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Parents Say Hospital Kidnapped Their Daughter (UPDATE)

Affiliate Disclosure | in Everything Else | by | with 136 Comments

A Miracle for Justina/ Via Facebook

Lego Booby Traps and Never Ending Laundry

. . . it may not be the Hallmark commercial we meant to sign up for, but you and I know that we’d choose it all over again in a heartbeat. Parenting may mean more pukey sheets and less sleep than we imagined, but our children are warm, fed, and most of all loved. If the Department of Child and Family Services (DCF) showed up at our front door, we’d think they got the wrong address.

But what if they didn’t.

What if – despite no indication of neglect or abuse – they took our children from their beds and placed them in the system? If it sounds far-fetched, let me tell you a story.

Justina Pelletier is not your average 15 year old.

She’s spent most of the past year locked up in a state psychiatric ward against her will, without the consent of her parents, and against the medical advice of her longstanding treating physician. Her family has nearly gone bankrupt trying to get her out. (source)

Her dad Lou is defying a gag order to tell her story on ABC News, FOX News, the Glenn Beck show, and many other media outlets. When FOX News reporter Megyn Kelly asked him why – and whether he was worried about the consequences of speaking out – he replied “I’m saving my daughter’s life. I’m not worried about the consequences to me.” (source)

Why does the Pelletier family fear their daughter is at risk in the state’s care? Because she’s gone 13 months without the medical care Dr. Mark Korson – Chief of Metabolism at Tufts Medical Center and former treating physician to Justina- says she needs. In addition she has been removed from school and not been provided any supplemental education, nor has she had access to religious clergy despite the family’s request. If you haven’t been following the story, here’s what you need to know:

Anatomy Of A Legalized Abduction

A few years ago Justina was diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder, which is a “disruption in the cellular energy centers of our bodies, the mitochondria.” The “body’s demands exceed the body’s ability to supply enough energy to live and to thrive. For mito patients, it’s more than just being tired. It’s never having adequate fuel to operate necessary functions of our body. Justina’s gut stopped working a couple of years ago, a common problem for mito patients, resulting in a tube to help her digest and eliminate food. Mito patients also struggle with muscle weakness, pain, memory loss, erratic blood pressure, vision problems, hearing problems, and debilitating fatigue.” (source)

Despite all that, she was able to ice skate competitively, attend school, and live a relatively normal life. That all changed last year.

“When Justina got the flu in February 2013, her parents acted quickly. They knew that people with mitochondrial disease can decompensate rapidly when physiologically stressed from illness. Their primary mitochondrial disease doctor at Tufts Medical Center encouraged them to go to Boston Children’s Hospital where their gastrointestinal (GI) specialist just relocated. Justina and her parents made the 3-hour drive to Boston with hopes of a short wait so their GI doctor could help stabilize her.” (source)

So we’ve got two caring parents following the guidance of their daughter’s physician – not exactly a red flag if you ask me. How do we get from here to parents believing their child was kidnapped? As it turns out, it’s pretty easy.

Dr. “doesn’t believe” in Mito

During the admission process an ER doc – who had been out of medical school a whopping 7 months – told Justina’s parents that he “didn’t believe” in mitochondrial disease, and instead believed she had somatoform disorder, “a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical explanation can be found.” (source1source 2)

According to this article, “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.” (source)

The Pelletier’s disagreed with BCH’s diagnosis and refused to sign off on the proposed treatment plan, so Boston Children’s Hospital called DCF and accused them of medical abuse. Before the Pelletiers realized what was happening, Justina was a ward of the state.

“While all the security guards were showing up, we actually called 911 and said our daughter had been kidnapped by Boston Children’s Hospital” said Lou Pelletier. (source)

Six weeks before her admission she was ice skating competitively . . .

Image credit: A Miracle for Justina/ Via Facebook

Now, 13 months later, she’s in a wheelchair. (source)


Image credit: A Miracle for Justina/ Via Facebook

Her parents, who are allowed a one hour supervised visit each week, say her condition is deteriorating rapidly. Earlier this week a hearing was held, and the judge decided to place Justina in foster care rather than return her to her family.

