'It's Kidnapping': Hospital Takes Custody of Teen Because Her Parents Were 'Too Active in Pursuing' Her CareLiz Klimas
A 15-year-old is stuck in a Boston hospital after the medical facility took custody of her when her parents argued against her diagnosis.
For the last nine months, Justina Pelletier has been sneaking messages to her parents in Connecticut through folded origami notes.
"It is kidnapping," Lou Pelletier, the girl's father, told WTIC-TV.
The local news station investigated the case, for which a judge later issued a gag order, and has the background leading up to the ongoing custody battle:
Justina was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease a few years ago. It's a genetic disorder that can cause loss of muscle coordination and weakness. The parents have been fighting the system ever since.
Despite that diagnosis she lived a normal life.
But last February, she also got the flu and was admitted to Boston Children's Hospital to see her specialist.
Almost immediately, a different team of doctors delivered a different diagnosis, questioning the original diagnosis of mitochondrial disease.
"They came in, and they said we cannot take Justina out of the hospital. They called DCF," says Linda Pelletier, Justina's mother.
They said Justina had "somatoform disorder."
In short, they were saying she suffered from a mental illness, not mitochondrial disease.
Her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier, were escorted out of the hospital by security, and within four days, they lost custody of Justina.
"They were actually being accused of being too active in pursuing health care matters for their child," West Hartford psychologist Dean Hokanson, who has worked with Justina for five years, told WTIC.
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