A divorced emergency room physician lost custody of her 4-year-old daughter after a Florida judge ruled the child's "safety and welfare" were compromised because of potential exposure to coronavirus due to the mother's occupation.
Dr. Theresa Greene told NBC News that her ex-husband, Eric Greene, asked for an emergency order for sole custody of their daughter -- who they had shared joint custody -- for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic and his order was granted.
"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 health care professionals," Greene said.
Despite testing negative for coronavirus and following the American Medical Association’s guidance for first responders and frontline physicians during this global health crisis -- which states that health care professionals can interact and live with their families if they take necessary health precautions -- Circuit Judge Bernard Shapiro ruled that the child's health is in danger and gave the father sole custody.
"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," Shapiro wrote in his ruling. "The suspension is solely related to the outbreak of COVID-19.”
“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 told NBC.
“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 added.
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