Ethics: A Hard Case of Contempt

Elizabeth Morgan: Mother Courage or a paranoid liar?

To her supporters, including Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot and the National Organization for Women, she is Mother Courage personified. Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, 42, a plastic surgeon, has spent two years in jail -- without benefit of trial -- for civil contempt of court. Her offense: refusing to disclose the whereabouts of her daughter Hilary, now 7, to Washington Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr., who had ordered unsupervised visits with her ex-husband, oral surgeon Eric Foretich, 46, whom Morgan charges with sexually abusing the child.

To her critics, Morgan is a paranoid liar who has invented the rape charges out of...

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