“I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs. … The (Boston Children’s Hospital) team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch,” wrote Dr. Korson, the Tufts Chief of Metabolism who was previously Justina’s doctor, in an email. (source)

“I have a right as a U.S. citizen to take my daughter to what doctor I want to, and it’s been taken away,” Linda Pelletier told FOX News.

Not An Isolated Event

I wish I could tell you that this was an isolated event, but it isn’t.


Anna and Alex Nikolayev, the parents of 5-month-old Sammy, “were shocked when police showed up to take away their infant boy after they told a doctor they wanted a second opinion. Caught on camera, the footage shows police entering the California home of Anna and Alex Nikolayev and asking Anna to hand over the baby.” (source)


I’m going to grab your baby and don’t resist and don’t fight me, okay?” one of the officers told Anna. Two months later a judge returned the boy and dismissed the case. 


A woman who would not consent to a “safety plan” for her newborn baby without consulting her lawyer was ejected from the hospital and told she could return every three hours to nurse her baby. (source 1, source 2)


According to Jim Navarro, CPS threatened and intimidated his family into accepting cancer treatments they didn’t want for their son, blocked their access to the most promising therapy available, and then shrugged their shoulders when a child dies from chemotherapy toxicity? He made a documentary about their experience.

Why The Pelletier’s Case Should Matter To Every Parent

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”

― Thomas Jefferson

Mama’s, we now have a situation in which normal, reasonable parents fear taking their children to healthcare providers. On the flipside, they also fear NOT taking them, because if they are ever accused of neglect they won’t have an established record of care.

Do we really want doctors and state organizations have this much power in our lives?

UPDATE 3/1/14: Several foster homes that DCF has tried to place Justina in have refused to take her for fear of protest rallies on their doorstep. DCF is now indicating that they plan to return Justina to her family. It hasn’t happened yet, but several sources are reporting that the public outcry on behalf of the Pelletiers is turning the tide for their case.

UPDATE 6-17-14

After watching helplessly as DCF was awarded permanent custody of their daughter in March, the Pelletiers are celebrating a complete 180 in Justina’s case. After a video plea from Justina went viral this month, a Boston judge has ordered DCF to return Justina to her parents. (source)

After 16 months of struggle, Justina is going home tomorrow. Thank you all for your support!

All photos via A Miracle For Justina On Facebook

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136 Responses to Parents Say Hospital Kidnapped Their Daughter (UPDATE)

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am a mom of a child with mito. It has been extremely difficult to find her the medical care she needs. We were treated quite badly in the medical community and have some accusatory language in her files from a hospital stay due to a metabolic decompensation. She is under great care now and is improving. My prayers are with Justina and her family. This is a real problem. DCF is involved in a significant number of mito cases and parental rights are being stripped. I live in fear of having to go to the hospital or see a new doctor with my daughter.

    • Heather says:

      The number of mito families encountering these situations is very disconcerting. I’m so glad your daughter is getting the care she needs, and I hope that through our collective efforts more families will find support.

    • d says:

      Please consider submitting criminal and civil complaints against medical staff and government employees that violates you and your children.

    • Robyn says:

      I’m so sorry for the pain you and your family have had to endure not just because of your daughter’s health condition, but because doctors, in their limited (and biased) understanding have added to it. You will be in my prayers as well as Justina and her family, Amy. God bless you and yours.

  2. Maria Masala says:

    People ask me why, despite being a US citizen and having free access to the land of opportunity “America”, I live in Italy and have no intention of moving to the US. This is why. There is no such thing as this insanity over here. If a doctor even tired something like that he’d be laughed at and told to go get a life.

  3. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing. Stories like this make me so mad. I am very fortunate to have a healthy child that rarely goes to the doctor but I worry about what I would be up against if she ever did need care. I feel so badly for this family and hope that they can get her out of there and back in their care as soon as possible. I don’t even understand how cases like this can happen! Seems that more and more of our rights are being taken away everyday.

