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The Wonder of the Nanny State

Posted by V the K at 3:51 pm - March 29, 2018.
Filed under: Big Government Follies

There’s a dentist’s office in Pennsylvania that will report you to Child Protective Services if they think you’re not keeping up with your appointments. I am not making this up.

Mom Trey Hoyumpa did not like the treatment she and her kids got at the Smiles 4 Keeps location in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. In a Facebook post she claims that the practice wouldn’t let her go into the patient area with her children, wouldn’t let her meet with the dentist, and diagnosed but wouldn’t treat more than one of her children on her visit. She decided not to go back. A few months letter she received this letter:

The letter says that neglecting a child’s dental care can be considered child abuse in Pennsylvania and that dental providers are required to report it to the state. It notes that the dental office has not yet reported the parent, but she should schedule an appointment to have her children seen ASAP or else.

The letter concludes: “To keep your child as healthy as possible and to avoid a report to state authorities, please call Smiles 4 Keeps immediately to schedule an appointment.” This is obviously going to be perceived as a threat.

This trend actually started under Obama, when the regime “suggested” that doctors start asking patients about gun ownership. (If your doctor asks you about gun ownership, I suggest lying.) But it is also a defining characteristic of communist regimes where neighbors are encouraged to spy on neighbors and children are encouraged to spy on parents.

This how societies become transformed from functional, high-trust societies into dysfunctional low-trust societies. Glenn Reynolds explains the difference:

In high-trust societies, people extend trust to strangers and follow rules for the most part even when nobody is watching. In low-trust societies, trust seldom extends beyond close family, and everybody cheats if they can get away with it.

It is hard to have trust and social cohesion when the state rewards people for snitching on their neighbors about things that are none of their business.




  1. As a PA-licensed professional myself*, I think she should file a formal, written complaint with the PA State Dental Board, …and the State or County Dental Association. Make no accusation, but state that she found it “objectionable” and “irregular”. Nothing may come of it, but it will be in his permanent file should other patients and parents make similar complaints.

    [* – I’m a Registered Architect, but there ARE professional and ethical standards all-round.]

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — March 29, 2018 @ 4:11 pm - March 29, 2018

  2. Loosely related. the KCMO school system (like most) furnishes breakfast to students and, I’m pretty sure, dinner to some.

    They also have a program where donated washing machines and dryers are installed at schools so students have access to clean clothes. My guess is that the kids do not operate the machinery themselves.

    And, of course, there are a million-and-one programs for “counseling” and you-name-it.

    A people that demands their rulers raise their kids shouldn’t be surprised that there are laws in place to make you eat your spinach… and people willing to leverage those laws to make a buck.

    Speaking of schools, where do they get these names?

    – African Centered Prep Elementary
    – Central Academy of Excellence

    Comment by KCRob — March 29, 2018 @ 7:10 pm - March 29, 2018

  3. Is this extortion?

    Comment by Conservative guy — March 29, 2018 @ 7:23 pm - March 29, 2018

  4. Parents are abdicating responsibility. They want others to raise their kids: the state, the schools. I know of a couple, both Ph.Ds. They dress their 3-year-old every night in the next day’s clothes, rather than pajamas, for him to sleep in. They literally wake him up, take him out to the car, drive him to nursery school. He’s half asleep, cranky, hasn’t had his teeth brushed, face washed, or hair combed, nor has he had breakfast. Why? “He fusses so much in the morning, doesn’t cooperate, so it’s just easier to give in and not make him do these things. Got to get to work on time!” It borders on child abuse, it places an extra burden on teachers, and it creates a little monster who thinks everyone should give in to his demands. How these parents are going to handle him when he’s a seething, I-hate-you teenager, who knows.

    Comment by JuJuBee — March 29, 2018 @ 8:50 pm - March 29, 2018

  5. Child Protective Services is a mighty presumptuous title for a government bureaucracy which is undoubtedly made up of “true-believers” and even zealots.

    People go to college and major in “social service.”

    Their “common sense” is “informed” by specialized degrees and theories and visions of a more perfect world.

    Meanwhile, mentally unstable people are permitted to do drugs on the library steps and sleep in the middle of the sidewalk. Highly informed common sense says it is some sort of individual right to pee on a restaurant window as diners dine.

    My experience with the social service world is that those who are dedicated and grounded are near saints. Those who are on a “mission” can be awful jerks and those who are in it for the pay check are true square wheels.

    A dentist who calls child protective services had best have a case to be made that ranks in the highest quarter of urgency. No one actually appreciates a dentist who guilt shames you or gets over hostile about flossing or whether you once ate a candy bar.

    There is a code of ethics for the ADA. Also, there is a code of ethics for Child Protective Services. If the dentist is some sort of crusader, it is perfectly OK for the Child Protective Services to send him a half ton of forms to fill out and then take their good old time reviewing them if he actually fills them out.

    The problem is that there is always the possibility of two fools meeting and being on the same wave length. That is when appropriate supervisory intervention is needed. Unfortunately, both the dentist and the Child Protective Services agents are largely left to their own devices so long as they don’t make waves for those higher up.

    Many social welfare agencies operate out of the same service manual that guides the DMV.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 30, 2018 @ 10:35 am - March 30, 2018

  6. Child protective services are necessary for actual cases of abuse or extreme neglect (and while I think some forms of medical neglect are serious failing to keep a dental appointment at an office you didn’t like isn’t among them).

    I grow more concerned with the CPS abuse of power when they remove children from their homes or even open cases for things that aren’t abusive or neglectful.

    Our government is power hungry and government employees enjoy their power too much.

    Comment by Just me — March 31, 2018 @ 10:26 am - March 31, 2018

  7. Concur with Ted B. I’d suggest naming names (dentist, office manager, hygienist ) in a physical letter, not email. Put them in the system. I’d think at the least that would make people nervous. This stuff works both ways.

    Comment by Blair Ivey — March 31, 2018 @ 5:36 pm - March 31, 2018

  8. Martin Dentistry in Johnson City Tennessee is somehow sending me commercials that self-launch on my mobile phone. The latest started at 11:40pm tonight.

    Comment by The Gentle Grizzly — March 31, 2018 @ 11:50 pm - March 31, 2018

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