State Launches Investigation of Juvenile Home for Denial of Care to 14-Year-Old Boy
California officials this week launched an investigation to determine whether the state should revoke the license of a group home for juvenile offenders for denying care to a 14-year-old boy who lost sight in one eye, the Sacramento Bee reports. In a document filed on Tuesday with an administrative law judge, the Department of Social Services alleged that San Andreas-based Rite of Passage canceled two physician appointments for the boy, who had complained of eye problems, as a "form of punishment." After the cancellations, an ophthalmologist confirmed that the boy had a retinal condition, but surgery performed to save his sight failed (Brown, Sacramento Bee, 12/19). Lawrence Howell, executive director of Rite of Passage, said that the boy missed only one appointment. Howell added, "A doctor who looked at his case said his vision was headed that way anyway. Missing one medical appointment is serious, but we don't believe it deserves shutting the facility down" (Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, 12/19). However, the "seriousness" of the case has prompted the social services department to consider revoking the group home's license, the Bee reports. "The only time it gets to this point is when there has been a serious violation. Failure to provide medical services to clients should not happen," Blanca Castro, a spokesperson for the department, said (Sacramento Bee, 12/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.