Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director of the County of Los Angeles Dept. of Children and Family Services, is quite possibly one of the most fascinating celebrity doctors. The more that is learned about him, the more layers unfurl before a person’s eyes. For instance, besides making charming TV appearances on “Dr. Phil” and having some good advice about life on his old podcast, he was psychiatrist to spree shooter Elliot Rodger and has been accused of being involved in medical kidnapping.
This doctor is absolutely fascinating, not just because of all the bizarre circumstances that he finds himself in, but because he speaks with his whole body. There is a YouTube video of him being deposed on Jan. 16, 2015. On July 30, the video was posted by a website called “Medical Kidnap.” The group behind the website seems to be implying that the video is supposed to be evidence of Dr. Sophy’s involvement in medical kidnap. One commenter on the “Medical Kidnap” website noted this about the video of Dr. Sophy: “This doctor’s body language is illuminating.”
In the video, Dr. Sophy is being questioned by a lawyer about a specific DCFS case. A child was taken (otherwise known as a “medical kidnap”) by DCFS after the child’s mother was incorrectly diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy (translation: purposely making another person, typically a child, sick and then using the illness to gain attention). Purposely making a child ill is abuse, but the case being discussed in the deposition appears to be one of a genuinely sick kid with a mother doing everything in her power to make him well. Unfortunately, DCFS believed her to be a child abuser and took her child from her. Dr. Sophy uses a lot of body language in the video, especially as the deposition progresses, and he shows a range of emotions.
Regardless of whether or not this doctor is guilty of medical kidnapping, or even assisting in it, it is captivating when a doctor is so open with his body language. Doctors are often reserved and hold their cards close to their chests. Any attempt to crack open their armor results in disdain. Dr. Sophy is a bit more expressive.
Because the deposition video is nearly fifty five minutes long, discussing the whole video will be done in segments for this column. The upcoming first breakdown of the deposition will cover around the first ten minutes of the video, and the same length of time will be covered for further articles until the whole video is covered.
Another aspect of this video that makes it so interesting is that “Medical Kidnap” claims to have obtained the video after the lawyer who deposed Sophy posted it to YouTube. “Medical Kidnap” provides a link to the lawyer’s YouTube account, but the lawyer appears to have since removed the video. This aggressive move on the part of the lawyer makes the video even more interesting. It poses the question of what the lawyer was thinking and feeling about Dr. Sophy during the deposition.