According to officials, a white mother in Washington state forced her adoptive black 6-year-old to undergo multiple unneeded operations and over 470 medical treatments.
Sophie Hartman, 31, let her adopted daughter wear leg braces and have surgery to put in a feeding tube and a tube to clean the child’s intestines.
In a situation that medical professionals are dubbing “medical child abuse,” Hartman is now facing second-degree charges of assault on a child and attempted assault on a child.
Dr. Rebecca Wiester, director of Seattle Children’s Hospital, stated in a Feb. 19 letter that sparked an investigation by the Department of Children and Youth, “It is not necessary to know the possible motivation of a caregiver, only the outcome of the behavior.”
The letter, which stated that the child was in “profound danger,” was co-signed by several doctors and was included in the charging document from the King County prosecutor’s office, which was published by KING15 ABC.
Hartman was accused after the youngster, identified only by her initials C.H., was kept under observation for 16 days for a variety of diseases and treatments.
The charging statement, filed May 24, stated, “At no point during her admission were there any findings or reported symptoms to support any of her prior diagnoses.”
“All available evidence obtained during her admission suggests C.H. is a healthy young 6-year-old who would benefit from medical support being reduced and her childhood experience being normalized.”
With a July 2017 surgical insertion of a tube to bring food, drink, and medicine straight into the stomach, the youngster was compelled to undergo “increasingly invasive” treatments. She had a tube surgically implanted into her intestines to flush out her bowels in December 2018.
Prosecutors stated the child’s adopted mother had requested a surgical hormonal implant to prevent early puberty.
According to the prosecution documents, Hartman was told the child, who was removed from her care in March, didn’t need leg braces or a wheelchair, yet she continued to force C.H. to use them.
“Moreover, around this time, fundraisers were held, and the defendant used fundraiser funds to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle,” according to the affidavit.
While this was going on, she allegedly informed someone that C.H. could “leave us at any time,” and investigators said they discovered Hartman had done internet searches for “funeral songs” and “How to get paid to take care of a family member with a disability” following a court order.
Hartman told KING 5 in 2019 that she had adopted two sisters from Zambia, one of whom had alternating hemiplegia of childhood, a rare neurological disease (AHC).
Hartman remarked at the time, “I know she’s walking right now, but she was like literally paralyzed all day yesterday.”