  4. Thank you for forcing me to take my head out of the sand with this article. I feel sick reading it. Part of me wishes I could be so naive as to think this was an exaggeration, but knowing you, your credibility and your research skills, and reading the first reply here from Amy, obviously I can’t. Plus there was a time when I used to be reading about these kinds of situations day in day out. Signing the petition right now, I pray they get a resolution to this as quickly as possible, and I pray we see the day come when all of this insanity in medicine and birth is put to rest.

    • Heather says:

      It was hard for me to believe at first, too. My dad was actually a hospital executive when I was growing up. I liked and trusted the doctors that reported to him, and my rare encounters with the medical establishment these days have all been positive.

      However, just because I have had good experiences does not mean everyone does. I’ll never forget the day I met Jim Navarro, the man I mention in the post who created a documentary about his family’s experience. There was so much pain in that man’s eyes, and so much love for his son. I couldn’t sleep for days after speaking with him. Since then others have shared their stories with me often enough for me to see that, although the majority of doctors are not bullies, some are.

  5. Sarah says:

    When my 5th child was a few months old I took him to the ER the day after my husband and I had gone out and left him (and his siblings) for the first time. He was crying in the arms of the sitter when we returned, and the next day acted strangely. Non responsive, sluggish, etc. The dr immediately suspected the sitter of shaking him- I KNEW this did not happen. I would not give him her name and information because I was not going to have something bad happen to her. After an exam and some testing they said there did not appear to be anything wrong. Yet He wanted to do over 50 xrays of my son while he screamed, shook, and was forced into positions his little body was not used to. I lasted about 3 or 4 before I put a stop to it. He refused to let me leave the hospital, put a call in to CYS and physically blocked me from leaving my room. I screamed as loudly as possible that they were not letting me leave, etc. into the hallway until finally another dr came in. Thankfully we have a lawyer in the family who my husband spoke with in the meantime and we told this new dr we were going to sue the hospital, used all the legal terms and they called everything off and let us go. It was the scariest situation of my life. I have two masters degrees in education and work with children on a daily basis, and this dr treated me like scum. I hope this family can get their daughter back and get her healthy again. The people involved in this should be ashamed and I am so proud of this dad for breaking the gag order and getting the story out.

    • Heather says:

      Oh my goodness, your story got my mama bear instincts all riled up. You were so smart to get legal assistance immediately. I wonder how things might have been different if you hadn’t.

  6. Rochelle Lynn says:

    This sadly is happening more and more often. There’s a case in my state similar to this going on right now.
    My heart goes out to the families in situations like this and I think we need to start getting our legislators involved and encourage them to support the Parental Rights Ammendment.

    • Anna says:

      YES! I just read about this one (via a different news outlet) and it freaked me out. I work down the street from Prov and never would have thought something like this could happen a) in 2014, b) in America, and c) down the flippin’ street!!

  7. Star Traci says:

    I am physically ill reading this. I am at a loss for words and frightened that an ER doctor that has no relationship with this girl would hold so much power over doctors who have an established relationship with her. Isn’t her decay an obvious statement of her current misdiagnosis? I am so sorry for this family.

  8. Kim says:

    I am horrified. I echo everything Danielle said. I feel nauseous. I will sign and share and do whatever else I can to prevent tyranny…this must be stopped.

  9. Carole Mathewson says:

    The United States in which we live today is not the wonderful country in which I grew up. I want out! But where might I go in this crazy world to be certain of avoiding such a horrible experience. My prayers go out to the child and to her parents. What a horrible experience for all three! I pray that the publicity the matter is receiving will result in the child being returned to her parents, without further interference from the thugs responsible for the unthinkable situation.

  10. Rebekah says:

    I am that mama that is scared to take her kids to the doctor as well as scared not too. Many of my friends feel this same way. I hope that they can get there daughter back. What a nightmare. Will try to help get this story out there.

  11. Missy Joe via FB says:

    Read this elsewhere and it’s unreal. I can’t believe someone can tell you which, where, when about YOUR CHILDS CARE!!

  12. this is a scary trend going on these days. we don’t have all the info and they were saying child abuse but how scary for a parent if they are not and their child is in real pain an dneed of medical care and no one will listen and then takes your child. I cannot even imagine.

  13. Jeremy Rice via FB says:

    There’s another case in Alaska as well regarding a mentally handicapped 27 year old living with his parents.

