Justina Pelletier has been essentially held captive at the Boston Children’s Hospital for an entire year. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the teenage girl was taken from her parents after a dispute over medical treatment. The “Free Justina” movement has gone viral, with donations both large and small pouring in the help her parents to not only cover legal expenses, but to put food on the table. The Pelletier family has poured their life savings into the ongoing court battle to retain custody of their daughter.
Lou Pelletier recently broke the court ordered gag order and plead for support for his daughter and her return home. An investigative report by The Blaze revealed details in the Boston Children’s Hospital policy manual which many will find shocking.
An excerpt from the Boston Children’s Hospital’s “Clinical Investigations Policy and Procedure Manual” reads:
“Children who are wards of the state may be included in research that presents minimal risk or greater than minimal risk with a prospect of direct benefit.
Duke University Health System and John Hopkins Medicine are reportedly have similar research subject guidelines pertaining to wards of the state. A report in the journal Pediatrics argues that protections for wards of the state do not go far enough to protect them from possible research programs.
An excerpt from the wards of the state research subject reports reads:
“Current federal regulations mandate additional safeguards, beyond those that apply to all pediatric research, for some research with wards of the state. Although these additional requirements are attentive to the concerns research with wards of the state raises, we argue that they do not go far enough. Society is obligated to ensure the harms wards of the state have already experienced due to parental mistreatment or abandonment are not compounded by further harm from inappropriate clinical research enrollment. This means wards of the state must be appropriately protected from risk and from being unfairly selected to bear burdens in clinical research. To these ends, additional safeguards and modifications to existing guidelines are needed.”
The teenager was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease several years ago. The condition is a genetic disorder that often causes weakness and the loss of muscle coordination. But she lived a normal life. In February 2013, the girl was hospitalized for the flu. After being admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital she was set to be examined by her specialist. Before the anticipated doctor could see Justina, a different team of doctors arrived and questioned the original diagnosis and declared an entirely different condition was impacting the young woman.
Linda Pelletier, the girl’s mother, said that the new crew of doctors informed them that Justina had somatoform disorder. If the woman’s statements are accurate, Boston Children’s Hospital staffers immediately called the state’s Department of Children and Family, and the state refused to let the parents leave with their child. Somatoform disorder is a mental, not a physical illness. Justina’s parents are currently permitted to visit her just once per week for a single hour and can make one 20-minute phone call to communicate with their daughter. “It’s beyond any wildest nightmare that you could think of,” her father told a local TV station.