Former Children's Wisconsin ER doctor charged with abusing his daughter after fellow doctors raised concerns
Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A former emergency room doctor at Children's Wisconsin Hospital has been charged with physical abuse of his newborn daughter eight months ago, a case that has drawn national attention and divided some staff at the hospital.
John M. Cox, 39, and his wife, Sadie Dobrozsi, a pediatric oncologist at Children's, have mounted a vigorous defense that includes more than a dozen experts who question the conclusions of the couple's colleagues at Children's. They have not seen the girl, who they were in the process of adopting, since she was taken into state custody in May.
Cox's story was first reported Monday by NBC News and the Houston Chronicle, which have been investigating child protection services, mistaken abuse accusations and family separations in Texas.
Cox's lawyer said in court Tuesday that some child abuse team doctors at Children's had asked colleagues to alter their own reports to better support abuse findings in some cases.
Children's Wisconsin released a statement that preventing child abuse is part of its core mission and that it can not comment on Cox's case, which does not involve care he provided to a hospital patient, and that he didn't see patients after the allegations arose.
In a statement to its own staff Monday, and shared with the Journal Sentinel on Tuesday, the hospital said it stood by the quality of its child abuse pediatrics team, which it called one of the best in the country.
The statement went on to say that "we believe it critically important that we honestly and transparently investigate the concerns raised in the NBC story and we will do so" and urged employees with concerns to use a confidential compliance helpline within the hospital.
A judge Tuesday heard the state's request to limit continued disclosure of confidential medical and Child Protective Services information that was part of the NBC story.
Circuit Judge Stephanie Rothstein warned all the lawyers about any further disclosure or public comments about the same information and said she would be issuing a written protective order.