like Meadows, Southall and Paul Davies, they are so convinced that there is not a physical cause for the childs illness and you loose your child before you can proove that you were right.
Caligula - The problem is that we can't speak out, we are 'gagged' by the courts and threatened with prison...I was recently reprimanded for telling my M.P. whi I thought had privilidge and was allowed to know!
There are things that we can do like go to the European court for human rights for example. I think I need to re-evaluate my situation, work out what I want and then find a way of doing it. does that make sense?
Finally I am aware that the AP's are reading what I post on this site...so "Hello".
Bunglie, I'm so sorry. It is awful and tragic and disgusting what this man did to you and your family. I will write to my MP, indeed. Is there anyone campaigning for justice for all the women wrongly accused? Is there a site you can link to?
Why is it the end of it simply because he's been struck off? Surely those people who have been affected by Meadows and not been able to get a satisfactory outcome deserve to have their cases heard? Sorry if that sounds extraordinarily niave, but I really don't understand why the fact that he has been struck off would automatically mean that no more cases against the man could be heard. It seems like a phyrric victory really.
WWW, the following site is one of many sites which are devoted to fighting MSbP. However in my opinion this is the best one, although sometimes the posters are a bit radical. You will get all the facts you want from here.
The site is called MAMA, and it is what the DVD film is based on. So if you would like to read about the DVD you can here.
I don't understand that either Bunglie, it's outrageous if so. Is there really nothing that can be done? I will have a look at that site later, thanks for the link.
WWB - What is a Phyrric (or something like that!) vitory?
It is the end of it because he would have had to answer to the GMC for his actions in all of the cases that were waiting for him, by people like me. Now he has been struck off he is not a Doc. and so the GMC can't touch him.
Remember he has not been struck off for his theories about his syndrome, MSbP, or his views on cotdeath, do you remember Meadows Law? He was struck off because he was not a statician and the statistics he used were wrong! I think I am right but I may be wrong, so please do correct me anyone.
But struck off or not, surely he has to answer cases against him, and as he came under the auspices of the GMC while he was pracising, they should be able to take action against him?
A phyrric victory is a hollow one, Bunglie, where the victor's losses are as great or greater than the person they have had the victory over.
I had never heard of your story until I read it below. Thank you for sharing it with us. That took a lot of courage.
No, you weren't imprisoned, instead you are your children were robbed by Professor Meadows in the worst way possible. And he's never expressed any remorse or apologised.
I'm afraid there is no vindication in this life for what he did to people - to families.
By telling your story, you are getting the truth out there.
Again, thanks for sharing.
I feel that you need a happy story ....one that Mumsnetters should be very proud of.
2 Mnetters, Cheeseball and Spudbrain, or Cheesy and Spudy had both had their children taken away at birth due to this man, They have found each other, live now on the same housing estate and on top of that it was Mumsnet that gave them both the courage to get out of the abusive situations that they were in. They can offer support to one another now and are happy for the first time in their lives (they trll me)
Mumsnet really is a life saver and I believe it's members can move mountains, I have so much respect for you all, Thank you
Thanks for the definition WWB. Yes it is a phyrric victory. I believe as do many others that they struck him off now so that the GMC could then wash their hands of him and the cases waiting in the pipeline for him to answer can not be heard because they were questioning his conduct as a doctor, he is no longer a doctor so not the GMC's problem.
I think that is correct but I do agree with you WWB.
That is quite extraordinary, that the GMC can do that. In fact it's outrageous. So who can take action against this wretched man then?
Yes, I think you're right - it sounds as if the GMC felt they could escape further cases by striking him off. It's bl**dy disgusting.
Surely there is some way you can prosecute this man? They can't have it both ways - you can't be gagged and refused the opportunity to have your case heard.
We can take out a private prosecution...chances are he will not be around by the time it comes to court and the other problem is money....there are many solicitors who will take your case but trhey want your money and as it would be a civil case forget about legal aid or anything.
There is something in the pipeline but I would rather not mention it here because I know that my children's AP's read what I write!
Anyone that has read what has happened to you and your children can never forget it bunglie.
I think about you and about others that have gone through what you have a lot, and was incredibly moved to read your thread about your son coming to stay with you.
Will write to my MP.
WWB you have put it in a nutshell.
Yes, we can and are gagged and no we can not even get the local authority to review cases as Margaret hodge said in her remit, that she presented to the House of Commons. I think it was about March/April last year.
What I want to do is get it across to people that this did happen to thousands of women and this is not an exageration. We are gagged and several have broken the gagging order.
For example let's say that you WWB were a reporter and you printed my story you would be in contempt of court. There are cases of Journalists (I bekieve) but certainly people who have tried to help mothers have found themselves inprisoned. That is why I ask you all to watch the DVD, and tell your MP and anyone you can think of who will believe you.
Bunglie, what should we write to our MP's? That we want an enquiry into the MSBP? What is happening about Margaret Hodge's announced review?
Bunglie, as an aside, am I right in thinking that Magaret Hodge is no longer childrens minister? She is my MP, and I looked into her a few weeks ago and it seemed she had been shuffled during the election. Is that correct? If not I will happily contact her.
Flossam, I have no idea, but it is good news if she has been 'shuffled'.
I am sure someone like Aloha, Lunarsea or Edam will know, In fact I am sure that everyone knows except for me!
With regards to a letter let me have a think about it. Someone wrote an excellent one a good few months back, I will see if I can find it and if it is still appropriate...
Bunglie, how do the APs know about mumsnet? Eww.
Margaret Hodge is now in Work & Pensions.
Beverley Hughes is Minister for Children.
Full list here
I will happily write to my MP, but I am really bad at these sort of letters. Anyone on here who can type up a suggested format for thickos like me to work from, please?
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