Paul Gordon Collier
In a stunning ruling regarding the Justina Pelletier case, a Suffolk County Judge has ruled that Justina Pelletier will be sent into foster care. The ruling caused the mother of Justina, Linda Pelletier, to faint. She had to be carried out on a stretcher. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and is expected to be released soon.
Lou Pelletier reacted with anger and shouting after the stunning ruling. Neither parent nor their representatives were at liberty to discuss the details of what happened inside the courtroom as the gag order against the Pelletiers and their representatives is still in place. Reports from other media outlets lack the name of the Suffolk County Judge who presided over the case.
The reason for sending Justina Pelletier to foster care instead of returning her back to her family was not readily available as the court records have been sealed and the gag order does not allow any other party to talk about the specifics of the case.
Given the sensitivity of this case and the precedent this case could set not just for Massachusetts but for the nation, critics are questioning the wisdom of the courts maintaining such secrecy over this case. The Liberty Council has joined the case on the Pellletier’s behalf to challenge the constitutionality of the gag order being placed on the Pelletiers.
Since Justina Pelletier has been in the custody of the Boston Children’s Hospital, her health has deteriorated. She went in walking and is now confined to a wheelchair. The girl was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital in February 2013 over issues she was experiencing related to a rare immunodeficiency mitochondrial disease.
The girl had been diagnosed by doctors from Tufts University earlier that year. Upon admission, a neurologist with Boston Children’s Hospital rejected the diagnosis and changed it to Somatoform Disorder, a mental illness that causes individuals to believe they are ill when in fact they are not. It has been pointed out that the doctor from Tufts had over 10 years experience while the doctor from Boston Children’s Hospital had only a few months of experience.
The Hospital removed Justina Pelletier from her parents and placed her in a psychological facility for 9 months, before moving her to a half-way house in Framingham called “The Farm”. While in the facility, and at “The Farm”, Boston Children’s Hospital and The Department of Children and Families (DCF) did not permit the girl to receive any medical treatment for the mitochondrial disorder.
The Freedomist will be following up this report with an in-depth report on this case, as well as actions that this case has spawned, including various #freejustina groups, as well as a potential #BOSTONSPRING protest tentatively scheduled for March 21st, 4 days after the next hearing involved in the custody of Justina Pelletier.