The Connecticut case of teenager Justina Pelletier is one that should cause concern for all parents.
This week she taped a :45-second video pleaing tearfully with a Massachusetts judge to let her return home to her family and friends.
“All I really want is to be with my family and friends,” she said. “You can do it. You’re the one that’s judging this. Please let me go home.”
Pelletier’s journey to making this video has been a long one.
On Valentine’s Day of last year, she was being treated at Tufts Medical Center for the rare mitochondrial disease. After she had some gastrointestinal problems, one doctor wanted her to visit Boston Children’s Hospital to meet a doctor who treated her previously.
She was taken their by ambulance during a snowstorm.
Her family then learned she was being diagnosed with somatoform disorder, a mental condition.
The Pelletiers did not like the diagnosis and wanted to take their daughter back to Tufts.
According to multiple reports, tempers flared between them and the Boston Children’s Hospital staff, leading the hospital to tell the state that they suspected the parents of “medical child abuse.”
A judge one month later issued a ruling where he blasted the parents for how they handled the situation. Meanwhile, the Pelletiers said the judge ignored any testimony from their daughter’s doctors at Tufts
This began a year long journey of the teenager being in the state’s custody, giving the parents only hourly visits each week.
Reportedly, Justina hasn’t been to school or church during the past year.
The Liberty Counsel picked up the case and a state agency did not object to a motion allowing a potential return home.
For 16 months, Justina has been outside of her home and in state custody, living in the psychiatric ward of the Boston Children’s Hospital.
In reading about this case, I try to put myself in the shoes of Justina’s parents. I too wouldn’t have been happy with the diagnosis. Could my reaction cause the removal of a child from my home?
This is something all of us parents need to think about. This precedent has been set.
Lord willing, none of us will ever be faced with a similar experience to that of the Pelletiers.