Monday, March 3, 2014

Good News for Justina Pelletier, Sorta

Good news on the Justina Pelletier front.

Shaming works.

The public exposure of the appalling treatment Justina and her family have received from Massachusetts bureaucrats has had an effect.

Credit goes to Megyn Kelly of Fox News, the Boston Globe reporters and the Massachusetts legislators who finally intervened in this case. See my earlier post here.

Now, the Massachusetts Department of  Children and Families is getting ready to send Justina to Connecticut. It will allow physicians at Tufts to resume treating her mitochondrial disease.

CBS Boston reports this morning:

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families confirmed Friday it’s working to send a teenager at the center of a bitter state custody dispute back to her home state of Connecticut.

The agency also announced that Tufts Medical Center will soon begin overseeing the treatment of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, an apparent victory for her parents.

Pelletier has spent the past year in Massachusetts state custody undergoing psychiatric treatment as her parents and doctors at Children’s Hospital clashed over her diagnosis and treatment.

Pelletier had been a patient at Tufts undergoing treatment for mitochondrial disease — a rare and controversial disorder where the body’s cells can’t produce energy, triggering chronic fatigue and severe digestive problems.

But when the Pelletiers brought Justina into the Children’s Hospital emergency room last February, doctors quickly diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.

When the Pelletiers objected, Children’s brought in DCF and the state took custody of Justina, essentially ruling her parents were committing medical child abuse by pursuing medical rather than psychological treatment.

Even though the DCF is going to allow Justina to resume treatment at Tufts, it will not yet release her to her family’s custody or allow her to go home.

Therein, we see an appalling attempt to save bureaucratic face.


Sam L. said...

They always attempt to save face. The public should not allow it, but the media usually will.

Lastango said...

"The public should not allow it, but the media usually will."

Out there, the media suckles at the teat of power. They will do everything they can to help the system protect itself, because they themselves work hard to be part of the system and are duly rewarded. The little people, however, are always expendable.

The move to Connecticut smells like a political exit for the Massachusetts thugocracy. Now, if Connecticut releases Justina back to her family, Massachusetts didn't make the call, and is free to express "concern". That lets Massachusetts duck the implication she should have been with her family all along, and taking her was wrong. As was the case with the Amirault family, the state's operatives always have one eye on defending themselves and their careers from the embarrassing disclosures of future lawsuits.

Robin Nemeth said...

Hannah Poling, whose parents won a multi-million dollar settlement for vaccine injury a few years ago, also has mitochondrial disorder.