Blog Post

Outrage Grows Over Justina Pelletier Case

The story of 15 year-old Justina Pelletier, who was taken away from her parents more than a year ago and recently placed into foster care, is catching fire across the nation with angry citizens demanding that the girl be returned to her parents.

According to The Blaze, Justina Pelletier was diagnosed a few years ago with mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes that can cause loss of muscle coordination and weakness. In spite of the condition, she was able to live a normal life until last February when she caught the flu and was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) to see her specialist.

This was when the family's nightmare began.

A team of doctors at BCH questioned Justina's diagnosis of mitochondrial disease and decided she was suffering from a mental illness known as somatoform disorder. This is a mental disorder in which a person experiences real pain which cannot be traced to a medical condition. Doctors came in and told the Pelletiers that they could not take Justina out of the hospital and promptly called child protective services.

The next thing they knew, they were being escorted out of the building by hospital security. Four days later, they lost custody of their daughter.

This radical move was made because doctors believed the Pelletiers were subjecting their daughter to all kinds of unnecessary medical care and cited Justina's "regressive behavior" and the parents "resistance" to recommended treatment plans.

This is in spite of the fact that Justina's doctor, Dr. Mark Korson of Tufts Medical Center, was working closely with the family in her care. Although Tufts would not let him speak with the media, the Pelletier's released an e-mail sent from the doctor to their attorney:

“I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs. … The (Boston Children’s Hospital) team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch,” Korson wrote in the email.

The Pelletiers have been fighting to get her back ever since.

The most recent court action occurred yesterday when a judge in a Massachusetts juvenile court ruled that Justina be placed into foster care. Justina's mother, Linda, apparently collapsed at the scene and had to be treated at a nearby hospital.

Even though a gag order was imposed on all parties in the case to keep the details out of the press, Justina's father, Lou, decided he'd had enough and did an extensive interview last week with Fox News' anchor Megyn Kelly in which he told the whole story. The interview sparked a national outcry and has touched off numerous campaigns to pressure officials to return Justina to her family.

Just after yesterday's controversial ruling, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, speaking on behalf of the Pelletier family, announced that a national coalition to Free Justina would be holding a prayer vigil and public witness at noon on Saturday, March 1 at the facility where Justina is being held.

Grassfire.com has launched a petition drive to free Justina which will be sent to Mat Staver of Liberty Council who is representing the family in court.

Visit the new Facebook page, "Miracle for Justina", which has been hosted by a nonprofit fund dedicated to helping to get Justina home to her parents.

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