This divorced mom is being penalized by the family court simply for being a doctor who is treating coronavirus patients.
Dr. Theresa Greene, an emergency room physician in Florida, has lost custody of her 4-year old daughter after her ex-husband was granted temporary sole custody. Her ex-husband, Eric Greene, filed an emergency petition for temporary sole custody “due to mother’s significantly heightened exposure to COVID-19” and the judge granted it.
Dr. Greene has tested negative for COVID-19.
In his decision, Judge Bernard Shapiro wrote, “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.” (Emphasis added)
The custody arrangement was suspended “solely” relating to the coronavirus outbreak, but when exactly will we return to normal? No one knows. Some people are floating 18 months to 2 years. Is Dr. Greene going to have the custody arrangement suspended for up to two years? That’s apparently what the court has said.
Dr. Greene now faces the choice of continuing to work on the front-line treating patients with coronavirus or being a mom to her young daughter.
“I feel like the family court system now is stressing me almost more than the virus, I mean this is a very stressful time for healthcare professionals,” Greene said.
Greene tested negative for coronavirus this week. Her four-year-old daughter splits her time equally between her mom and dad, but this week, the child’s father, Eric Greene, asked for and received an emergency order demanding sole custody until the pandemic is over…
…“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, take my child from me and not think of the effect on her, her mental and psychological well-being,” Greene said, explaining that all available evidence shows coronavirus usually does not strongly impact young children…
..“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 said.
Source: NBC Miami
Doctors are people too, and now this doctor is distracted and stressed dealing with a custody issue that she really shouldn’t have to face.
The American Medical Association(AMA) has guidelines for doctors and included in the recommendations that include thorough handwashing, changing out of work clothes, showering once a shift is over, and using separate dishes temporarily, it also says that completely isolating from family isn’t a great idea.
It might also be appropriate to “do a bit of judicious social distancing,” however, it is important not to “separate ourselves completely from our families,” said Dr. Rupp. “That’s just not something that’s necessary, nor do I think it is healthy for people’s mental health.”
During these hard times, a physician’s family is key to maintaining optimal mental health while facing the uncertainty of COVID-19 at hospitals, health systems or small practices. Learn about six ways to address physician stress during COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some of these emotional supports that people need and require are very important, and if we get into a situation where we’re expecting health care providers to come to work and then go home and be isolated,” said Dr. Rupp. “That is not going to be a healthy situation for anybody.”
“We’re all in this together, and we will get through this together,” Dr. Rupp said. “If we do the right thing over the coming weeks, we will be able to weather this storm.”
Source: American Medical Association
Yes, it is a toll on Dr. Greene, but what about the damage that this could do to a young child to suddenly be taken from her mother like that?
Dr. Greene says that when she became a doctor, she took an oath to help people and she takes that very seriously, so she’s going to continue to treat patients, but she’s also going to appeal the decision.
Godspeed, Dr. Greene, Godspeed.