CHILDREN Suffering at the Margins of Medicine

Our healthcare system is faltering, and it’s hurting our most vulnerable population—our children. Kids with rare diseases whose care is too complicated for today’s cookie-cutter medicine are being tossed around from specialist to specialist, isolated, abandoned, and sometimes accused of psychological disorders or of faking their illness. Often they live with chronic daily pain, but are unable to get treatments they need because their conditions are considered too complex. Many of these kids share a common connective tissue disease which creates multi-systemic challenges for physicians. This results in a maze for families to navigate the medical system, the school system, and even Child Protective Services, as parents who push for answers can unwittingly find themselves suspects of medical child abuse and may risk losing custody of their children. On the other side, medical gatekeepers must make difficult decisions and remain vigilant of drug-seeking or attention-seeking behaviors, or worse, of psychological or physical abuse.

COMPLICATED takes the viewer into the hidden world of children coping and trying to live their lives with rare, complex and invisible illnesses, parents facing impossible choices to help them, and providers who dismiss them as "too complicated" or risk it all to save them.

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Andy Abrahams Wilson

Associate Producer
Sue St. Pierre