    • Rochelle Lynn says:

      He actually isn’t mentally handicapped, though the news made him look that way. He developed insomnia as a side effect of a steroid he was prescribed and when he went to the hospital for treatment they doped him up with all sorts of medicines.

  14. Dori Borkholder StAmant via FB says:

    She’s not the only child that was taken from parents and thrown in the psych ward there. Craziness.!

  15. Tricia Rider Deaton via FB says:

    They supposedly took her because they didn’t approve of how they were “treating” her for an illness that her Drs said she didnt have – they did the same to me – took my son for “treating” him for Autism without consent of a DR (which I had) – by removing dairy from his diet – which HELPED him and for removing him from Growth Hormones, after a year – which weren’t helping him anyway.

  16. Courtney Dolan via FB says:

    This is so depressing

  17. Elizabeth Jeffers via FB says:

    It really happened. I have been following this story.

  18. Tamara Martin via FB says:

    Read this one, it is so shocking to me to imagine….

  19. jennycat says:

    Add to the list of parents who lost their children because they sought a second opinion: Maryann Godboldo.

  20. Tiffany Schneider via FB says:

    This is frightening!

  21. Julie Moenart via FB says:

    Scary! And equally scary the parents seek support from Glenn Beck.

    • Melissa says:

      If I were this parent I would go to whoever would listen. Glenn Beck, whatever you may think of him, has had this story out for months and has been fighting for this family.

    • Denise says:

      They sought support from someone whom most people do NOT think is “scary” and gave them the widest amount of exposure possible. Good for them and good for Glenn Beck!

  22. Katrina Beier via FB says:

    Been following this for awhile. CRIMINAL!!!

  23. Debbie Lisman McClelland via FB says:

    State Reps here in Mass have started proceedings to get DCF to release her to her parents stating it is a differing of medical opinions and the choice of treatment should be with her parents.

  24. Sarah Michal McLain via FB says:

    thank you for sharing this! There is also a petition through the whitehouse. Please consider making an account and signing the petition, it literally takes minutes and could change the world we live in.

  25. Dispicable. Utterly atrocious.

  26. Julie Main stream media has refused to draw attention so they seek support with any one who will listen.

  27. Robyn Morton via FB says:

    I can’t understand this at all. I mean, even if the doctors didn’t approve of their treatments, it’s not like they were coming up with stuff by reading tea leaves and interpreting clouds–their daughter was under the care of another very prestigious person. The treatments that they objected to were under a licensed doctor’s orders. How can that possibly be construed as “abuse” or that the daughter needs to be removed from their custody?! At that point, isn’t it more appropriate to lodge a complaint with your professional organization, and maybe with the opposing doctor’s hospital, than to remove the child from their parents? Makes. No. Sense.

  28. Melissa Walters Rosas via FB says:

    This is so crazy. Until I found a doctor that believed me when I said I was sick I was told over & over that my illness was mental. Thank heaven that I found a doctor that understood that I didn’t need antidepressants but I needed true intervention health wise. After he treated me for hormone issues & vitamin deficiencies instead of modern pharmacology I was able to heal. All of my issues were backed up by by blood tests that no other doctor would test for. I hate when doctors assume that you have mental issues just because they don’t know.

  29. Sarah Michal McLain via FB says:

    just noticed you linked to the petition in your article… you are awesome!

  30. Bethany Bogart Fox via FB says:

    I’ve been following this. It is going on in the town where I attended church back home in Connecticut. You always think things like that will never happen. A “Not in my backyard” mentality is dangerous to have.

  31. Christina says:

    Thank you for the story, I am a mom of two healthy beautiful girls that hardly need the medical system but I feel for this family and every family that relies on the system to help with a loved one.
    I don’t understand how they can take your child away when you are loving and caring for you child and yet they don’t even think to investigate the millions of children in foster care that lose their life because they are trusted to monters. I realy don’t get it….. My prayers are with this family.

  32. Debbie Lisman McClelland via FB says:

    Eleisha, this is in main stream media and is in the National News. This has also been major news here in Mass with most people backing the family.

