Teen Kept in Hospital in State Custody Against Parent’s Will

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A teen girl in Massachusetts is being kept in a hospital against her parents wishes and will remain in state custody according to a recent ruling handed down by a judge.

The girl – Justina Pelletier – has spent the better part of the last year in Boston Children’s Hospital in a locked psychiatric ward. She came to the hospital in February when she had the flu. According to her parents, doctors accused the couple of medical child abuse which is an allegation they strongly oppose.

Justina was originally diagnosed with Mitochondria Disease but soon after admission, new doctors disagreed with the diagnosis and believed that she instead had a mental disorder which is why she was sent to the psychiatric ward. Her parents disagreed to the dismay of the hospital and within four days, Lou and Lina Pelletier no longer had custody of their daughter. They were asked to leave the hospital and were accused of medical child abuse.

From the Boston Gobe who has reported heavily on the story:

The Globe obtained records showing that they believed the girl was getting a series of needless medications and treatments, and that the parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier, were blind to her severe psychiatric needs. The parents had a pattern of combative behavior with staff when they were displeased, records show. They had been investigated once before by the Connecticut child welfare agency for allegations related to Justina’s medical treatment. That case was ultimately dismissed.

The core part of the battle is in the struggle between the hospital’s insistance that the parents have provided negligent treatment to their daughter while the parent’s cite other renowned physicians who agree with previous treatments they have administered to their daughter.

Beth Maloney, a lawyer and activist for these types of cases said, “Boston Children’s defines mitochondrial disease differently than Tufts [Medical Center, another facility where Justina received treatment], and they’re going to prove that Tufts is wrong.”

Philip Borden of the Mitochondrial Disease Action Committee said, “I think this is an incredibly important case. I think its unfortunate what has happened with Justina and her family.” He went on to say, “Mitochondrial disease is poorly understood both my clinicians and the broader community.”

Lou Pelletier – Justina’s father – had strong words for Massachusetts who’s custody his daughter remains in: “It’s a [expletive] corrupt state” as he left the courtroom.

The judge is weighing the option of letting Pelletier return to her family’s Connecticut home and having the Connecticut child protection agency moniter her parents’ compliance with the care of their daughter. With the next hearing scheduled for January 10, it is unlikely that Justina will be back home in time for Christmas.

What would you do if you found yourself in a situation like this? How would you respond if the state took custody of your child from right out under your nose? Let us know below in the comments section.

(H/T: The Blaze)


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