Mad Massachusetts: Justina Pelletier Update and a Proposed No Pre-Divorce Sex Law

Mad Massachusetts: Justina Pelletier Update and a Proposed No Pre-Divorce Sex Law

You may recall the story of Connecticut teen, Justina Pelletier, taken by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) after her family brought her to Boston Children’s Hospital to visit her gastroenterologist, formerly of Tufts Medical Center, her care provider.

Today, Massachusetts Judge Joseph Johnston, after six excruciating delays, will hopefully decide the custodial fate of Justina. For the past year, Justina has been a ward of the state of Massachusetts, a state where she isn’t even a resident. According to her family, she has received no spiritual guidance, nor has she received any education in the year she’s been held. But what is even more disturbing is her steady health decline. Here are the facts as we know them as of today:

  • Justina was formerly under the care of doctors at Tufts for two years. Her doctors diagnosed her with mitochondrial disease.
  • During her time under Tuft’s care, Justina was managing her disease well and enjoyed ice skating.
  • Justina fell ill with what her family believed to be a flu bug. They were advised to take Justina to see her gastroenterologist, who had relocated from Tufts to Boston Children’s.
  • Instead, a neurologist, a psychologist and a pediatrician who had no knowledge of Justina’s medical history, and did not consult the doctors and specialists at Tufts who’d been treating her, decided on a new diagnosis of somatoform disorder. They insist her condition is psychological.
  • Boston Children’s then alerted DCF of what they deemed a case of child abuse and unnecessary medicating. (The specific reasons have been withheld from the public.) DCF took custody of Justina, over the protestations of her family.
  • Justina’s family has fought ever since to have her released back to their custody. They have once-a-week, one-hour visits with Justina, attended by armed guards.
  • Though the judge in this case recently ordered Tufts to handle all future medical care, the Pelletiers say that, so far, DCF has prevented Justina from seeing any Tufts physician.
  • Justina is currently living at the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network in Framingham, Massachusetts.
  • Justina’s health has steadily deteriorated under the “care” of DCF. As of yesterday, her family reports the red lines on her abdomen have worsened, her legs are swollen, and she has lost sensation in her lower extremities.
Justina Pelletier.
Justina Pelletier, before and after the “care” provided by DCF.

While of course there are cases of child abuse requiring state agencies to intervene, this case has baffled us from its inception. DCF has made no attempt to tell its side of the story, leaving only the family’s version, and thus a nagging sense that DCF is hiding something, whether it be its incompetence or simply its thirst for power. What we do know is that Justina was reportedly flourishing while in the custody of her parents, and is now gravely ill under the cold, bureaucratic custody of the state. We hope that the judge will come to his senses and return Justina to her family today. I predict a civil suit, perhaps several of them, on the horizon.

Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA, added, “We await the ruling from Judge Johnston today with steely resolve. We hope that he will do the right thing by returning Justina to her loving family. If not, we will raise up a public outcry so deafening that it cannot – and will not – be ignored. We won’t rest until Justina is returned safely home and is fully respected as a person with dignity and rights.”

Meanwhile, the state of Massachusetts is considering a proposed bill penned by a constituent, and sponsored by a so-called Republican legislator who claims to not support it, that would mandate sex between consenting adults while they’re undergoing divorce proceedings and happen to reside under the same roof. No, really. It reads:

“In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.”

Because…we wouldn’t want the consenting adults to maybe…reconcile? And after the divorce, it’s fair game to do what you will, and confuse your children further? Makes sense. And how in blazes do they plan to enforce this Draconian new law? Will there be Divorce Minders assigned to every case, a dude who stands at the entrance to bedrooms with a cattle prod and a whip, wagging his Nanny State finger to any would-be violators of the state-imposed sex regs? My guess is it’s nothing more than another potential tax, er revenue generator, veiled in a “we know what’s best for your family” wrapper. Because we definitely need to hand more of that power over to the State. Just ask Justina’s distraught family.

So there you have it. The state of Massachusetts has gone mad knows best. And what’s best for your children, and your libido, is decided by the powers that be who’ve been running that state into the ground for eons. Methinks it’s time for a good ole fashioned Boston Tea Party.

***UPDATE: The Boston Globe is reporting that Judge Johnston has awarded permanent custody to the DCF. The DCF will decide if and when Justina is returned to the custody of her parents.

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  • GWB says:

    I’m curious, Jodi – what do you think the proposed law is actually saying? Because I’m confused by what you’ve written. (And that’s unusual!)

    This is an attempt to legislate moral behavior (under guise of “protecting the children”) by not allowing the custodial parent during the proceedings to bring home their new boy/girlfriend. It’s saying “you can wait”.

    It’s a good thing to do – not bringing your new boyfriend home before daddy is actually fully out the door. But it isn’t a good thing to legislate. Interestingly, I’m betting the reason this law is even “necessary” is because adultery was removed as both a crime and as a ’cause’ for divorce.
    (If it is either, then bringing home your new squeeze before proceedings are complete can set you up to get cut off – both in spoils and custodial arrangements. The aggrieved erstwhile spouse can argue “bad influence” and “adulterer” and such, to show why you shouldn’t spend weekends with little Johnny, or why you shouldn’t get to keep the house.)

    • Jodi says:

      Ah, yes. Therein lies the ambiguity of this proposed regulation of morals. I read it as sex between the two parents. But now I see that it could also be read as sex between the custodial parent and another party (male or female). Yes, while it’s a good RULE OF THUMB for the mental health of children, I don’t see it having a chance in hell of passing. And like I said, who’s going to monitor said behavior? The State Minders?

  • GWB says:

    As to the woman in state custody – there needs to be a lawsuit, no matter what the judge decides. They violated the family’s right to face their accuser and to have a hearing before depriving them of their parental rights. Sadly, this sort of thing is not unusual where welfare workers (and their ilk in the do-gooder community) are concerned.

    And, if the state weren’t so damned all-powerful, a hospital that employed the sorts of people who caused this kind of trouble would get so much grief they would fire the jerk quickly. Their reputation and the people would demand it.

  • Donna says:

    It seems the law would prohibit sex rather than mandate it. I agree — this is a confusing law!

    • GWB says:

      It does prohibit it. Well, it prohibits it within the house of the estranged parties. (If you’re at your girlfriend’s pad, all bets are off!) “[S]hall not conduct” is the key there. As Jodi notes, the fun part is the “unless the express permission is granted by the courts”. I understand the point (really, I do), but I envision the judge asking the woman, “So, will there be candlelight? Incense? Are you gonna let him get to Second Base?” before she approves the date………

  • DeadMessenger says:

    Am I the only one who has noticed that DCF regularly “misses” cases of real, actual abuse, but yet focus with laser-like precision on non-abuse cases? I think what we need are laws dictating lengthy federal prison terms for DCF staff making erroneous decisions in either type of case. Then maybe they’ll focus better attention on actual abuse situations in lieu of these no-abuse-we-just-want-control situations. Why these moron leftist judges support DCF, I’ll never know.

  • Wfjag says:

    It should be called the “Go get a room law”, and supported by the argument that it will help the motel industry (or, motivate people going through divorces to buy larger cars).

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