  33. Rachel Postma via FB says:

    Scott Postma

  34. Audra Boyd via FB says:

    Watch “Doctored”

  35. Ashley Creane via FB says:

    I’ve been following this story and its just heart-wrenching & devastating. Something needs to be done to help bring Justina home and prevent this from happening to other families!

  36. If something isn’t done soon, they will be getting her back in a casket. The state is killing her.

  37. Nick N Kim Plancich via FB says:

    I’m horrified and terrified…how can this be? Is there no common sense left in any of these levels of hierarchy? What can we alternative mamas do to protect our rights besides signing this petition? I want to help! Please suggest anything!

  38. You did an excellent job in your description of this horrible situation. I’ve read several different sources and yours was by far the best. Thank you for getting the word out!!

  39. Sharla Bohannon Tucker via FB says:

    The first of many…

  40. Erika Kersey-Carrell via FB says:


  41. Lindsay Wallace Bumbarger via FB says:

    I agree with the post for earlier. If you haven’t watched the movie Doctored, this type of situation is highlighted in part of the movie along with some other sobering facts about our sickcare system. It’s worth the 90mins!!!!

  42. Melissa Walters Rosas via FB says:

    Lindsay where can I find the movie “Doctored” that you mentioned?

  43. Christie Siefer via FB says:

    DCS needs a checks and balances system. And a way to be held accountable when they choose to be asses.

  44. Marta says:

    Take your petition off the White House Petition site if you want to get signatures. You have a valid cause that many would espouse. Find your case to be infuriating and nerve wracking. But I’m not going to create an account at the White House site to sign your petition.

  45. Smiles says:

    My 3 year old was diagnosed with lyme disease after looking for a year for answers for her joint pains. After declining treatment of antibiotics and seeking for alternative treatment, I was turned into my local health department. We had to fight the doctors and convince the nurses that we were going to do what was best for our child and they could not force us to do what they said. Thankfully, we were able to walk away with just the stress of the fight. Stories like this make me sad and angry that this is where our country is with its health care.

  46. Rhonda Fry – Wow, your words mean more than you know. I woke up before dawn today to write this post and really struggled to find the right words. I’m glad you though it was worth the read.

  47. Kari-Lynn VanderKooy via FB says:

    This is terrifying!!

  48. Amy Ionno-Carper via FB says:

    I have followed this closely. My daughter has 2 relatively rare disorders also, and this is a very real thing that is happening. I’ve had several friends where this has happened, although they were advised by outside help to cooperate and were able to get their child out of the hospital. One was actually at Boston also. Mito is real. I know of several children with it, one who passed away 2 years ago. VERY frightening.

  49. Annelie Westberg via FB says:


  50. You are very talented. I read a lot and I’m very impressed with your writing skills. Please don’t doubt your ability. I look forward to future posts!!

  51. Michaela Anne Collins via FB says:

    This is a heart breaking situation. And from what I’ve read the man in Alaska was far from mentally handicapped and his situation stemmed from an adverse reaction to prednisone.

  52. To sign petition call 800-722-9550 to support Justina being returned to her parents.

  53. Sara Hartig Wildermuth via FB says:

    Sick. :(

  54. Priscilla Sanchez De Nuno via FB says:


  55. Jessica Lind via FB says:

    Heart breaking.

  56. Mandy Dixon Blasche via FB says:

    So scary and so disappointed in our medical community. I can’t believe that not only do the parents not have any rights but she as a 16 year old has no say either. So sad for this family.

  57. Shannon Jones via FB says:

    Is this true?? So disturbing.

  58. Mary Hillman via FB says:

    ^ yes it is

  59. Mary Hillman via FB says:

    Unbelievably disturbing

  60. Melissa Mel Anderson Mason via FB says:

    This is scary as hell.

  61. Autumn Rivas Seaborn via FB says:

    The thing that needs to be done is to support the Parental Right’s Act This will put language in our laws that give parents the right to decide for our own children what is best for them. (Something that was not needed in years gone by because it was common sense.)

  62. Krysta Lowry via FB says:

    How can you not believe in mitochondrial disease when there is ample evidence out there? He should have his license revoked, especially if this poor girl has to go through much else.

