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.

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