What is amazing about this story is that, if parents ever fail to give a child “proper” medical treatment, the government is ready to prosecute them. In this case, the Pelletier family has two daughters with mitochondrial diseases—the adult Jessica and the fifteen-year-old Justina. Their crime was getting Justina treatment.
From the Blaze:
In Justina’s case, a doctor evaluated her symptoms, considered her family history — mitochondrial disease can be inherited — and gave her a clinical diagnosis of the disorder. Under the care of physicians at Tufts Medical Center, Justina was treated for mitochondrial disease.
But when she got the flu and her parents were told she should be transferred to Boston Children’s Hospital, things changed.
As Lou Pelletier explained it, Justina was supposed to be transferred in an ambulance, for insurance purposes, to the Boston hospital, and brought through the emergency room but seen by a gastrointestinal doctor. Instead, upon arriving, he said she was stopped and evaluated by a neurologist, who, Pelletier said, didn’t look at her medical history or contact her other doctors. This doctor, according to Justina’s father, said he thought the illness was all in Justina’s head — that it was somatoform disorder.
The physicians at Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with her diagnosis of mitochondrial disorder and wanted to take a different approach to her treatment. At first, Lou Pelletier said, “we were game to try a new approach.” But when the hospital laid out their plan to take Justina off all of her mitochondrial and pain medication, her parents balked.
Big mistake. You never “balk.” You pretend you are open and come up with an excuse to get the prisoner outside. This is America. That is what you have to do because it’s a free country.
That was Feb. 13, 2013. The next day — Valentine’s Day 2013 — Justina’s parents went to Boston Children’s Hospital with a couple of advocates intending to have her discharged and brought to Tufts. Instead, they were met with security guards and served a 51A, a report of alleged physical or emotional abuse.
The story just gets worst—reminding me of the stories I used to hear in the seventies about how the Soviets put political dissidents in mental “health” facilities. Not only did they kidnap Justina, and stop her treatment, but they engaged in cult-like monitoring and restriction of all communication between her and her family.
Nevertheless, Justina managed to sneak notes to her family.
Lou Pelletier said if Justina got caught doing this “she would get tortured,” which he said the hospital called “behavioral modification.”
Bear in mind that all this coercion and terrorism is all to prevent the Pelletiers from taking their daughter back to Tufts Medical Center—another bona fide hospital! All the medical procedures done to Justina were doctor-advised and insurance-approved. And there was little chance Boston’s General would admit a mistake. In fact, according to their written guidelines for Justina’s “treatment,” “no diagnostic tests and no new consultations are to be requested unless Justina develops a new or acute process as observed and assessed by the medical team.”
Now, Lou Pelletier is facing prosecution for violating the court’s gag order.
That gag order is probably why the website, www.freejustina.com, goes only to a paypal donation page without any other description of the reason for the site. This family is truly alone facing a disgusting enemy.
I don’t even know for sure that Boston General hasn’t stumbled on something that is more accurate than Tuft’s evaluation. What I know is that treating people this way can never make them sane. This is an insane (!), control-freak campaign by a hospital.
Justina was a flourishing, ice-skating girl. Now she is wheelchair bound as her hairline recedes and her gums deteriorate and the “doctors” force her to sit on the toilet for hours at a time, insisting the problems are all in her head.
People need to help the Pelletiers and make those brutes release their prey.