Linda Pelletier with her daughter Justina during a weekly visit
This is the most unbelievable story. Two parents lost custody of their child because doctors disagreed with their regular doctors on the diagnosis and because the parents want a second opinion. Then a judge slapped them with a gag order, depriving them of free speech. The father then, in desperation, spoke out and was slapped with contempt of court charges. This isn’t the first time this hospital and other hospitals have done this.
Imagine you are a parent with two children suffering from mitochondrial disease, their diseases were diagnosed by the renowned Tuft’s Medical Center. The doctor of your youngest child wants her to see her main specialist, a gastroenterologist, but he recently moved to Boston Children’s Hospital.
You take her to the Children’s Hospital but after three days, she hasn’t seen her specialist and the new doctors tell you your child doesn’t have mitochondrial disease but rather a mental disorder. They then take her off all her medications.
You disagree, you want another opinion, and you want to discharge your child. That’s when you see the guards and every exit is blocked.
This is what happened to Lou and Linda Pelletier, parents of 14-year old Justina Pelletier.
The hospital enlisted the state’s child protection agency to file “medical child abuse” charges because they suspected the parents were interfering with her proper medical treatment. The parents lost custody of their child a year ago. They can only see her once a week and speak to her on the phone twice a week. When they visit their child, they are watched constantly and their daughter had to find a way to sneak messages to them.
They were refused the right to a second opinion even though her doctors at Tuft’s agree with them and made the prior diagnosis.
When the parents went to court, the judge slapped a gag order on them. The gag order came out after a local Fox station picked up the story.
In a country with a First Amendment, under what conditions could it possibly be okay for a judge to shut down parents’ free speech rights? In what free country can a hospital and a government take custody of a child and refuse the parents a second opinion?
Prior to her admission to the Children’s Hospital, Justina was doing well, she was doing a lot of ice skating. Since that time, she has gotten very ill and is paralyzed below the waste.
The father, Lou Pelletier, violated the gag order and went onto The Kelly File Thursday “to save his daughter’s life” in his words.
Justina has been sick off and on for years and has been treated by a team of respected doctors at Tufts Medical Center. The disease they diagnosed, mitochondrial is a rare genetic disorder affecting how cells produce energy, causing problems with the muscles, heart, gut, brain.
These child custody cases are allegedly rare in hospitals, but maybe not that rare in Boston’s Children’s Hospital. In just the last 18 months, Children’s has been involved in at least five cases where a disputed medical diagnosis led to parents either losing custody or being threatened with that extreme measure. Similar custody fights have occurred on occasion at other pediatric hospitals around the country.
It has happened before and often enough that the pediatrician who ran the child protection teams at Mass General said she and the other medical staff have given it a name – a “parent-ectomy”, according to The Boston Globe which has been running stories on this case for months.
Typically these cases occur when doctors say the problem is psychiatric not physical and parents disagree with the doctor’s opinions and/or are upset.
There were at least five other cases in which Children’s took custody of the child. A 5-year old with mitochondrial disorder was taken from her parent and the mother was escorted out of the hospital by security staff.
Two other cases involved diagnostic disputes over a rare autoimmune disorder. One was a 16-year old taken from her parents for seven months.
Another case was refuted by state investigators but the hospital representatives insisted the state continue their involvement long after the child was moved to a different hospital. The state ultimately closed the case.
Meanwhile, DCF has filed contempt of court charges against Lou Pelletier and penalties range from being required to pay the legal fees to paying a fine to jail time. Mr. Pelletier said he spoke out to save his daughter’s life. He’s desperate.
Listen to Lou Pelletier:
In May of last year, News 10 and Megyn Kelly on Fox News reported the story of a Sacramento, California couple who had their newborn baby taken away from them by Children’s Protective Services (CPS) because of a single doctor complaint.
CPS did so without sufficient cause and using no common sense.
The parents of the newborn, Anna and Alex Nikolayev, wanted a second opinion after a doctor told them the baby needed emergency heart surgery. Their regular pediatrician said to wait until the baby was a little older and stronger because it was not an emergency. This apparently prompted child protective services to take the child. The police broke into home of the Nikolayev’s with their guns drawn.
This is the full video, watch as the case worker claims the mother, who is remarkably calm, is told she is too upset to talk to right now:
By the end of June, the parents were told before a Sacramento court that CPS will no longer monitor them. California has ordered a statewide audit of the CPS division. Read more on this link.
Someone needs to investigate Children’s Hospital.
You should also know that this is taking place in hospitals all over the country. Now that the government is in charge of your healthcare, who knows how much worse this will get.