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March 10, 2008

Other Social Issues

Question from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA:

I have an 8 year old child with type 1 diabetes. His mother and I are divorced. She has primary physical custody. My child's sugar levels are out of control. His A1c always comes back in range because his daily blood sugars fluctuate from 30 mg/dl [1.7 mmol/L] to 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L]. His doctor is concerned and has tried education sessions with his mother several times. I want to know since this has been going on for several years, should I push the doctor to call Child Protective Services? Or, is there a way to get the doctor involved with changing custody?

Answer:

You have asked a difficult question. Do you attend your child’s medical visits as well? If not, you may want to start attending medical appointments. Then, you could tell your child’s doctors your concerns and make sure that you are receiving the same information that your child’s mother is receiving. It sounds unusual to me that the A1c would be in range if the blood sugars are fluctuating up over 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L].

If your child’s doctor is worried that your child is being medically neglected, then your child’s doctor is mandated to contact Child Protective Services. I am assuming your child’s doctor would not want to get involved with deciding who should have custody of your child, though. If you would like to challenge the custody arrangement, I would discuss this with your attorney.

DB