Billionaire, Lawyers, Campaigners Rally to Free Justina Pelletier [Video]

free Justina PelletierAn anonymous billionaire has stepped forward to fund a campaign to free Justina Pelletier, the young American teenager at the heart of a dramatic custody battle between her parents and Massachusetts hospital authorities. While he will be footing the bill for new lawyers set to fight for Justina to be returned to the care of her parents, campaigners are planning a weekend rally and prayer vigil outside the facility where Justina is being held.

At the same time lawmakers are motivating a State bill that parents have the right to make health care decisions for their children, and a number of Massachusetts state representatives are calling for her immediate release. A new website linking to a new petition, Justice for Justina, has been launched, and the pro-life Personhood USA organization has approached the Massachusetts attorney general for her support.

The family’s new lawyer is also promoting a petition that asks the Governor of Massachusetts, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Connecticut members of the U.S. Congress to “end the Pelletier nightmare,” which he says is just like “a horror movie.”

Foster Care Avoided

On Monday a judge ruled that Justina, who is currently in the Massachusetts Wayside Youth and Family Support Network facility, and in the legal custody of the DCF, be transferred into foster care until March 17 which is the next court date for the custody case. As a result of this decision, there were scenes of outrage outside the courthouse and Linda Pelletier collapsed under the stress. Medics wheeled her from the court on a first aid stretcher.

According to Rev. Patrick Mahoney, one of several high-profile campaigners who have joined the cause, Justina was to go to the Shared Living Collaborative in Merrimac. After Mahoney, who heads the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition publicized the weekend vigil (originally planned for Merrimac) on social media, the foster care facility “backed away” from involvement in the case, he said. The vigil will now be held outside Wayside between noon and 2 pm tomorrow.

Justina Fighting For Her Life

Justina’s parents and campaigners say she is in “the fight of her life” as her health is deteriorating rapidly. Aged 15 and diagnosed with the rare mitochondrial disease, she was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) in February last year after she went down with influenza. Her regular doctor at Tufts Medical Center in Boston was not available, but a gastroenterologist who had also treated her at Tufts, was at BCH. However, he was not permitted to attend Justina; instead other hospital medics re-diagnosed her condition as somatoform disorder, a stress-related malady that is considered psychiatric in origin.

According to the National Institute’s of Health (NIH), the pain experienced in somatoform is “like that of a physical disorder, but no physical cause is found. The pain is thought to be due to psychological problems.” It also states that pain medications “do not work very well” and may result in side effects. They state that these medications may also “carry the risk for abuse.” When Justina’s parents refused to accept that the symptoms were “all just in her head,” and would not sign the plan of new treatment, the DCF filed for custody and accused the Pelletiers with “medical child abuse.”

Billionaire Benefactor

Well known radio personality Glenn Beck, whose radio show is syndicated and broadcast via more than 400 stations, had his say on air after Monday’s court case. “It’s no longer about medicine, it’s now about her parents being unfit to care for her. Figure that,” he said, adding that the biggest problem with the story was that because no one really understands it “we don’t believe it.”

He announced to his listeners that “a very wealthy individual that listens to this program,” was so outraged by what was happening, he had volunteered to set up, and pay for attorneys to take over the free Justina Pelletier case. While the billionaire did not want to be named at this point, lawyers who had been appointed included National Center for Life and Liberty’s David Gibbs and Mathew Staver (above), founder and chairman of the international nonprofit Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law that operates within the “context of the Christian intellectual tradition.” According to its website, the school teaches that the law is only good if it used properly; and if not used correctly, can “be repressive and crush those it should protect.” A number of other campaigners were planning a rally, a vigil and a new website dedicated to increasing support for her, he said.

Experimental Medicine For Wards of the State

Beck said he was helping promote a new state bill that reaffirms in the existing “language of the Supreme Court” that “parents have the right to educate and take care of the health of their own child.” The bill should be passed in all American states, he said, to stop this travesty of justice. Before interviewing Justina’s father Lou Pelletier on air, Beck told listeners that the BCH admission papers say that if any child becomes a ward of the state, experimental medicine may be used on these children. “They are trying to prove that somatoform is real” by furthering research possibilities, he said. “It is really frightening.”

Beck also interviewed the Pelletier’s newly appointed lawyer, Mat Staver who said he was cynical when he first heard about the case. “I was as perplexed as everyone else” and thought “there had to be something else going on.” After his own intense investigations he said he was convinced the problem lies, not with the parents, but with the DCF and BCH.

DFC Objects to New Attorney

Staver said he was also concerned that for the first time in 27 years (working in all 50 states, usually defending first amendment violations) he had not been given permission to represent his client. “The DCF is objecting to me being involved,” and so the judge kicked “the can down the road” and would not even allow him to observe Monday’s court appearance. Usually it was “super-easy” for clients to have new counsel approved by a judge, he said.

