TheBlaze earlier this week posted the widely read “Contempt Charges Filed Against Dad Who Defied Gag Order to Tell Daughter’s Heartbreaking Story.” The dad in question, Lou Pelletier, talked to TheBlaze about his 15-year-old daughter Justina being taken away from the family.
When they tried to take Justina out of Boston Children’s Hospital, they were accused of medical abuse, and she’s been kept from them for the last year. And when Lou Pelletier talked to TheBlaze about his family’s nightmare, he violated a Massachusetts court order.
Here’s what some readers of TheBlaze had to say about the issue:
I found this story so heartbreaking and almost unbelievable, but in doing some of my own research, it does seem legit. mitoaction.org gives a good explanation of how mitochondrial disease can result in a Munchausen’s by proxy diagnosis (i.e., the parents are the cause of the child’s illness) on this page: http://www.mitoaction.org/blog/munchausens-proxy-accusations-mitochondrial-disease
It seems that misdiagnosing is common for this type of disease and can be a devastating experience if the hospital team is not familiar with MitoD and misdiagnoses Munchausen’s by proxy. The doctor who wrote the above page though, strangely seems to have worked at Boston Children’s Hospital, and this it is very concerning that they could have done this to Justina. It’s completely insane that this is happening, and I have to wonder what I would do if this was my daughter.
I have a suspicion that Tufts is more liberal with the diagnosis than BCH. It almost sounds like BCH has the diagnosis flagged for review when a patient comes in or a family member states that as a prior diagnosis. This to me feels more like a war of egos between the two medical facilities and this family just happened to get caught in the crossfire. It will be very interesting to see how this unfolds, but until then, the family really needs a strong advocate within Massachusetts to get this young lady back to her rightful place, with her family!
I don’t understand why a gag order was even issued. That seems like pure corruption to me. You can’t publicly complain about your rights being assaulted? Gag orders should only apply when some serious national secret might be revealed. Not just to prevent embarrassment for thugs who made a bad call and are trying to cover it up.
Gag orders are violations of your 1st Amendment rights. The reason God gave you a voice is during times like theses — to expose the evils being perpetrated; this is self evident.
The father speaking and the courts enforcing the gag order against him is simply another sign that the state is trying to keep the situation in the dimmest possible light as it can because it knows it’s unjustly infringing on the freedom, liberty, and opportunity for happiness of this family.
Here’s a short story to go along with this one. I have 2 wonderful daughters – married – had children. My oldest daughter became ill and was admitted into one of the local hospitals and after 3 months they could not find out why she could not eat and keep food down. We moved her from that hospital to the local university hospital. Exam after exam, every type of test was run on her. They could find nothing wrong. SO, they diagnosed her with mental problems — sound familiar? She continually got worse. The last two years of her life she was in the hospital just to survive. She died. They performed autopsies on her. After the research and findings were passed to hospitals around the world she was finally diagnosed with a very rare illness compacted by Gullion-Barre Syndrome. Three years later her oldest daughter came down with the same symptoms. After one year in and out they had the cure for her thanks to her mother. It’s amazing how apologetic and sad all of the hospital personnel were after they found out that my daughter was “just mentally ill and looking for attention.” Please get that young girl into proper care before they kill her and then apologize for their ignorance. My daughter died because doctors and nurses don’t like to be embarrassed when they don’t know what to do. In loving memory of Theresa Lake Thornhill April 1968 – July 2002. We will see you in heaven.
This is one of the scariest stories I have ever come across in terms of the state’s ability to confiscate a child from parents. If this can happen to the Pelletiers, it can happen to any one of us.
The only possible explanation for this is that the neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital did something that he needs to hide at all costs…even if it means this young girls death. This is sick beyond the normal meaning of the word. God bless their fight and their family.
One question that immediately comes to mind is why the daughter was not taken to Tufts Medical Center in the first place. They have been the primary care provider for this disorder, and if flu-like symptoms came on, I would want Tufts to examine her first in the event there was any cross-over from the disease to this immediate illness.
Also, where is Tufts in this dispute? The Father said nothing about them chiming in to testify to the Judge to dispute the Boston Children’s Hospital diagnosis which was the foundation for the removal of the child from the parents. Either it was just not mentioned, or did it not occur?
