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Eye On Boise

Tue., July 24, 2012, 1:53 p.m.

Who paid for procedure performed on baby over parents’ objections?

Here's an interesting question about the forced spinal tap that St. Luke's performed on a 5-week-old baby in 2002 over her mother's objections, seizing custody of the child to do so: Who paid for the medical procedure? I posed that question today to the Michael Rosman, attorney for Eric and Corissa Mueller in the case at the center of a 9th Circuit appeal that was argued in Boise this morning.

"They tried to get the Muellers to pay for it," Rosman said. "The Muellers refused to pay for the procedures they didn't authorize." Eventually, he said, "St. Luke's agreed to accept the insurance alone," and forego any further payment from the parents.

Rosman, asked why his organization, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Individual Rights, decided to represent the Muellers pro-bono in the case, said, "This case struck us as a case in which individual rights were violated. The important right of parents to make medical decisions for their children in reasonable circumstances was violated."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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