A court motion has been filed asking that Justina Pelletier, the teen who was taken from her parents and allegedly subjected to a long-running “psychological experiment” by officials in Massachusetts, be returned to her family home.
And this time, according to a legal team representing the family, state officials are not opposing the plan.
Pelletier, 15, has been in the headlines in recent months because she was taken forcibly from her parents after they took her to Boston Children’s Hospital more than a year ago. There doctors after a minutes-long visit decided to treat her differently than physicians had been treating her for months. They banned other opinions and wouldn’t let her go home with her parents.
Now officials with Liberty Counsel have confirmed they filed a motion with juvenile court officials asking that the teen be returned to her home with her mother and father, Linda and Lou Pelletier.
“The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has indicated that it will not object to the motion for relief from judgment filed today to return Justina home,” the legal team confirmed on Friday.
“Today is a significant event for Justina and the Pelletier family,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, who is representing the Pelletier family. “We believe and hope that the Pelleteir family will soon be reunited.”
The Pelletiers have been visiting with Justina in Connecticut frequently since she was moved there two weeks ago. She’s been under care from Tufts Medical Center, the same place she received treatment before her long ordeal began in February 2013.
“The Pelletier family and their legal counsel have communicated frequently with high-level officials of Massachusetts Health and Human Services and DCF. Their attorneys have been in regular communication reviewing the progress of the reunification plan,” LC reported.
“In light of the significant developments over the past several weeks, today a critically important motion will be filed with the juvenile court requesting relief from judgment to return Justina to her family and her home. DCF has stated it will not oppose this motion. We are pleased that Justina is close to returning home. We believe and pray that day will be soon,” said Staver.
“After nearly 16 months of separation, Justina requires much healing – physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” said Staver. “The completion of the plan is a very positive development and brings us almost full circle to where this process started, before DCF took custody of Justina: Tufts Medical Center is finally providing Justina’s healthcare once more.”
Earlier, a writ of habeas corpus was filed demanding that she be brought to court to determine whether there were grounds for state custody.
At the time, the filing alleged Boston Children’s was running a psychological experiment on her.
She was taken forcibly from her parents after they took her to Boston Children’s with symptoms of what appeared to be a flu or cold. Doctors there jumped to their own diagnosis and refused to let her return home with her parents.
LC had charged the girl “was essentially kidnapped by Massachusetts DCF after her parents took her to Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) to see Dr. Flores, a physician who had treated Justina before at Tufts Medical Center for gastrointestinal problems.”
Even though she had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, which causes muscle pain and weakness, doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital said she had a mental condition and removed custody from her parents.
“This case comes down to the simple fact that new doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), who had no experience with Justina, came up with a different diagnosis than her expert treating physicians at Tufts Medical Center,” said Staver. “The state cannot take children from their parents when the parents make reasonable choices for their medical care. This case is outrageous.
“The psychological experiment of Boston Children’s Hospital, under the sanction of DCF, has miserably failed. Justina has gone from a competitive figure skater to being confined to a wheelchair,” said Staver.
When she was taken to Boston Children’s, instead of seeing the doctor she had expected, Dr. Alejandro Flores, a gastroenterologist who had previously treated Justina when he worked at Tufts Medical Center before he transferred to BCH, her case was handed over the Dr. Jurriaan Peters, a BCH resident only seven months out of medical school at the time.
He brought in Dr. Simona Bujoreanu, a psychologist who coauthored an article in which she contends that in up to 50 percent of children who present with physical complaints, the complaints are not physical but mental.
According to Liberty Counsel, without consulting previous treating doctors, Bujoreanu rendered a diagnosis of Somatoform Disorder. Without a thorough review of her care, she opined that Justina’s physical complaints were mental, not physical.
BCH then presented the family with a new treatment plan to discontinue all medical care and medications and which forbade any second opinions, Liberty Counsel explained. When the parents refused to sign the new treatment plan and requested that Justina be discharged so they could take her back to Tufts Medical Center, BCH called DCF, and DCF prevented the family from discharging Justina. She still is in state custody.
WND reported recently that there also is a proposal in Congress that would block federal tax dollars from states with policies that “conflict with personal liberty.”
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who is considering introducing the bill, joined with the nonprofit legal advocacy group Liberty Council, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Republican state Rep. Marc Lombardo to call for the release of Pelletier from Massachusetts state custody to the care of her parents.
“I find certain state policies involving individual and personal medical decisions to be disconcerting,” Stockman said. “It is my firm belief that we should not provide federal dollars, through NIH grants, to states that maintain policies that conflict with personal liberty.”
Stockman said Thursday that taxpayer dollars also “should not be spent on research performed upon people without their consent.”
A Liberty Council investigation revealed Bujoreanu diagnosed Justina Pelletier with Somatoform Disorder after only 25 minutes with the teen, without contacting other physicians.
Bujoreanu is researching Somatoform under a grant from the federal National Institutes of Health. Any ward of the state is subject to research being performed on them without their consent, even if the research is not primarily for the ward’s benefit.