White mom charged with ‘medical abuse’ for allegedly faking Black daughter’s disease

Sophie Hartman allegedly subjected her child to more than 500 appointments and surgeries to treat a disease she didn't have.

A Washington woman has been charged with “medical child abuse” for inflicting unnecessary medical treatment on her adopted Black daughter. 

Sophie Hartman is facing charges of second-degree assault of a child and second-degree attempted assault of a child after subjecting her unidentified daughter, who’s now six, to more than 500 medical appointments to treat AHC, a disease she didn’t have, for four years. 

Court documents say doctors in Washington have discovered the now-six-year-old adopted daughter of Sophie Hartman (above) has been given unnecessary medical treatment at the urging of her mother for four years. (Make-A-Wish Foundation)

The investigation into the woman was initiated by a doctor who told child services investigators he believed the girl was being given unnecessary medical treatment to treat the uncommon neurodevelopmental disorder AHC — for alternating hemiplegia of childhood — since she was two years old. At Hartman’s urging, the child had been subjected to significant surgeries, including a surgically implanted feeding tube, as well as a cecostomy tube, to flush her intestines, for no cause. She was also fitted with leg braces and a wheelchair despite the fact that she was able to walk, with the objection of several medical officials. 

A local news station claims an investigation into the Hartman girl’s case found that “a report co-authored by four medical professionals on the child’s care team, reviewed and signed by the medical director for Seattle Children’s Hospital, calls the risk to her child ‘profound.'” The state of Washington’s Department of Children, Youth and Families received the medical team’s report in February, and the Renton Police probe got underway.

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Hartman’s daughter, taken from her care in March, was placed under observation at an area hospital for 16 days. “At no point during her admission were there any findings or reported symptoms to support any of her prior diagnoses,” court documents state. “All the available evidence obtained during the course of her admission suggests” the girl “is a healthy young 6-year-old.”

According to Q13 Fox, the doctors maintain “This situation is a case of medical child abuse … It is not necessary to know the possible motivation of a caregiver, only the outcome of the behavior. It is my concern that this pattern has resulted in unnecessary medical testing, medication, procedures, surgeries and debility of this child.”

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Hartman and her daughter were awarded a wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation in 2018. The organization released a statement, in which they said they’re “deeply saddened and dismayed to learn about the alleged child abuse case involving one of our former wish families.”

“As a child-centered nonprofit, the health and well-being of our wish children is always of paramount concern to us,” their statement said. “We work very closely with medical professionals throughout the wish process — from approving wish paperwork to ensure the child is eligible for our program, to approving the wish itself so it is safe and appropriate given the child’s medical diagnosis. This is a very serious allegation, and any threat to the wellbeing of a child is not in alignment with the child-centered focus of our mission. We hope this matter is quickly remedied in the best interest of the child.”

Search warrants claim the girl’s AHC diagnosis was rooted solely in information Hartman gave them, including seizures that only she’d observed. Entries from Hartman’s diary reportedly mention previous times she’s been dishonest about being ill, even allegedly including one in which the 31-year-old writes about being “a compulsive liar/exaggerator.”

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