DCF Editor's Pick

Justina Pelletier – Just the Tip of the Iceberg – THOUSANDS OF STATE-SPONSORED KIDNAPPINGS

Justina  Pelletier – Just the Tip of the Iceberg – THOUSANDS OF STATE-SPONSORED KIDNAPPINGS


by Kristi Devine
Special to the Broadside
Three years ago last month (February 2013), a 14-year-old girl named Justina Pelletier was ripped away from her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier, like thousands of other children from across the country every year, in what has now been termed “Medical Kidnapping.” Medical Kidnapping has become so prevalent that now a website exists: MedicalKidnap.com – specifically to expose this horrific practice.
Justina’s case received international attention, but was and still is treated like an aberration instead of the frightening common phenomenon that it is. Not only does the site Medical Kidnap reveal how much it is happening across the country, but Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) alone “hotlines” more than 400 children each year. Hotline is the term used to describe when
CPS/DCF (Child Protective Service/Mass. Department of Children and Families) is contacted and gets involved with families. This most typically happens when parents request a second medical opinion, but is also known to happen to cover up medical malpractice.
At more than 400 children hotlines per year, that means at least one or more times per day, any one of the children brought to BCH on parents’ expectations that they have brought their child to one of the best places in the country for medical attention can end up just like Justina Pelletier.
Shhhhh … because of a child’s “confidentiality” rights you are not supposed to know about this, and as with the Pelletiers and many others, parents are often unconstitutionally gagged so that the public doesn’t know what is really happening – everyday, throughout the country!
For neither the child, parent nor the taxpayer is this anything good, and as far as protecting children, forget about it. Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent to do this to a family, and all the while the effects are usually financially, emotionally, and medically devastating to the family. Too often, irreversible damage is done..
No one wins, even when families get their children back (and sometimes they NEVER do), except the pharmaceutical companies, the doctors, the courts, and all the service providers that profit from these state-sponsored kidnappings.
What’s all the more disturbing is that even after this widely followed case that brought thousands to the streets demanding Justina’s freedom was finally resolved in her going home – albeit a torturous 17 months later – no one has been held accountable. Moreover, no investigation has occurred and nothing has been put in place to prevent it from happening over and over again. Yet, then and now the embattled DCF has been plagued with tragic cases of children who have been severely abused – and even died or gone missing – that have occurred where it can be shown DCF was involved and did nothing to protect these children. Of those cases that get widespread media attention (not the ones like Justina), governors hold press conferences and order immediate investigations, claiming they will fix it from happening again. This has gone on for decades. They inevitably conclude it is because DCF is understaffed, underfunded and overwhelmed, and infuse millions of dollars into the system, all on the pretense the problems are being addressed and fixed. Never is it considered that the obvious reason that DCF is in this position is because of the millions it is spending to take and keep children who should never have been removed from their families in the first place.
And so these tragedies not only continue to persist, but serve as a self perpetuating problem that feeds on itself. It’s always the same, and never is it really corrected or fixed even though children’s lives hang in the balance and families are being destroyed. The “corrective” actions taken in Massachusetts and throughout the country are: Add more money; hire more social workers; take more children; further inundate the system to require that it add more money to hire more social workers to further inundate the system, then REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT every few years.
The sad truth is that Child Protective Service is a multi-billion dollar business and states receive money for every child they put into their system.
In the case of Justina Pelletier, the very same people who did not support her release from DCF have not changed their positions: Sheila Harrington Owes the Pelletier Family an Apology  (from RedMassGroup, http://redmassgroup.com/?s=Harrington).
While State Rep. Harrington and her likes will always imply that the parents of Justina did something wrong to warrant this horrible situation, let’s look at the facts. Those doing the implying will always use confidentiality of the child as a means to make implications of things we are not allowed to see or know, so let’s look at what we know. This should definitively convince the most reasonable of people that Massachusetts’ taking of Justina was arrogantly and horrifically wrong!  (excerpts from http://fox61.com/2014/04/25/mass-state-official-wants-justina-pelletier-in-connecticut/ )
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Family Services entered the picture after the West Hartford teen was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital with the flu.
Doctors there disagreed with a prior diagnosis of mitochondrial disease and instead said she suffered from somatoform disorder.
When her parents tried to discharge her, DCF was called to intervene.
It is a fact that Justina was being treated for mitochondrial disease by experts at another reputable hospital, Tufts Medical Center. She was sent to BCH by those experts specifically to see one of their former medical associates who was familiar with Justina and the team treating her because the associate had just transferred to BCH. At no time was Justina ever allowed to be evaluated by that person, and instead people completely unfamiliar with Justina determined her issues were all in her head. Because they disagreed with the diagnosis of other medical professionals, Justina was medically kidnapped by the BCH professionals and sent to a locked-down psych ward for the next 10 months. It was only public pressure that saw her moved to a less frightening situation, but still not released for another 7 months.
Does anyone need to know any more facts than this? Does it matter what a judge said or determined, all of which was provided him by the kidnappers? Should any child or parent, at any time, have been put through this ordeal when all the family wanted was to take the child back to those who were familiar with her, and who had previously diagnosed and treated her because they disagreed with BCH?
We know what should have happened and what was done wrong. The only thing we don’t know is how this has been allowed to stand and why it is allowed to continue to go on in secrecy. We must protect our children and families before they come for you and your children. We all know we can’t fight city hall or the state or BCH or CPS/DCF without thousands of people hitting the streets, and confronting the governor himself. Thus we know that we can’t fix DCF until this is accounted for and complete transparency is brought to an agency that spends millions to take and keep children it has no right to make wards of the state – while leaving, losing, or letting die those children under DCF’s watch that scream to be saved.

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