My heart breaks to see evil’s hold on this world. It’s terrifying to glimpse the darkness in men’s souls. I got once such glimpse three days ago when I read the story of Justina Pelletier, a fifteen-year-old in Massachusetts who’s been ripped from her parents’ custody and is dying because of wrongful medical treatment by Boston Children’s Hospital.
This young woman was diagnosed a few years ago with a mitochondrial disease by doctors at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and she has been treated for this disease there. But last year she came down with the flu and was checked into Boston Children’s Hospital to see her former doctor at Tufts, who had recently moved to that hospital. Sickness complicates her disease. Within only a few days and without consulting either her doctors at Tufts or the doctor she’d come to see at Boston Children’s, the staff at the latter diagnosed Justina with somatoform disorder, a mental disorder that causes pain but can’t be traced to any physical cause, and presented a radically different treatment plan to her parents. The Pelletiers, concerned that the doctors wanted to take Justina off of the treatment for her mitochondrial disease, refused to sign.
They were then accused of over-medicating their daughter, and the state of Massachusetts assumed custody of Justina. Her parents have been restricted to a monitored once-a-week visit and twenty minute phone call to their daughter ever since. She has been treated at the hospital’s psychiatric ward for a year, and she was just moved to another mental health treatment center of some sort in Massachusetts. While her parents were initially happy that she’d been released from the hospital, they’ve since discovered that this is only a temporary place while the state decides how to continue Justina’s treatment. The parents still haven’t been given back custody of their daughter.
This is a serious parental rights issue anyway, since parents should be allowed to get a second opinion and choose their child’s medical care. But it’s also a medical disaster, because Justina Pelletier is dying. One year ago, under her mitochondrial treatment, she was doing well. She was strong enough to ice skate and live life. Now she’s lost all strength in her lower body and is in a wheelchair. She’s in serious pain and her life is draining away. You can see the difference in pictures. This story infuriates me, and it should upset you as well. But all the anger in the world cannot help Justina unless it’s turned into action. Her father, Lou, has broken a court-imposed gag order to speak with the media and appeared on Fox News’ The Kelly File last evening. While he could face serious recrimination from those actions, he’s chosen his daughter’s life over his safety. He’s convinced that she’s dying. I first read the story here. ABC News also covered the story in another article here.
While I’m thrilled to see the media begin to pick this story up, that alone won’t accomplish much. The media covered Benghazi, too, and nothing has been done about it. Unless we, the American people, do something, this girl will fade into the system and will probably die. Please don’t just pass over this: we have to help her.
This song by Robert Pierre has been running through my head lately, and it’s become my anthem for this case. It was actually written about abortion, but it’s incredibly appropriate:
To my understanding, the family is running low on funds, which is understandable. They have at least one other daughter with this mitochondrial disease, so they have medical bills. And they also have lawyer fees and living costs. You can donate money to them at www.freejustina.com. I believe more than money is needed, though. If people don’t make their voices heard over this, nothing will be done. Glenn Beck has contact info for the officials involved in this case here. I also encourage you to contact your Congressional delegation. Something must be done NOW. My international readers can act, too, even if it’s just with prayer and money.
Justina’s case illustrates the darkness overtaking the world. But just because we know it’s coming doesn’t mean that we should cover our Lights. Even during Nazi domination of Germany, people risked everything to fight for Truth. Be one those fighters; fight for Justina Pelletier. Please share this story and post by any means you desire: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, blogs, etc. Thank you!