We were already horrified at the news that famous pediatrician and bestselling author Dr. Melvin Morse was accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old stepdaughter. But the story just got worse: Police are reportedly saying they suspect Morse was actually experimenting on this girl when he waterboarded her!
Morse is well known for his work on near-death experiences in children. Police say the simulated drowning technique could bring a child to "a possible near-death state" -- not unlike the state children are in just after a cardiac arrest, which has been the subject of Morse's work. But why would you experiment on your own, helpless 11-year-old stepdaughter? Dr. Morse's troubled past and current turmoil could explain that.
Dr. Morse used to enjoy some celebrity status, with his best-selling book Closer to the Light and appearances on Oprah and Larry King Live. But when he contracted Hepatitis C in 1998 while treating children, he became too ill and disabled to continue working full time.
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From there Morse's is a sad story filled with alcohol and prescription meds abuse, divorce, and financial ruin. He is still struggling to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes. His divorce and custody battle stretched through 10 years. And he was the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission in 2006.
Morse says the police are just overreacting to the incident and that his stepdaughter has "oppositional issues" and a history of making things up. His lawyer says any talk about "experimenting" on his stepdaughter is "the sheerest of speculation."
Was Morse desperate to revive his career -- desperate enough to experiment on his own stepdaughter? If so, that's a rotten excuse! And we still have no explanation for why the girl's mother stood by and watched but did nothing.
Even more disturbing, the waterboarding incidents were uncovered only when police were doing a follow-up interview with the girl in response to another abusive incident. Allegedly Morse had grabbed her by the ankle and dragged her across a gravel driveway.
You would think a pediatrician who had spent decades treating children would have a more humane perspective on them. But just the opposite seems to have happened. For Morse, children may just be a meal ticket, so much unruly flesh to subdue in order to help him continue his "important" work.
Do you agree with the police's suspicion that Morse was trying to experiment on his stepdaughter?
Image via Delaware State Police