Dr. Phil Interviews Justina Pelletier Family on Day of Court Case [Video]

Justina Pelletier

Justina PelletierThe father and sisters of Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teenager who has been held by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) for more than a year, will appear on the Dr. Phil show tomorrow. The interviews coincide with a court hearing during which the Pelletier family will continue their fight to regain custody of the 15-year-old who is desperately ill and confined to a wheelchair. It is thought that Judge Joseph Johnston will make his final custody ruling tomorrow. A rally is also planned for the day of the case, as well as a TweetStorm to spread awareness of her plight tonight.

There was shock and outrage on Feb. 24 when a Boston judge ruled she could be placed in foster care pending tomorrow’s hearing. Justina’s mother collapsed under the strain and had to be removed by medics from the courthouse on a stretcher. The DCF subsequently agreed that Justina could remain at the Massachusetts Wayside Youth and Family Support Network where she has been since January when they released her from the controversial Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). The DCF also announced it was making plans for her to be treated at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center in accordance with her parents’ wishes.

Justina Pelletier was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disease by doctors at Tufts several years ago, and had been treated by them until she got the flu last February. She was admitted to BCH where her parents expected she would be seen by a gastroenterologist who had previously treated her at Tufts. Instead a new doctor re-diagnosed her illness as somatoform disorder, which is essentially psychosomatic. When Justina’s parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier refused to acknowledge the diagnosis and sign acceptance of a change of treatment, the DCF went to court and had custody transferred to the state. Her family maintains that her condition has deteriorated dramatically ever since, so much so she is paralyzed from the waist down and is confined to a wheelchair.

The Dr. Phil Interview

Billed as The Fight over Justina: Medical Child Abuse by Parents or Abuse of Power by a Hospital? the Dr. Phil interview was pre-recorded last week with Lou Pelletier and two of Justina’s sisters, Jessica (above left) and Jennifer (right). In the promotional video, Dr. Phil questions that hospitals “don’t just keep a child for no reason,” and goes on to say to the Pelletiers, “they have to be implying you are making her sick.”

In the interview he tries to fathom how what appears on the surface to be “a dispute over a diagnosis” could turn into “a headline-grabbing custody battle.” In addition to discussing the case with the Pelletiers, Dr. Phil also talks to several experts in an endeavor to discover whether the doctors at BCH were justified in what they did or whether it was in fact “an abuse of power.”

Rally Outside the Courthouse

Several high-profile campaigners have recently joined in the fight to have Justina Pelletier returned to her parents immediately, including Rev. Patrick Mahoney who heads the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington. He accompanied the Pelletier family to Los Angeles where the Dr. Phil show was recorded and said on his Facebook page that their message was “clear and simple. Parents know what is best for their children better than government agencies or courts!” Afterwards he spoke out about the interviews saying that the “show was amazing and Dr. Phil was incredible!” He hopes that the show being flighted on the day of the court case will have maximum impact.

Rev. Mahoney has called for supporters to join him outside the Suffolk County Juvenile Court in Boston’s New Chardon Street at 12.30 pm tomorrow to “speak out for justice and human rights.” It is expected that at least 652 people will join the rally and prayer vigil.

TweetStorm to Help Free Justina Pelletier

Those who cannot attend tomorrow’s rally have been asked to participate in a TweetStorm at 6 pm Pacific time, 9 pm Eastern time tonight. Organizers have prepared a number of tweets that can be copied, including a quote by Lou Pelletier: “Bottom line is, my daughter’s life is now at stake” and another by Justine herself: “I feel like a prisoner.” Tweets will be aimed at a number of individuals and institutions including the DFC, BCH and Judge Johnston as well as campaigners.

The urgency is increased by the fact that an effort by several Massachusetts state representatives to have Justina released last week failed.

Massachusetts State Representatives Fail to Get Justina Released

Jim Lyons and Marc Lombardo both Republican state representatives headed a campaign to persuade the Massachusetts House of Representatives to force the DCF to release Justina from state custody. They had 16 Republican and seven Democrat signatures but reportedly lost the battle on Wednesday when Democrat David Linsky sent the matter to a Rules Committee. He said this was standard procedure and argued that there was, in any case, a court case pending.

“I think my record shows that I am no fan of the current DCF but we all have to respect a pending court case,” Linsky said. “The Legislature can’t step in because that would be a violation of the separation of powers.”

Meanwhile Lombardo said it was time Justina was released from DCF custody “where she is dying.” Instead she should be allowed to “go home to her family in Connecticut.”

Judge Joseph Johnston to Decide Justina’s Fate

All eyes and ears will be on the Suffolk County Juvenile Courthouse tomorrow where Judge Johnstone is expected to give his final judgment on the custody battle that has been going on for more than a year.

Campaigners and followers of the case will also be sure to watch as Dr. Phil interviews the family of Justina Pelletier on the day of this important court case that will determine the teenager’s future.