  63. Thank you so much for covering this, heather! All of us with Mito have even terrified and fighting for this non stop for a year! I am so thankful someone I admire and happen to Follow is talking about it! My interests collide! Too weird and wonderful! Thank you for getting the word out!

  64. Antonia Perez via FB says:

    Omg I had something similar happen to me and my family! I took my son to the hospital or a head injury, he fell off the bed and passed out. I took him to the er and they first wanted to watch him then hours later they wanted to keep him overnight just to be sure, I agreed to that. I came in the next morning thinking he would be released, nope! They wanted to test him now. At 5pm the next day. They told me this after the doctor watched me feed my son. He tells me he wants a MRI. A toddler has to be asleep in order to get it done correctly because they need to hold still, he couldn’t be put to sleep now since he are, have to wait 8 hrs They didn’t care, we did the test and it didn’t come out correct so then they wanted a CT scan the machine malfunctioned, they wanted to do it again. I said no! My son was fine by the time we got to the ER the day before. At 2am I had a Doctor my face telling me how she was going to call dcfs and have my son taken away since I won’t allow him treatment. I stood firm I wouldn’t even let them take his temp. The next morning I was calling every administrative staff the hospital director. Finally they released my son. 2 days later and 3 botched tests and he was fine the whole time. Turns out he was crying so hard he forgot to breath and that’s why he passed out. He had no brain injuries and was exposed to radiation from these tests for no reason. It was a nightmare.

  65. Her health deteriorates after being subjected to the hospital for 13 months and the judge doesn’t have a clue that that could be the problem. Totally unbelievable.

  66. Antonia Perez via FB says:

    I couldn’t believe that my word wasn’t final. He’s my son, I didn’t want anymore treatment. I’m his advocate. I was protecting my son from the hospital and the doctors.

  67. This is so wrong on many levels.

    This is also why I don’t trust them doctors! Goverment too!

  68. Becky Mcdonald-White via FB says:

    This is so sad :( I had an experience when I was pregnant with my second child. I was having strong Braxton Hicks contractions that would cause me to be out of breath, so I was told to go to labor and delivery. I had the doctor who was on call that night treating me. To make a long story short, I was held basically against my will because I didn’t want to have a shot to stop the contractions. I know my body and I knew that’s how my body prepares for labor from my first. They weren’t even regular contractions. She even threatened to put me on a mag drip if I wouldn’t take anything else. So many more threats were made to me whenever I would question what they were doing. I basically had no rights or say about what happened to my body when I checked into that hospital that day. It was frightening. And sure enough, I had my daughter at term. This poor girl and her family.

  69. Rochelle Gardener via FB says:

    Thank you Mommypotamus for bringing it to our attention! I think it is wise for the father to speak out. One of my professor stated that we, the masses, are stronger than government when we come together and stand strong. I truly believe this and, with public support, I think there is a good chance someone will intervene and help this family. However, I am very upset about the damage that has already been done to this precious child :(! They had no right to terminate the parents’ rights and override their medical treatment choices for their daughter and they allowed misdiagnoses on top of it!

    • Abi says:

      I dealt with this during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and after the birth of our child. They wanted tests, injections, etc that we did not want. During prenatal visits they wanted to fire me as a patient for not having ultrasounds and caring small. During labor I was asked by someone each time my husband left the room if he was abusive and constantly nagged about getting an IV. After my son was born we could not get them to remove a cpap that literally popped his lung a few hours later. The doctors and nurses were angry when I would read the medical charts every few hours. I caught the nurse overdosing him on an antibiotic known to cause hearing loss for an infection he didn’t have. I told her I needed to speak to her superior if she wanted to give him another dose of antibiotic. When she tried to proceed I told her I was refusing treatment for our child and that she may want to get another nurse or doctor to come and confirm my request. (This actually turned some heads. The nurse was in fact about to accidentally overdose our son. She was not allowed near our son anymore and the head nurse took her shift over until they could find a replacement. Lucky for us this one misstep meant the hospital was much more amiable to our requests.)

