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Justina Pelletier: Patient or Prisoner?

This writer receives monthly Action/Alert Newsletters from Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. Mat works tirelessly helping individuals and groups whose God given rights are being trampled on by the government and/or government departments. He and his legal team are constantly working to defend those attacked for their beliefs and those being forced by the government to do things against their will and their beliefs; basically over-riding individual and/or parental rights. They have had many successes in cases they have handled.

Justina and her parents
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As this writer read the newsletter, there was a huge feeling of frustration and a lot of anger at the way the government at any level over-reaches in the lives of regular, God-fearing, conservative Americans.

The message this month was about Justina Pelletier. You have most likely read about her story or heard it somewhere online. It’s not likely that the main stream media would be reporting on it. If they did, it would be stripped of any important details.

As you might recall, Justina Pelletier competed as a figure skater. In February of 2013 Justina’s life was going to change forever. It seems she contracted a severe case of flu and was taken to the Emergency Room at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). This is what most parents would do, right?

However, when Justina’s parents went to discharge her, the DCF were suddenly involved and it was then that the family’s worst nightmare began. Can you imagine being in that same situation? Can you imagine a government department stepping in without any valid reason and telling you that your child is now a ward of the state?

Justina’s parents took her to the BCH on the advice of Doctor Mark Korson, Chief of Metabolic Services at Tufts Medical Center in Boston to see a gastroenterologist. However, once they were there a doctor licensed only seven months and not as a medical doctor but a psychologist, saw Justina and disagreed with Doctor Korson’s diagnosis of her condition and decided it should be treated as a mental disorder.

One question come to mind. Why, when Justina was brought into that emergency room was a psychologist assigned to her when it was obvious that she needed a medical doctor and one who understood her condition?

Now this fresh-out-of-school psychologist seemed to be more inclined to treat a physical condition as a mental condition, based on what? Why was he allowed, without question and without consulting with Dr. Korson or even another well-established medical physician, to change her entire treatment plan and discontinue her medical treatment plan?

Even more egregious is the fact that her parents were forbidden to talk to Justina about her condition and, further, they were kept from seeking a second opinion. She was being treated more like a dangerous prisoner than a patient in dire need of medical care that she had been getting.

Justina’s parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier refused to sign off on the new treatment and requested that she be discharged back to Tufts Medical Center and Dr. Korson. Rather than comply with their request, the BCH called in the DCF and prevented them from discharging Justina.

The amazing thing about this case is the fact that it has been 14 months since the DCF was notified and made her a ward of the state. Because she is a ward of the state, she is eligible for BCH research doctors and clinicians to use her for research. They want to use her like a lab rat and expose her to medicines and treatments that have not been approved for use by the general public. With her diagnosis, she could experience some severe reactions to those medications or treatments and they could even make her condition worse.

Another amazing point to this story is the fact that the DCF obtained a gag order to prevent Justina’s parents from talking to the media.

Under this new treatment, Justina’s condition was deteriorating and being the concerned, loving father he is, Lou Pelletier broke the gag order and did speak to the media. Because he showed concern for Justina’s welfare by speaking to the media about her case, the DCF had Lou Pelletier held in contempt of court!

Gratefully, at that point, Justina’s parents were able to enlist the aid of Liberty Counsel. Once they took the case, the DCF did some back-stepping. Because of Liberty Counsel’s efforts, they dropped the contempt charge against Lou Pelletier, withdrew the gag order, and transferred her case to the Tufts Medical Center. Once there, Justina would be in the care of Dr. Korson who is a well-known specialist in his field and had been treating her for mitochondrial disease. This is, indeed, great news. However, Justina remains a ward of the state.

According to the report from Mat Staver in his newsletter, this Massachusetts DCF has a “list” of 134 children who have been in their custody. The children of 134 parents are missing and DCF has no idea what happened to them or where they are or so they say. It also reported that 94 children in their custody have all died!

This raises other questions. With this kind of record, why on earth is the DCF allowed to interfere in any case? Why are they not being investigated? Why are those working there not being questioned and even brought up on charges of abuse and/or negligence? How many more children are going to die or disappear before something is done to stop it? With the legal team from Liberty Counsel, Justina has some hope that this magnanimous injustice will end.

