Glenn Beck called the continuing case of Justina Pelletier, a 15-year-old girl whose parents lost custody after bringing her to Boston Children's Hospital, absolutely "criminal."
After more than nine months of being kept in the hospital, a judge on Thursday decided to keep the girl where she is, scheduling another court date for Dec. 10 in Boston.
Justina Pelletier, who was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by one institution, has been held for nine months against her parents' will at Boston Children's Hospital, which believes she has somatoform disorder. (Image source: WTIC-TV)
It all began after Lou and Linda Pelletier took their daughter to Boston Children's Hospital after she began exhibiting flu-like symptoms back in February. Several years prior, their daughter had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by doctors at Tufts University, but Boston Children's reportedly disagreed with the diagnosis. They said Justina actually had somatoform disorder, a psychiatric condition, and that her parents were "over-medicalizing" her. When the Pelletiers disagreed and wanted to remove their daughter for a second opinion, they say they were escorted out by security and within four days had lost custody of their daughter to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
The family has been unable to speak out about the situation since November, when a gag order was placed on their case.
"This is absolutely criminal," Beck said on his radio program Friday in disgust. "I mean, if there was anybody in public office in the Northeast that I trusted, I would get them on the phone. But this is -- this is crazy. How can a parent have a gag order and be told not to say anything? That's their -- it's their child, for the love of Pete."
Beck said the situation would be different if the parents wanted to "say Jesus at her at the top of the hour and hope that she gets better," but they were acting on a medical diagnosis they had received from Tufts University. And while details about the situation are limited, it is being reported that while Justina was able to walk when she was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital, she is now in a wheelchair.
"What this is saying to you, America, is ... that child does not belong to you," Beck asserted. "That child belongs to the state. They're allowing you to take care of that child unless they disagree, and then the State takes (the child)."
Beck spoke with Cristy Balcells, the executive director of the MitoAction, who said her organization is "mounting an advocacy campaign asking for donations to try to help this family mount an even larger legal response."
"I think that the national awareness, and pressure from the media is helping," she told Beck. "The family does feel that they are in a corner and they don't know what else to do. So we hope that by showing our support nationally, we can make a difference. We are talking now and have reached out to the legislature to try to emphasize how unjust this is and to ask for some transparency."
She added that the girl's family "is not after money," they just want "their little girl to come back home."
"This child has no parents right now," Balcells said. "She hasn't even been put into custody of, like, a family member or an aunt and uncle or someone who could at least be acting like a mom or a dad for her. She has no parent. She lives in a hospital room. Alone."
Beck asked his audience to get involved at mitoaction.org/advocacy to make sure the family at least has "a really good attorney."
"Let's see if we can get this child home for Christmas," he said. "This is the biggest outrage. Go there and see if you can help out."
You can listen to audio from Beck's interview, below (relevant time 1 hour 34 mins. - 1 hour 46 mins.)
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