      The reality was we turned down more medical treatment during our labor, delivery, and NICU stay than anyone I have ever heard of in our area, but even still we were bombarded with overbearing doctors and nurses and threatened more than once. I cannot imagine how badly it would have gone if we had been less prepared.

      My advise to every parent would be to have the line “I would like to refuse that treatment against medical advice. If you need me to sign off on refusal of care I would be happy to.”

      Also remember you always catch more bees with honey. I had a midwife give me that advise and it was the only way we got out without any more intervention. I never raised my voice. I always made polite requests even when I was being yelled at. These people may not deserve your respect, but for the sake of your health and your child’s health show them the respect they think they deserve while standing firm in your choices.

  70. SK Adorno via FB says:

    Sick. Sick. Sick. A total disgrace!

  71. SK Adorno via FB says:

    Also, boycott Boston Children’s Hospital along with other bully medical providers!! Wish there was a legitimate source to rate them for all to see. Disgusting!!

  72. Christie Creasy via FB says:

    It’s not just mito or rare issues, it is also issues with courts and children with special needs. The court doesn’t understand the different medical issues and frequency of issues present. So they jump the gun and ruin families

  73. Jen Nee via FB says:

    Sharing this all over the world today x

  74. Supreme court…..this WRONG!!!!!!;

  75. What if she dies! Will the court system take responsibility for this? Her poor parents. I really worry about them. Xoxoxo

  76. Lindsay Wallace Bumbarger via FB says:

    @melissa you used to be able to watch it for free on YouTube…not sure if that is still an option But now you can also rent it on Amazon Instant. A previous person shared the link. I don’t think Redbox online or Netflix carries it right now.

  77. Michelle Duncan via FB says:

    Pin it? Really?

  78. Debbie Lisman McClelland via FB says:

    I can understand the negative feelings toward the hospital right now but to say people should boycott it anf write such hatful things is just as bad. The hospital AND state are wrong but this hospital has saved countless lives including my own child. His Dr has also been open amd supportive of our use of essential oils and natural medicine.

  79. Donna Horne Smith via FB says:

    Horror! Prayers for justice and the family to be reunited!

  80. Sissy Carroll via FB says:


  81. Thank you for sharing this – so close to my heart! <3

  82. nikkie says:

    This is awful. Dcf just came and took my 15 month old son from me on the 10th. It was due to accusations that they didn’t even investigate. Had they done an investigation, I would still Have my baby boy. The person who made these Accusations Against me has never liked Me and has always wanted to get my baby taken from me. I’m Calling a lawyer Because my child was also Kidnapped by the state. It was extremely illehal for them to take my son away without a,police investigation. I went from being a single mother one day to not even being able to be a mother the next. We as parents need to learn our rights. I want my family back together

    • Nanny says:

      Dearest Nikkie, You are in my prayers and I pray that ABBA will provide you with a go get um lawyer to set things straight. Just trust in the LORD my dear. He is faithful to little children. His scriptures tell us so. I am sending this out to others who will pray as well.

  83. Rafael Vieira via FB says:

    I m so sorry !!!!!!!!

  84. Kylie Vest via FB says:

    Praise the Lord she is safe and back with her parents!!

  85. Brandi Bischoff via FB says:

    I saw the father on the news….this is outrageous! Pretty much horrifying!

  86. look at the smile on her face she’s right were she belongs

  87. This is a nightmare. A really bad Steven king book. Where are the lawyers?????

  88. Lindsay Slater via FB says:

    This is happening more and more and there is no foundation for it… my daughter was also a victim of the system… its disgusting! !

  89. Ashley Brogan via FB says:


  90. Tennessa Rodriquez via FB says:

    That is so horrible! I pray she is returned to her parents soon!

  91. Debbie Hampton Nash via FB says:


  92. Denise says:

    THANK YOU! After a year, this is finally getting the attention it needs.

  93. Karen Wood says:

    This is not the first (and second) story like this that I’ve heard. Not by a long shot. I’ve been hearing stories like this all my life. There are a lot of doctors who are not the “gods” that they expect every one to treat them as and ignorant judges and others who work and run the systems are no help. I’m living a ruined life because of doctors and can’t even get compensation because of lawyers who don’t care about something they aren’t likely to get paid well enough for and it only takes 3 years and then your chance of suing is past for good.

