MA State Reps Move to Release Justina Pelletier; Hospital’s Pattern of Behavior Analyzed

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Massachusetts State Representatives Marc Lombardo and Jim Lyons have begun to circulate a house resolution calling for the Department of Children and Families to release Justina Pelletier to her parents, citing the agency’s goal of strengthening families and the fact that the parents had been following Tufts’ medical directions in good faith.  Meanwhile, the attorney for families that have experienced similar treatment by Boston Children’s Hospital speaks out about BCH’s pattern of such behavior, and speculates about the motivations.

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Acknowledging
Serious Concerns regarding DCF’s handling of the Justina Pelletier Case

WHEREAS, Lou and Linda Pelletier are the parents of Justina Pelletier and have provided a loving home for their children and in good faith and at the direction of the Chief of Metabolism at Tufts Medical Center, Mr. & Mrs. Pelletier have spent several years treating their daughter for Mitochondrial disease and;

WHEREAS, for the last twelve months Justina Pelletier has been in the care of the Department of Children and Families and her medical condition has deteriorated, and;
WHEREAS, the Department of Children and Families has a stated goal of strengthening the link between families, and government removing children from their parents should occur only in extreme cases where malicious intent, neglect, or the blatant inability to care for the child is present, and;

WHEREAS, there has been no finding of malicious intent or blatant inability of the Pelletiers to care for their daughter Justina, and;

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts House of Representatives has serious concerns about the removal of Justina Pelletier from the custody of her family and concerns over the process that led to the breaking up of this family; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, the members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives strongly encourage the Department of Children and Families to immediately release Justina Pelletier from their custody and reunite her with her parents AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, THAT A COPY OF THESE RESOLUTIONS BE FORWARDED BY THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

7 COMMENTS

  1. Why are hospitals and CPS stealing children from nice families in this country anyway? What is the matter with people? They’ve lost their minds.

    I am glad the family is finally getting their daughter back. I hope she is able to make a complete recovery. But the fact this is happening at all is deplorable.

    • It is also illegal. The family must be proven to pose a threat of imminent harm to the child. It seems pretty obvious that these parents were loving, concerned, informed parents trying to do the right thing. They were neither intentionally harmful nor neglectful of her needs. She appeared to be functioning well despite her medical issues. It seems it is more about the doctors fighting over their turf than the parents posing any danger. Even if the doctors they consulted with were wrong, the doctors should be held accountable, not the family for seeking out and following the medical advice of a licensed practitioner.

      It’s just bizarre and shows how distorted our “mental health” system has become. The bigger shame is that the judge didn’t throw this out at the first hearing. There is no legal grounds for her to be held.

      —- Steve