Boston, MA – 2/24/14 –The family of Justina Pelletier was emotionally distraught after a judge sentenced their sick daughter to the foster care system without access to her previous medical care. Justina is at the center of a legal battle between the Pelletier family and Boston Children’s Hospital over custody and proper medical treatment.
Attorney Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel filed a motion for pro hac vice to represent the Pelletiers, but the judge took the rare move of allowing the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) to respond to the motion, effectively denying the specialist attorney from arguing in the hearing.
To keep the case under wraps, the judge ordered media to leave the courtroom and took the unconscionable step of transferring Justina’s custody to the foster care system, where she will not have access to treatment for her mitochondrial disease. Her family is deeply concerned for her life and safety.
Boston Children’s Hospital performed a controversial medical-legal maneuver colloquially called a “parent-ectomy” last year, seizing custody of Justina after disagreeing with her parents and physicians at Tufts Medical Center about her diagnosis and treatment. Since losing custody, Justina’s condition has steeply deteriorated.
After receiving the judge’s shocking decision today, the Pelletier family was heartbroken and distraught at Justina’s plight. Justina’s mom, Linda fainted in the courthouse hallway and had to be taken by ambulance for care.
“I was nearby when Linda collapsed, and it was heartbreaking,” relayed Keith Mason, Personhood USA President. “No parent should suffer as the Pelletiers are suffering. Knowing that their daughter will be cruelly and intentionally transferred to a facility that is unable to care for her medical needs is devastating.”
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, on behalf of the Pelletier family, announced that a national coalition to Free Justina would be holding a prayer vigil and public witness at noon on Saturday, March 1 at the facility where Justina is being held.