“I think it’s not fair, it’s cruel to ask me to choose between my child and the oath I took as a physician,” Dr. Theresa Greene said. “I won’t abandon my team at work or the patients who will increasingly look to me to save their lives in the coming weeks, but it’s torture.

Dr. Greene is an ER physician in Miami.

Greene and her ex-husband have been divorced for two years. They have a daughter and split time with her evenly.

The ex-husband challenged the custody order. Circuit Court Judge Bernard Shapiro ruled that the child should stay with her father, Eric Greene, to limit the risk of exposure to coronavirus. Dr. Greene is appealing the emergency order granting full custody to her ex-husband.

Her ex-husband’s attorney produced an eloquent statement when this became a media story.

“We recognize and genuinely appreciate the sacrifices that she and all healthcare workers are all currently making to save lives and prevent further illness in Florida and around the world. The Greenes’ temporary timesharing dispute was presented before the Court based upon the specific facts of this individual family and a decision was reached based upon the best interests and safety of a minor child, limited to the temporary circumstances presented by COVID-19. The Court’s ruling was not intended to serve as a blanket rule, nor should it. Pursuant to Mr. Greene’s request and as ordered by the Court, Dr. Greene is to be provided future make-up timesharing for each day missed during this challenging time and daily video communication with the child. We will continue to pursue ways to resolve this delicate situation and believe that a result can be achieved safely and fairly.”

Well, that was nice, wasn’t it?

Greene uses personal protective equipment at work. She’s no stranger to the challenges and necessary precautions. Like most ER physicians, she disrobes in the garage or carport. She washes her hands religiously. And a gazillion other things she’s turned into muscle memory.

The court stated it based its decision on the welfare of the child.

Did it?

There are thousands of families where one or both spouses are treating COVID-19 patients. Their kids are not forced to live elsewhere. Some have, of course. But that is a choice. And the one demographic that seems to do OK is children.

In an ideal world, ex-spouses would cut each other some slack during a unique stressful time – like now. The Greenes managed to share custody without any ostensible headaches for two years. If this could haven been worked out without the courts, that would have been better. Now, this drama is playing out in the public eye. That can’t help.

Or can it?

No one really knows with certainty what goes on behind closed doors in any relationship. But now is not the time to throw salt on open wounds.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts below.

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Jeffrey Segal, MD, JD

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Dr. Jeffrey Segal, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Medical Justice, is a board-certified neurosurgeon. Dr. Segal is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; the American College of Legal Medicine; and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is also a member of the North American Spine Society. In the process of conceiving, funding, developing, and growing Medical Justice, Dr. Segal has established himself as one of the country’s leading authorities on medical malpractice issues, counterclaims, and internet-based assaults on reputation.

Dr. Segal was a practicing neurosurgeon for approximately ten years, during which time he also played an active role as a participant on various state-sanctioned medical review panels designed to decrease the incidence of meritless medical malpractice cases.

Dr. Segal holds a M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, where he also completed a neurosurgical residency. Dr. Segal served as a Spinal Surgery Fellow at The University of South Florida Medical School. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa as well as the AOA Medical Honor Society. Dr. Segal received his B.A. from the University of Texas and graduated with a J.D. from Concord Law School with highest honors.

In 2000, he co-founded and served as CEO of DarPharma, Inc, a biotechnology company in Chapel Hill, NC, focused on the discovery and development of first-of-class pharmaceuticals for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dr. Segal is also a partner at Byrd Adatto, a national business and health care law firm. With over 50 combined years of experience in serving doctors, dentists, and other providers, Byrd Adatto has a national pedigree to address most legal issues that arise in the business and practice of medicine.