Recently, Justina met with her parents who were accompanied by a member of Liberty Counsel’s legal team and a minister. She told her parents, “I feel like a prisoner.” She also asked, “Why can’t I go home with my parents?” That is a very good question; why can’t she go home with her parents?” If she is no longer receiving treatment from BCH, which is what seemed to initiate a call to them when her parents tried to have her discharged, why is it now necessary for them to be involved at all with Justina?

Since she was admitted to the ER in February of 2013, she has been refused access to education, as well and has not seen any of her classmates since then. Not only that, she has been denied any visitation by clergy.

Being, basically, imprisoned under the courts orders that she continue in the custody of the DCF, she was not even able to celebrate Christmas or Easter. This is disgraceful. This is America and no child should be held prisoner, which is what this amounts to, by any department of the government; especially the DCF.

In the 14 months that have passed, Justina has been able to see very little of her three older sisters and it has been over a year since her 92-year-old grandmother has seen her. This must be so difficult, not only for the parents and siblings, but for this 92-year-old grandmother to go through.

As a grandmother of 6 and a great grandmother of 5 plus 1 on the way, this writer would find it very difficult and heartbreaking to deal with this kind of situation. My only peace would come from my God and my Savior.

It is amazing that after this much time has passed that Justina is not back in the custody of her parents. She came from a loving family and there has been no abuse or neglect on their part. If anyone is guilty of abuse or neglect, it seems that the BCH and the DCF should be held accountable for those infractions on Justina’s and her parent’s rights.

What really makes this writer’s blood boil is knowing that when Justina does receive visits from her parents, she is only allowed one hour once a week and only under the strict supervision of up to 5 DCF workers and armed security personnel in the same room. Her parents aren’t even allowed to take photos of Justina.

According to Mat Staver’s newsletter, inmates in Massachusetts’s prison inmates, by law, get up to 5 visits per week, medical care, religious services and education rights. Yet, Justina is afforded only one visit per week, little medical care, no clergy visits, and no education. Mat says, “She has been treated far worse than an incarcerated felon.”

In his newsletter, Mat revealed that not many people know that the Boston Children’s Hospital is a chartered teaching hospital and is allowed to conduct medical research and experimentation on children who are declared wards of the state.
What happened? Are they short on children to conduct experiments on?

The following statement is found in BCH’s Clinical and Investigation Policy and Procedure Manual, according to Mat’s newsletter. “Children who are wards of the state may be included in research that presents minimal risk…or greater than minimal with a prospect of direct benefit.”

So it seems to this writer that Justina is being held in DCF custody against hers and her parent’s will for no apparent reason other than as a ward of the state so they can use her for medical research and experimentation. Just what kind of research and experiments are they performing on this 15-year-old?

Why is it necessary to supervise her limited once-a-week visits with several DCF workers and armed guards anywhere near her and her parents? This sounds so much like a police state. Has this been declared in Massachusetts?

The actions of this Massachusetts Children’s Hospital and its DCF has gone way beyond their authority and have denied Justina and her parents of their basic rights guaranteed under our Bill of Rights, namely, their unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

No one in the Pellitier family has broken any laws, caused harm to anyone or has been neglectful of their responsibilities toward Justina and want nothing more than to be re-united permanently with his dear daughter and sibling and have all the things back in her life that has been missing for 14 months.

This whole situation is unfathomable. This should never happen in America. What’s wrong with the court and the judges in Massachusetts that they would, first, let this happen and second, would allow it to continue?

At this time Justina’s health continues to deteriorate to the point that at present time, she is confined to a wheelchair.
Boston Children’s Hospital and the DCF have gone too far and are guilty of abuse in derelict actions on their part toward Justina and her family.

The Pelletier family, along with help from Liberty Counsel, is in great need of many prayers and support until this issue of flagrant government abuse is settled. Let's rally around the Pelletier family and maybe with divine help, Justina will be back with her family and get her much needed medical attention. Hopefully it is not too late and there has not been too much damage done because she did not get the proper treatment for so long. There are many at the Boston Children's Hospital and at the DCF who must be held responsible for their participation in this horrible injustice done to Justina and her family.

If you would like to help, please go to either or to sign a petition to help free Justina Pelletier and please keep her and her family in your prayers.