Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teenager who has spent the last year in state custody in a case that has pitted Boston's top doctors against a family who claims their daughter is being medically mistreated, will go into foster care, a court has ruled. In a two-hour closed door hearing on Monday, Justina's mother "collapsed" and was taken to a local hospital and her father "shouted in anger" when they were told by a Department of Family and Children's judge continued to deny the family custody of their 15-year-old, according to the Boston Globe. Lou and Linda Pelletier, of West Hartford, Conn., have been fighting for their daughter who they say has mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic disorder with physical symptoms that can affect every part of the body.
A team of doctors at Boston Children's said her symptoms were psychosomatic, according to the family. The hospital then filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, as required by law, because they suspected the parents of child abuse for subjecting their daughter to invasive medical treatments and denying her mental health therapy.
They laid out a treatment plan for Justina, which her parents refused to sign, and on Feb. 14, 2013, when they attempted to check their daughter out of Boston Children's to take her back to Tufts to resume medical treatment, the family said they were told by Boston Children's that they could not discharge Justina. "We didn't even get a chance to say goodbye," Pelletier said. Justina was diagnosed with somatoform pain disorder, a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical explanation can be found, according to her family. The case highlights a growing concern among those with rare diseases and autoimmune disorders that physical symptoms that cannot be explained will be dismissed by doctors as psychosomatic.
Mitochondrial disease is a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell. Mitochondria are found in every cell of the human body except red blood cells and convert the energy of food molecules into the ATP that powers most cell functions. Mitochondrial diseases are sometimes (about 15% of the time) caused by the mitochondrial DNA that affect mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial diseases take on unique characteristics both because of the way the diseases are often inherited and because mitochondria are so critical to cell function. The subclass of these diseases that have neuromuscular disease symptoms are often called a mitochondrial myopathy.
A somatoform disorder is a mental disorder characterized by symptoms that suggest physical illness or injury – symptoms that cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition or by the direct effect of a substance, and are not attributable to another mental disorder (e.g., panic disorder). In people who have a somatoform disorder, medical test results are either normal or do not explain the person's symptoms, and history and physical examination do not indicate the presence of a medical condition that could cause them. Patients with this disorder often become worried about their health because doctors are unable to find a cause for their symptoms. This may cause severe distress. Preoccupation with the symptoms may portray a patient's exaggerated belief in the severity of their ill-health. Symptoms are sometimes similar to those of other illnesses and may last for several years. Usually, the symptoms begin appearing during adolescence, and patients are diagnosed before the age of 30 years. Symptoms may occur across cultures and gender. Other common symptoms include anxiety and depression. In order for an individual to be diagnosed with somatoform disorder, they must have recurring somatic complaints for several continuous years.
"We didn't even get a chance to say goodbye," Pelletier said
The hospital then filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, as required by law, because they suspected the parents of child abuse for subjecting their daughter to invasive medical treatments and denying her mental health therapy.
So it's Doctor pitted against Doctor.
reply to post by infoseeker26754
Since we haven't heard the child's side of the story, something the doctors and psychologists HAVE, we can't reliably say what her story is.
However, the feigned outrage from the parents could very well be a fear response over all the horrible things the child might wind up revealing about how they treated her once she feels safe and away from them for awhile.
Then again, it could be genuine upset where they aren't culpable of any intended abuse, though unintentional abuse could still be a factor.
Whatever the case, there was legitimate concern for abuse cited by the physicians, such measures were deemed necessary to prevent further harm coming the child.
We may very well see criminal charges pressed against one or both of the parents in coming months with followup news.
they suspected the parents of child abuse for subjecting their daughter to invasive medical treatments and denying her mental health therapy.
reply to post by theyknowwhoyouare
I'd like to see this happen MORE, especially where parents think they can pray their children back to health as opposed to seeking medical attention.