Justina Pelletier is speaking out about the time she spent shuttered away in a hospital away from her parents and family.
The girl’s ordeal made international headlines throughout the past year and prompted a debate about parental rights in the United States. The teen who was only recently returned to her home sat down with Mike Huckabee on Fox News to discuss the horrific ordeal. She spent a total of 16 months in the custody of Massachusetts following a horrific ordeal at Boston Children’s Hospital.
As previously reported by Off The Grid News, Pelletier was removed from the custody of her parents on Valentine’s Day last year. One hospital had diagnosed her with mitochondrial disease, although doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital believed she had a mental problem called somatic symptom disorder. She essentially was removed from her parents because they disagreed with the new diagnosis.
“This should never happen to anybody,” Pelletier told Huckabee. “They should never be put through what I’m put through. They were so mean and nasty to me and they were being mean and terrible to my family also. No one should be put through that – no one.”
Last February, the teen was hospitalized for the flu. After being admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital she was set to be examined by her specialist. Before the anticipated doctor could see Justina, a different team of doctors arrived and questioned the original diagnosis and declared an entirely different condition was impacting the young woman.
Linda Pelletier, the girl’s mother, said that after the family disagreed with the new diagnosis, Boston Children’s Hospital staffers immediately called the state’s Department of Children and Family, and the state refused to let the parents leave with their child.
Linda and Lou Pelletier were ultimately escorted from the Boston medical facility by the security staff. Four days after they took their daughter to the hospital to be seen for the flu, they lost custody. The distraught parents had been fighting to regain their rights and bring their daughter home ever since.
A Boston Children’s Hospital report stated that that Justina exhibited the signs of “regressive behavior” and added that both parents had shown “resistance” to the new recommended treatment plans.
Lou and Linda Pelletier reportedly told the staff at Boston Children’s Hospital that their daughter’s care and medications were upon the recommendation of other reputable physicians she had been seeing for many years. One of Justina Pelletier’s doctors is Tufts Medical Center’s Mark Korson.
Korson said in an email on behalf of the parents:
I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the [new] diagnosis at all costs. … The [Boston Children’s Hospital] team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch.
During her chat with Huckabee, Pelletier said hospital staffers didn’t tell her much.
“They told me that DCF took custody of me and that my family can’t talk to me,” she said. “They were saying that [my parents] were over-medicalizing, which they were not. Everyone thought I was faking all this medical stuff. They stopped all my medicine. They didn’t care. They were saying I was improving, which I was not.”
Justina’s father maintains that officials at Boston Children’s Hospital were engaged in a “mad psychiatric experiment” on his daughter. “They had their own agenda and that’s a sad thing,” he said.
Justina finally was allowed to return home on June 18. She said the once-a-week phone calls with her parents were very difficult. The phone calls appeared to have been supervised, just like the weekly one-hour visits with her family.
“It was really hard because we couldn’t talk about any of the things we wanted to talk about,” the freed teen told Mike Huckabee.
Because of the Justina Pelletier case, Republican Representatives Michele Bachmann and Tom Marino, along with Democratic Representatives Karen Bass and Jim McDermott, drafted a bill to withhold federal funding (taxpayer dollars) for medical experiments on wards of the states which are also minors.
“Whether it is one child or thousands, it is our duty to guarantee that children are kept safe from harm while in the custody of their respective states,” Bachmann said. “Not all these children have families like the Pelletiers willing to advocate on their behalf. Sixteen months ago, Justina was a figure skater. Today, she cannot stand, sit, or walk on her own. It is unconscionable what happened to Justina, and we must do all we can to prevent it from ever happening again. Removing federal funding from such experimentation is an important first step.”
House Resolution 4989 has been dubbed “Justina’s Law.”
Linda Pelletier said that she and Lou, as well as the rest of the family, are taking “baby steps” to reintegrate Justina back into her normal routine. The plan now is for the teen to go back to school for one hour a day. When asked what she was feeling about being home with her parents, Justina said, “I love them, I love them so much. I can’t believe I’m home with them.”
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