Hospital separates newborn from parents when they all test positive for COVID-19
MONTREAL, Canada, March 25, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A newborn baby was taken away from her parents against their wishes, and put in isolation for ten days, in what the hospital claims is an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Previously, both the parents and the child had tested positive for COVID-19.
Little Olivia Santos Sforza, the daughter of Brazilian Geovana Silva Rodrigues dos Santos and Italian Sebastiano Sforza, was born on March 15 at the Pierre Boucher hospital in Longueuil, Quebec. Sebastiano told LifeSiteNews that although his wife’s pregnancy was normal, Olivia was born prematurely, at 36 weeks.
Mother and baby were immediately separated and never reunited because, upon being admitted to the hospital, Geovana was forced to take COVID-19 test, which came back positive.
“The baby, five hours after birth, was transferred to the CUSM [McGill University Health Centre] in Montreal, this facility supposedly better equipped for performing the tests necessary for the baby’s condition,” Sebastiano told LifeSiteNews by email. “Geovana, having received a positive result from the Covid test, had to stay at home for ten days from March 15.”
“I also took a test that came back positive, and so I was also confined to the house. Thus, unfortunately, our baby has had no contact with her parents, above all her mother, since she was born.”
As Olivia, too, had tested positive for the virus, she is in isolation. Her parents have begged the McGill University Health Centre to allow Geovana to stay isolated with her baby in the hospital, but CUSM’s response was that this was impossible, as there was no isolated room with toilet facilities. Sebastiano found this difficult to believe, given Canada’s status as a first world, fully-developed nation.
“What we object to is that after a year of managing the Covid situation, there are no isolated rooms available for a mother and her child to be together at this crucial stage so important for the well-being of a new-born, especially when premature,” the father said. “You never separate a baby from her mother at birth. It’s incomprehensible to us that you can’t find an isolated room with a toilet in modern health facilities in a country like Canada.”
As the ten-day isolation period will end tomorrow, Sebastian is now concentrating on a lawsuit against the hospital for robbing him and his wife of their daughter’s precious first days and for putting the baby’s health in danger by robbing her of qualities the couple believes are essential for her life, but are “totally ignored” by the hospital: encounter, spirituality, physical contact, and mother’s milk, among other things.
“Legally, and as a parental responsibility, we were placed in a situation of helplessness, discrimination and disrespect,” the father told LifeSiteNews.
Meanwhile, Sebastian and Geovana are forced to consent to various aspects of Olivia’s treatment from afar and via WhatsApp. The father feels frustrated that he has to make decisions without being on the spot, and he feels that the medical staff is not adequately answering his questions. Part of the problem, Sebatian thinks, is that he and his wife do not share the “dominant narrative” around COVID-19.
“We cannot tolerate that we and any other family in our situation should be treated in this way,” he stated.
Sebastiano added that Olivia will have to stay another week or more at the hospital, but at least her parents will be able to see her tomorrow. The father, who is a spiritual teacher and meditation instructor strongly influenced by Buddhism, regrets that this will be in an atmosphere of terror.
“We will have to see [Olivia] at the hospital, obviously with all the necessary security measures and in an atmosphere of people terrified by an unknown evil, but at least we will finally be with her,” Sebastiano said.
Georges Buscemi of Campagne Vie-Quebec told LifeSiteNews that he believes the government’s exploitation of the COVID-19 epidemic is hurting ordinary people
“I’m having difficulty verbalizing my disgust and outrage at hearing stories like these,” Buscemi told LifeSiteNews by email. “I firmly believe that this coronavirus issue has been overblown to a ridiculous level, for reasons that remain obscure, but which probably involve monetary gain by the pharmaceutical industry and the institution of a new form of social and political control under the pretext of health.”
“What angers me the most is to see that the phony claim of an especially deadly plague is done on the backs of regular people trying to live their lives. To drum up fear, the state instrumentalizes the health system and treats young parents and even their babies as mere puppets in its sordid, fear-mongering play. I am deeply ashamed of our government and health system right now.”
A spokeswoman for the hospital told LifeSiteNews via email that hospital visits with “Covid-19 symptoms” put patients at risk
“As you know, the hospital is limited in what it can disclose because of patient confidentiality,” said CUSM’s public relations officer Stefanie Tsirgiotis. “Its number one priority is always the safety of its patients and staff and visiting the hospital with Covid-19 symptoms puts them at risk.”
Tsirgiotis added that anyone who is admitted to the Montreal Children’s Hospital needs “the specialty care and resources of a tertiary-care hospital.”
“Any baby or child who is well enough to be discharged, will be discharged (even if the child or the child’s family is Covid-positive),” she stated.
Sebastiano Sforza has stated earlier that he and his wife are asymptomatic. Now he is impatient with the hospital’s excuses. The hospital has had a lot of time to prepare for such eventualities as mothers of new-borns testing positive for COVID-19, he told LifeSiteNews. “It is the same mechanical response that is still unacceptable to me in general but especially after a year of the pandemic.”
“The risk of contagion is not a justification for separating people. Where there is a desire to respect fundamental conditions for children and their parents, solutions can always be found,” he added. “But it is impossible to find solutions where the will and respect are lacking and there is discrimination instead.”
Sebastiano contrasted the hospital’s cautious attitude regarding hospital visitors with the cheek-by-jowl conditions on Montreal’s subway system.
“I would like to know if the nurses come to work on the metro [subway] and if they infected us, seeing that at both the first and the second hospitals they remembered the [hygienic] measures only after the results of the test, and not before,” he said.
To respectfully make your concerns known to the hospital, please contact
The Delegate to the Ombudsman, Stéphanie Urbain
514-412-4400, ext. 22223
The Montreal Children's Hospital, Room A RC 2002
1001 Boulevard Decarie
Montreal, QC H4A 3J1