Nearly a year and a half after she was stripped from her family by state officials in Massachusetts, 15-year-old Justina Pelletier has been relocated to a facility in her home state of Connecticut.
As Western Journalism has previously reported, the Pelletier family’s long ordeal began when a recent medical school graduate at Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with the diagnosis the girl had previously received. When her parents were told Justina’s disease was all in her head, and they must suspend the treatments that had thus far been effective, they objected; and the state’s Department of Children and Families promptly took her into custody.
Since then, Justina’s physical condition has dramatically deteriorated; and according to reports, she has been denied access to basic educational and religious resources. She also snuck a letter to her parents indicating she was being physically and psychologically abused by her caretakers.
While the teen was recently transferred to JRI Susan Wayne Center for Excellence in Thompson, Conn., her parents are still about the same distance away from her. Furthermore, they are still limited to one visit per week.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, a spokesperson for the Pelletiers, indicated the development should only be viewed as a positive move if it helps facilitate the reunion of the family.
He said the goal remains to see Justina returned home by her 16th birthday later this month.
Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz explained that Justina will only be returned when her parents comply with the parenting style government bureaucrats deem appropriate.
“As we have previously shared, DCF will support returning custody of Justina to her parents once they have engaged in the plan’s basic conditions,” he confirmed.
This ongoing ordeal has not only led to an outpouring of support for the family, but is being seen by many as a cautionary tale regarding the increased role of government in the capacity parents play in their children’s lives.
If a child can be seized by authorities because her parents sided with her treating physicians over the opinion of a fledgling doctor in another state, many contend that children can be kidnapped by the state for an array of fabricated causes.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Free Justina Pelletier Now