Justina Pelletier’s family was very upset after a Suffolk County judge in Boston ruled on Monday that their sick daughter will be placed in the foster system without access to her previous medical care.
The state of Massachusetts took control of Justina Pelletier, 15, as her parents and doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital continue a yearlong legal battle over custody and proper medical treatment.
The 15-year-old’s mother, Linda Pelletier, broke down after the hearing in juvenile court in Boston. She fainted and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, on behalf of the Pelletier family, told the Boston Globe that she was expected to be released sometime Monday. A gag order has been imposed on Justina's parents, Linda and Lou Pelletier, of West Hartford, Conn., preventing them from speaking to the media about the case.
The family has been trying to regain custody of their daughter since February 2013. She was taken to the Boston Children’s hospital emergency room to treat a mitochondrial disease, which doctors at Tufts Medical Center had diagnosed in 2011. However, doctors at Boston Children’s were doubtful about the diagnosis, saying that her symptoms were caused by psychological disorders. They put her in a psychiatric ward, where she stayed until she was moved to a residential facility last month.
The Massachusetts Department of Child Services asked Monday to place Justina in a foster home in Boston within 48 hours, and the judge ordered the request, CBS Boston reports.
“My understanding is that Justina is being moved to foster care and they are outraged by that,” Mahoney said outside the courtroom, the Hartford Courant reported. “There is no medical care there.”
Justina’s father said his daughter’s condition is “rapidly declining.” Her legs and stomach are swollen and she can’t talk.
“The legal tiddlywinks they're playing with my daughter’s life is disgusting,” he said.
Another custody hearing is set for March 17.
Linda Pelletier, the mother of Justine, passed out in court after they Ordered her to a nonmedical facility. pic.twitter.com/cZawNLn10C— Rev. Patrick Mahoney (@revmahoney) February 24, 2014