Justina Pelletier’s parents are finally making some headway in a battle that has ripped their family apart for nearly a year.
The girl, who had been diagnosed with a genetic disorder several years ago, was making strides to live a normal life despite her disease.
When the 15-year-old went to a hospital in Boston, Mass. several months ago to be treated for the flu, her family naturally expected that she would return home soon. Instead, the facility tried to convince her parents that she had a different disorder. When they objected and deferred to her original diagnoses, hospital staff usurped custody of Justina.
Mother Linda Pelletier recalled that the facility “said we cannot take Justina out of the hospital” before phoning the Department of Children and Families regarding the matter. Lou Pelletier, Justina’s father, called the ordeal a “kidnapping.”
According to reports, the hospital tried to convince Justina and her parents that she suffered from a mental illness rather than the mitochondrial disorder with which she was previously diagnosed. Because of their concern over the news, her parents have been stripped of their rights and have been fighting for custody ever since.
Dean Hokanson, a psychologist with a close relationship to Justina’s case, said that her parents “were actually being accused of being too active in pursuing health care matters for their child.”
A hospital report blamed “both parent’s resistance towards recommended treatment plans” as the reason the teen was forcibly removed from her home and kept prisoner in a medical facility. With highly restricted visiting hours, Justina has been forced to sneak letters out of the hospital to her family outside.
The family is now fighting back via the legal system, but this is one case that should have never made it to this point. Whether through public school indoctrination, overzealous law enforcement, or a leftist media culture, parents are losing more and more influence over their children’s lives as our society continues to devolve.
Unbelievably, we have now arrived at the point at which parents can actually lose their children for daring to seek a second opinion.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo credit: José Goulão (Creative Commons)