By Penny Swift

Dr. Phil
Red Mass Group
Michael Graham
Guardian Liberty Voice
Guardian Liberty Voice
Guardian Liberty Voice

17 thoughts on “Dr. Phil Interviews Justina Pelletier Family on Day of Court Case [Video]

  1. I just can’t imagine what a nightmare it must have been. You’re acting in good faith on a medical diagnosis from one of the top facilities in the US (Tufts). Your child’s GI doc is in Boston. You drive 4 hours to take her to see that doc, because of her flu. Some pissant resident (Dr. Jurriaan Peters) decides that all of the other doctors are wrong… and you end up seeing your daughter (under supervision!!!) one hour a week for over a year??!!!
    This “medical Child abuse” charge has never been proven in court. Obviously the poor girl was truly sick: she’s in a wheelchair. And if it was all “psychosomatic” tell me how keeping her a prisoner in a psych ward is going to help matters?

    Remember that one of Pelletier’s nurses resigned over this abuse, and wrote to DCF about it. It’s unbelievable how foul Boston Children’s has behaved in this matter. “Child abuse.” Yeah, driving your sick kid to see her doctor is really abusive. This case has made me so angry.

  2. Pete – You are 100% correct! And no, you do not sound like a madman.
    The modern medical industry is corrupt, callous and actually very dangerous in many situations.

  3. I am beginning to wonder if this is the way BOSTON CHILDREN HOSPITAL is making their profit, by stealing children under false pretenses! Placing a GAG-ORDER on the family so the TRUTH not to be known! To top it off, the BOSTON DCFS MEDICAL ADVISOR is NONE other than BOSTON CHILDREN HOSPITAL! Also wondering if the JUDGE is getting KICK-BACK! Maybe it is time for the REAL Gov. to step in and check what is going on! FBI etc. Something is NOT KOSHER at the BOSTON CHILDREN HOSPITAL. BOSTON PARENTS do NOT bring your children to this hospital. It maybe the last time you see them for a very long time. A hospital, DCFS and a Judge all in CAHOOTS together. UNBELIEVABLE!!

  4. See Face Book: Free Bret Bohn. Please sign the petition on Change.org. Bret is denied visitors, tv, phone, internet, since October. Please get involved. This could be your family member next.

  5. This is why we have the 2nd amendment. Keep getting the word out. Sue the ever loving **** out of that hospital and that state if u can.

          1. Perhaps s/he can’t give the other side because the other side has respected the gag order and hipaa laws.

          2. Either 1. You are not educated on this story or 2. You are an employee of BCH, DCF, Wayside, or affiliated somehow. There is NO WAY you can justify this. Shame on you for trying to use HIPPA as an excuse! Oh, btw, there NEVER WAS AN OFFICIAL GAG ORDER! It was a lie! It was said on the side verbally. Never in writing! In fact, this judge had nothing in writing in all 13 months! Lol! What a joke! America is disgusted. Your evil & corruption has been exposed. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are coming after you & WILL burn this evil ship down! Cowards & bullies is what you all are! Picking on & killing CHILDREN!! Disgusting!!


  7. I hope things work out for your family. Since the state took over the care of your daughter let them pay the bills once they owe money they will let her go back to you. It’s all about money. Copyright your daughters names so no one can send you bills good luck

  8. I have a friend who lost custody of her daughter because of similar abuse accusations made against her. Unfortunately she had neither the money or connections to win the fight to get her back! At first she was praised for her meticulous attention to her daughter’s health care, then she was accused of suffering from Munchhausen’s syndrome, and her ex-husband won custody!

  9. Justina Pelletier was not the first child wrongly taken away from their parents by Boston Children’s Hospital. Google Elizabeth Wray… there also was one more recent case eerily similar to the Pelletier case. There have been reports that Boston Children’s Hospital has done this so many times, that they have created a trendy name for the process- a ‘parent-ectomy.’ Google Beth Maloney, the lawyer who represented the two earlier ‘parent-ectomy’ cases against Boston Children’s Hospital.

    This isn’t about parents who were not treating their child. Justina Pelletier was being treated for Mitochondrial disorder, had an Individualized Education Plan for Schooling, and was even able to ice skate before she tried to see a GI Specialist at Boston Children’s and the psychiatric team decided to take her away. This seems to be more of a disagreement of two hospitals over a diagnosis! When you have two reputable hospitals with differentiating diagnoses, the avenue of treatment should be up to the parents to decide. Now Justina has not had any schooling for the entire time, cannot even walk, and has not been allowed to see a priest the whole time she has been in DCF custody even though there is one on staff at the hospital- not even on Christmas or Easter.

    The issue seems to get a bit deeper when you realize that Boston Children’s Hospital is a Harvard Training Hospital. Harvard has large pockets and could keep up any legal fights until the end of time. It also helps when the Governor of your state graduated from Harvard along with countless other politicians. The Pelletier family has been lucky with 12 state lawmakers trying to present a resolution which would urge DCF to free Justina, however that effort has been blocked by David Linsky. I do not know Mr. Linskys motives, but i can only imagine. It is clear that we have to be loud and united speaking out against this sorta of thing. Just because Harvard is a top university does not give them the right to nullify any established diagnosis that they fail to agree with from another established hospital (In this case Tufts). This seems to be part of a hospital working with the courts to steal a child from their parents because they would seek either a second opinion or seek treatment elsewhere. Governments and Medical guru’s do not own our children. WE own our children!

    [My long response may seem like the ramblings of a madman, but do some googling: Elizabeth Wray, Beth Maloney, Anna Nikolayev, Bret Bohn …the first two are related to Boston Children’s Hospital cases. The second two are in other locations… check them out and speak up to freeJustina!

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