Questioned by Beck, Staver confirmed that only Justina’s parents are permitted to visit her, and not her three sisters or grandmother. They may only stay for an hour, and DCF workers are present. He described how four or five DCF workers and an armed Massachusetts state trooper were present after Lou had recently defied a verbal gag order not to speak to the media. “They asked her where Lou was,” and laughed when she showed concern that Justina’s belly was extruded and had red lines on it. “This could be a sign of sepsis or poisoning,” but because cell phones are not permitted in the room, she could not photograph this condition as evidence. When Linda Pelletier asked her daughter what the lines were, the “DCF people started laughing at her,” he said. On a positive note, Staver confirmed that Dr. Alex Flores, the gastroenterologist who had treated her at Tufts had been allowed to see her – “13 months later.”

Asked about the reference to “experimental medicine” in the BCH admission papers, Staver said there was “some suspicion” that “there is an ulterior motive.” He also emphasized that the reason Justina’s parents had refused to sign the new BCH treatment plan was because they wanted her to return to Tufts after being seen by Dr. Flores.

State Representative Resolution

By Thursday, 16 Massachusetts state representatives had backed the resolution asking the DCF to start the process that would release Justina from state custody. Two Republican state representatives, Jim Lyons and Marc Lombardo were heading the campaign, and it was reported that they would bring the resolution to free Justina Pelletier up at the next Massachusetts House of Representatives’ meeting. Lyons said treatment decisions should be the parents’ responsibility since this was clearly a case where medical opinions conflicted.

In addition to the billionaire benefactor and new lawyers, another campaigner, Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA, approached Massachusetts’ attorney general, Martha Coakley and asked if she was aware of the Pelletier custody case. Captured on video, she was heard to say “only what has been written in the media.” Mason told her that campaigners Lyons and Lombardo were calling on DCF to free Justina Pelletier and asked for her thoughts. According to Lombardo, who has been active in the rally to get support for the resolution, she said she “cares about the case” and will “look into it” if “there is a need.”

By Penny Swift

Justice for Justina
Boston Globe
Fox CT
The Blaze
Glenn Beck
Liberty Counsel
Red Mass Group
Right Wing Watch
Liberty University School of Law
Guardian Liberty Voice

29 Responses to "Billionaire, Lawyers, Campaigners Rally to Free Justina Pelletier [Video]"

  1. E. Foster   April 8, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Money talks. If I lived in the area I would start a boycott of Boston’s Children and anyone who supports it.

  2. Barbara Curry   March 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    This is criminal behavior on the part of BCH! This is American, not Nazi Germany! Stop it right now!!!!

  3. Barbara Miller   March 30, 2014 at 6:01 am

    This is the most absurd abuse of power and it must stop!!! These politicians and hospital administrators all need to be removed from office – they seem to forget they work for the people, not the government – this child needs to be with her parents and family, where she had been well taken care of – my prayers are with her and her family.

  4. Lynn E Smith   March 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    The Boston Children’s Hospital may be a good research facility but if Justina dies they should be charged, tried and convicted of first degree murder.

  5. Jean wiggins   March 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I cannot believe this is happening in America. I’m glad that people with influence are coming forth to help the Pelletier family. The government does not own our children and neither do the hospitals. I pray for her release to her family soon.

  6. Gloria A.   March 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    This is an outrage! Why can’t the government stay out of peoples lives. For crying out loud they have made a mess of our USA and now they want to control families. Just plain sickening.

  7. Lou Drapeau   March 29, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Why haven’t you:
    1.Filed a $20 M Medical Malpractice lawsuit?
    2. Sued Harvard’s Sponsored Projects division since they probably have a
    Federal Research grant?
    3. Obtained A Temporary Restraining Order?
    4. Get into Federal Court based on Diversity?

    Lou Drapeau

  8. William Horne   March 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    This makes me sick to hear this kind of stuff,surely in this God fearing country we let this happen, All i can say pray to God that he will take itt in his hand & get her back home…

  9. Linda Martin   March 29, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    This is a travesty of justice. I cannot believe Justina was taken away from her parents because one hospital disagrees with the treatment given by another hospital. To see the before and after pictures of Justina leads me to believe she is definitely not receiving the treatment she needs. If this child dies under the care of BCH, those involved should go to prison and rot there. The judge that didn’t order Justina to be given back into the care of her parents should be disbarred. There should be an investigation of BCH. Something is not right there.

  10. lo   March 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    dont be blind…this is about doctors that are for some reason being allowed to excise full control over innocents for the only reason that they are trying to experiment on these poor kidss…pumping them full of drugs and doing it right in front of us…laughing at us second guessing them..asking why..asking how…stop thinking start seeing…she might die in there…help her,please

  11. BOB FIDDAMAN (@Fiddaman)   March 1, 2014 at 5:51 am

    They cannot prove any mental disorder is real. It’s all based on guesswork. This is the irony of this particular case. Justina is being moved around from pillar to post, all the time not one ‘professional’ within the field of mental health has actually proved [scientifically] that she has somatoform disorder or whether, indeed, that somatoform disorder is actually a disease of the brain.

