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Justina Pelletier

Written by Web Editor on . Posted in Perspective


Linda and Lou Pelletier have been fighting for custody of their daughter since Feb. 14, 2013, when they were accused of medical child abuse and lost custody of her to DCF. At the root of the case is a disagreement about medical diagnoses. The Pelletiers had been treating Justina for mitochondrial disease, which a doctor at Tufts Medical Center diagnosed her with several years ago. Last February, doctors at a Connecticut hospital suggested the Pelletiers bring Justina to Boston Children’s to see a gastrointestinal specialist, who had recently transferred from Tufts, when she was experiencing complications from the flu.

At Boston Children’s however, the family said they were not seen by a gastrointestinal doctor but by physicians who ended up disagreeing with the mitochondrial disease diagnosis. The doctors at Boston Children’s said Justina had somatoform disorder, a psychiatric disorder that says the cause of her symptoms are in her head.

Justina Pelletier has been in the custody of the state since Feb. 14, 2013. Th family's next court date is March 17.

Justina Pelletier has been in the custody of the state since Feb. 14, 2013. Th family’s next court date is March 17.

The Pelletiers have been trying to regain custody and medical care of their daughter ever since. Boston Children’s Hospital and the Department of Children and Families have each declined to comment on the case.

Get involved:

Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS)
Health and Human Services

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Olga Roche, Acting Commissioner
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 748-2000 operator

Boston Children's Hospital   
300 Longwood Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115    

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