Either way, one of the doctors is wrong. If Tufts is wrong, the family is a victim of misdiagnosis by that physician, or vice versa. But mistreatment was not intentional on the part of the parents, and the removal of the child was over-play by the doctor, even if he turns out to be right.
The biggest victim is the child. The villain is one of the doctors. The rest of the players are doing what they think they are supposed to do, right or wrong, at the behest of that doctor.
If the family was withholding all treatment and relying on nature to heal, I bet there wouldn’t be the hue & cry if the hospital & child services removed her compared to this situation.
It would be better to have more information, but the gag order took care of that, not guilt. I don’t think government agencies feel guilt.
How can you fools be so certain of the facts in the case when you have NONE of the facts? If this girl was receiving treatment, and the treatment was withdrawn (which it was), we would expect a resurgence of symptoms. I have no idea if this has happened, and neither do you. It is absolutely possible that one or both of her parents were directly influencing her health deleteriously. Because you have never met any parents like this, you are convinced that just because someone comes on Beck, and makes a convincing plea that they must be truthful? In my experience (which is extensive), many parents seeking attention or other secondary gains by manipulating the health of their children, appear to be kind, loving, high-functioning individuals. It sure would be nice if people withheld the formation of strong opinions until they either gathered all the facts, or at least achieved a level of general expertise on the topic.
slyfistI can not understand why a judge would even consider issuing a gag order here? What is so life threatening, dangerous, or classified that one would be needed? Are they trying one of the doctors for capital murder and do not need facts of the case released that would muddy the jury? I think this is an over-step by the judge for one! If one hospital is saying one thing and the other is saying another, as the judge I would not take one side over another but send the girl to a third for another diagnosis and then leave it up to the parents and the doctors to work out. I cannot see any reasons why CPS would need to get involved here. The parents WERE following doctors orders, just the first set… This whole case is a joke! Shows that our legal system is a joke! Our judges are jokes! CPS is a joke! And big business (Boston Children’s Hospital) is a joke! This is an overreach of power so that a hospital can have a steady stream of income and nothing more – and the facts do not support any other reason for the action.
Since when is a gag order even constitutional? A gag order is, without doubt, prior restraint, which is squarely against Pelletier’s 1st Amendment right to free speech. The judge not only issued a gag order on Pelletier, but also on a news investigation into the case. The judge is acting to chill the press and Pelletier’s 1st Amendment right to disclose and criticize the conduct of the hospital.
Amazing stuff on BCH-
I think Lou Pelletier was trying to send a message today with his phone call. Several times he stressed that there was a LARGER issue —a bigger thing — going on at BCH, and I’m sure the family has done their own investigating and found out the HUGE problem that is going on at BADER 5 — the psychiatric wing at BCH. His daughter is just ONE of several cases just like hers in the past three years where doctors at BCH denied a specific illness exists, took the patient off the meds/treatment, and then removed them from their families when the families protested. This is a deep hole. It needs to be opened up for the whole world to see.
Man this is one strange story, even for weird Massachusetts — and I live here. Boston Children’s Hospital has a difference of opinion with the diagnoses of Tufts Medical Center over the girl’s condition, so Mass DCF takes custody away from her parents? I mean the attending physicians from both of these prestigious hospitals couldn’t get together to try and figure this thing out without bringing in a lousy department like the Massachusetts DCF, who’s recent track record in general is terrible — and they have a court place a gag order on the parents saying anything publicly about it? Something really stinks about the whole thing!
In view of conflicting diagnosis, I would recommend a second opinion by a reputable third party that can document their experience that encompasses the health issues. The first reason would be to ensure that the most appropriate treatment is being administered. Second reason is that if there has been a treatment that neglected the real issue and has caused irreparable damage, there is reason to believe that a lawsuit is indicated. The last part of my comment deals with the ethics of this case. The parents should have a role in this matter. After all, they didn’t medicate the child, and they certainly care more about this child that the hospitals or the state government. I’ve made a few minor assumptions for this comment, but my real concern is for the restoration of this girl’s health.