Justina Pelletier may be moving to a care facility in her home state, according to children’s services representative associated Boston Children’s Hospital case.The medical center broke its silence in the highly controversial and now viral story about how the teenager was “kidnapped” from her parents more than a year ago when taken to the Boston hospital for flu treatment.
Lou Pelletier and his wife Linda, Justina’s parents, have appeared in court multiple times during the past year. The legal fees associated with regaining custody of their daughter and bringing her home have virtually bankrupted the family. Lou Pelletier broke the gag order issued in his daughters’ case in an effort to garner public support and help bring the 15-year-old home.
DCF had sought contempt of court charges against Lou Pelletier for breaking a gag order in Justina’s case, but has now dropped the request.
A statement from DCF (children’s services) spokesman Alex Loftus reads:
“Our primary goal has always been the health and well-being of Justina. We want the parents to be able to work with the providers and courts to ultimately move Justina back to her home state of Connecticut. That is the objective, and is consistent with our previous efforts to find an appropriate placement near her home. A medical team has been identified at Tufts, the family’s provider of choice, with the clinical expertise to care for Justina.”
Lou Pelletier is not getting his hopes up by the new turn of events. According to Justina’s father, Boston Children’s Hospital has “thrown more carrots out there” over the past year. “They throw out these carrots and these little teases just to string us along. Actions speak louder than words. Dangling, teasing us, and that’s the cruelest thing you can do,” the elder Pelletier said.
Justina Pelletier 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 in February of 2013, the girl was hospitalized for the flue. 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 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 were ultimately escorted from the Boston medical facility by the security staff. Four days after they took their daughter to the hospital to be seen for the flu, they lost custody. They have been fighting to regain their rights and bring their daughter home ever since.
West Hartford Psychologist Dean Hokanson told the local media that the Pelletier family was being accused of “too actively” pursuing health care matters for their daughter. A Boston Children’s Hospital report stated that that Justina exhibited the signs of “regressive behavior” and added that both parents had shown “resistance” to the new recommended treatment plans.