    Same can be said for ADHD, Bipolar, OCD and all the other ‘mentall illnesses’ that seem to have been conjured up out of thin air over the past 20 years or so.

    If any doctor or psychiatrist diagnoses your child with a mental disorder then you, as a parent, should ask for proof. Ask for a CT scan or MRI scan, ask for an x-ray or blood test…then watch the look of bewilderment of the faces of these so called ‘professionals’.

    Justina is being used as a pawn in a psychiatric game of chess.

  12. DickandJane   February 28, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I will donate to the legal fund that brings suit to the DCF, DCF commissioner, and Boston Children’s and those other responsible. Think what internal organ(s) damage that may have occurred during the 13 months of incompetence. Free Justina Now. Get involved as if this were your child. Where is Mr. Deval Patrick. Why have we not heard from him.

  13. jeff nutty   February 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    You people have no clue as to what is really going on. Get the real news and meet the real people who are involved in this story. I’m sure it’s easy to sit back and troll and not realize how multiple rounds of budget cuts to DCF have played a role in this. So rally, pray, do what you will to rally against the “government” but your actions are doing more harm then good to to the hundreds of kids whose lives are made better.

    • Solent Sue   February 28, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      More State creeping control. Not a hint of care for the children. Here in my southern state (and most around the country from what I read) DCF is another jack booted Federal program along the lines of the DOE, EPA, etc. Some have their own police/SWAT force and can Shut You Down if you resist.

      I sense a loss of Freedom here, but I’m sure it’s because I am an old white person.

    • krystalbird   March 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Jeff Nutty, If budget cuts are making it difficult to cover the many cases brought to DCF, why on earth would they insist upon commandeering a case that’s taking so many man-hours & so much time? Furthermore, if we citizens have not been able to meet the “real people” on the DCF side of this to get the “real news,” how about filling us in? Why are you holding back? In my opinion, & that of many others (thank goodness) the parents have EVERY right to take home their child, & the hospital & DCF have NO right to keep her. No wonder the mother fainted.
      There’s no two ways about it, this is an outrage.

  14. j morey   February 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    DCF will submit because this will only get bigger and bigger beyond their control…

  15. jerry   February 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I wish someone with money and influence would step up to save saeed abedini who is an American citizen being held in an iranian prison and being tortured everyday

  16. Deborah L   February 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I would love to find out who the workers were who that it was so funny. Follow the money is always a good deal. There are also other cases which need checking into where kids have been kidnapped for no apparent reason and then bulldozed by DCF.

  17. I love NUTS (@CAmeateater)   February 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    BUT they do nothing for the Millions of other children facing hunger, despair, health problems every single day in this country….No these same people INSTEAD are fighting against them having any healthcare, FOOD, jobs. They call themselves “good christians” but all they do is cherry pick the good and ignore the uncomfortable.

    • rbctex   February 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      You are so wrong. Gleaning For The World is an offshoot of TRBC which is an offshoot of Liberty University.

  18. Bella   February 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    America the beautiful……where has she gone. Prayers for Justina and her family. Tremendous thanks to those who are opening their hearts and helping financially. This truly is a travesty.

  19. Will Sapper   February 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Why wasn’t a third medical opinion sought?

  20. Ess   February 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Thank goodness those with money and power have stepped in to help free Justina and her family from this horrific nightmare — a nightmare unleashed upon them from simply admitting their daughter to the hospital with flu. Realllly—what country and what century are we living in—and WHAT kind of a FLAWED mindset has been running and ALLOWING this devastation and destruction AGAINST Justina and her family . . . ??? DO NO HARM!! Indeed 🙁 Sounds like an INsane circus–going round and round in VICIOUS circles.

    Free and help Justina–give Justina her life back–with appropriate medical care–and life with her family.

    AND–a slap on the wrist is NOT going to be sufficient justice and consequence for BCH . . . NOT by a loooong shot!!!

  21. Mark Katz   February 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Thhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh This is sick and truly disgusting

  22. Terri   February 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    It is possible that she has been incarcerated for such a long time in order to hide just how physically ill she has become as a result of inappropriate psychiatric treatment, and of being denied access to appropriate medical care.

  23. Terri   February 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    There is no scientific evidence that somatoform disorder exists anywhere outside the minds of the psychiatrists who invented it.

  24. Sandy Doerty   February 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    What has happened here with Justina is just unbelievable. I think all parents will think twice about ever bringng their kids to BCH and rightly so. Thanks for keeping this in the media and I pray she gets the real help she needs very soon, and back with her parents.
    Makes me sick what’s happened here, can’t wrap my mind around that it is real. 🙁


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