More information has been revealed about the boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert on Tuesday night.
The three-year-old was allegedly taken by his mother from the BC Children’s Hospital around 12:40 p.m. Monday. He was found less than 24 hours later with his mother in Alberta.
The Amber Alert was issued after police became concerned about the boy’s health and safety. He had been receiving treatment for a medical condition at the hospital in Vancouver before he went missing.
Police say the boy is now receiving care and the suspect has been arrested.
In an eight-minute video posted online last week, the boy’s mother appears to share details of a dispute with the Ministry of Children and Family Development over the medical care of her child.
The woman says she was refusing immediate medical treatment for her son’s bacterial infection, despite the doctor’s orders.
A family lawyer told Global News that parents have some rights when it comes to approving or denying medical care for their children but it’s not absolute.
“The government will step in when, again, in their opinion — and they do have a lot of discretion here — when in their opinion that the child is being harmed, neglected or otherwise abused because of the decision of their parent,” said Isaac Hill of Portside Law.
He added that it might be so extreme that full removal of the child from the home is required.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development said in a statement to Global News that the priority of every case is the safety and well-being of children.
“Any time concerns about a child’s safety are brought to the ministry, staff assess the situation and, if necessary, may take action if there is an immediate risk to a child’s health or safety,” the ministry wrote.
“This may include instances where a parent or caregiver may refuse medically necessary or life-saving care or treatment.”
If that happens, action could include delegated staff authorizing health care for a child under the care of the ministry if, “in the opinion of a health care provider, the health care should be provided without delay,” the statement ends.
No charges have been laid in the case.