ER Doctor Loses Custody of 4-Year-Old Daughter Because of COVID - Report
As they put themselves at risk in the fight against COVID-19, front-line medical professionals everywhere are taking measures to ensure the safety of their families.
An emergency room physician and single mother in South Florida who tested negative for the disease just this week didn’t get the chance to make a decision regarding her child’s safety before she lost custody of her young daughter.
WTVJ-TV in Miami reported that the 4-year-old usually equally splits time between her mother, Dr. Theresa Greene, and father, Eric Greene.
However, this week, Eric Greene requested an emergency order for sole custody of their daughter until the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
Circuit Judge Bernard Shapiro granted him temporary custody.
“In order to protect the best interests of the minor child, including but not limited to the minor child’s safety and welfare, this Court temporarily suspends the Former Wife’s timesharing until further Order of Court. The suspension is solely related to the outbreak of COVID-19,” Shapiro wrote in the court order, according to WTVJ.
Theresa Greene said she was shocked and hurt when she found out about the court order, calling it “cruel” to force her to choose between an oath she made to help people as a doctor and being with her daughter.
“How can you tell me because I’m divorced that I can’t come home — obviously I have to shower — but that I can’t come home and hug my daughter?” she told WTVJ.
“I was just shocked that the judge would take this stance without talking to medical experts and knowing the facts and take it so lightly, that he could just take my child from me and not think about that effect on her, and her mental and psychological well-being,” Greene said.
According to WTVJ, Shapiro tried to make it clear in his court order that the decision did not come easily but he felt that it was the right move for the well-being of the child.
The coronavirus has taken a toll in South Florida; as of Monday morning, there were more than 7,000 confirmed cases in Miami-Dade County with 97 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
But Theresa Greene said the ruling was very unfair.
“It’s really discrimination against divorced parents, and particularly I feel for the children,” the doctor told WTVJ.
She added that she is not the only health care worker experiencing stress beyond the coronavirus and her daughter is not the only child who is having to suffer through time away from her parent at the moment.
“I know I’m not alone. First responders, nurses, so many people in this position who, because they’re divorced, their children are suffering and they’re being told they can’t see them, and it’s just not fair,” Greene told WTVJ.
She said she believes medical professionals shouldn’t have to worry about coming home to an empty house after being put on the front line all day, and should be able to spend time with their families after taking the right precautionary measures.
Greene has filed an appeal and is hopeful that she will be reunited with her daughter soon.
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