  94. Brenda Trueblood via FB says:

    Fox news got a hold of this and they now have a team fighting along their side. Way to go “kelly file”

  95. Heather Richards via FB says:

    Follow the money trail..

  96. It’s all about doctors ego and pride! Tell them they are wrong and they will come back at you! They don’t care about the child, they care about being right. It’s evil.

  97. Angie says:

    Been following this on Glenn Beck…signing petitions, FB post on the hospitals page, donation to the family and spreading the word! Prayers and VOICES, folks!

  98. Who is the er dr that decided that mito does not exist…I cannot understand how this turned into this? From the er drs opinion? There are multiple groups fighting to help children fighting mito- I would publicize & exhaust her name until she runs out of patients…until her rights as a physician were stripped from her-forever. Whenever someone googles her name, the bold print reads: “she kidnapped someones sick child, for disagreeing w her.” The drs need to be held accountable and punished for this, or else it will continue. Sick woman.
    Carrie Maier Gervasone- have you read this

  99. Marie says:

    I am a mother of a daughter with a metabolic disorder and the same thing happened to us. We got a lawyer and had a battle but we have our daughter. My heart hurts for this family I wasn’t allowed to see her for 3 weeks which seemed like an eternity. The hardest part now is trusting drs. My daughter still needs interventions and cold knocks her down I can’t imagine the road ahead for this family. This does happen it is real and the parents did nothing wrong. Please pray and no judgements. This is kidnapping!!!! We are blessed my daughter was younger but she still struggles thinking I am going to leave her. I pray for this family. They need a miracle!!!

  100. Crystal Cox McGuire via FB says:

    You can call the Massachusetts legislators, the Department of Children & Families, & even the judge at the numbers given here & express your concern! Please speak out for Justina!

  101. Carrie Maier Gervasone via FB says:

    Michelle Bye Schoenherr, yes unfortunately our mito community has had incidents like this. It makes me sick, this is horrible.

  102. nicole says:

    This hits too close to home. Last year, our 2 year old son broke his femur while camping by simply tripping on the bottom fabric lip of our tent. (This was witnessed by a few onlookers.) He went through surgery and was placed in a spica cast (a cast from his arm pits down both legs with a small area to fit in a diaper) for the summer. He suffered a lot. It was so hard and SO sad for him. We finally got the cast off and we had to relearn how to walk due to muscle atrophy. Two days after learning to walk little one burned the bottoms of his baby skin feet (the callouses of his already 2 year old soft feet had all worn off from being in the cast) feet at a birthday party (also witnessed by many people) on the bottom of a hot empty sandbox baking in the California August sun. He didn’t have the sense or strength to hop out when it was hot, or even scream out. He just stepped into it and froze. The scream came after. I swooped him up and looked. His feet were already bubbled and blistered and peeling. We went into the bathtub with all clothes on and called 911. I was DEVASTATED. Back to the ER we went to take care of him. I was in tears. We were soaking wet from the bathtub. We told them everything and did everything they asked. We left, broken for our little boy. We followed up with our pediatrician on Monday. Two days later a nurse called and was angry that I didn’t take him to a burn center. We were NOT told to take him to a burn center. We were told to follow up with ped on Monday, as we did where he was reassessed and we got medication and learned to change bandages. The next week there was a knock on my door in the middle of the day. “Hi, we are here to talk to you about allegations of neglect and abuse of your children.” What?! All I have done was take care of this sweet boy with my whole heart for months. changing bandages, sponge baths, sleeping in our bed to make sure I could turn him at night so he wouldn’t get achy, holding him over the potty, suppositories each day for constipation, changing his cast dressing (spica casts can get dirty!) taking him to doctors appointments, carrying him everywhere (also tricky in a spica) rubbing oils on him during the day to calm him and lift his spirit, letting him know I loved him, and so much more. Neglect?! What??? Me??? It felt like a movie. I knew what to do because I’ve seen the movies and TV shows. I let them in. I offered them a tea. My house was a total mess (I was still on burnout from the past events of the summer and week, my husband had been working a lot of late nights, and on top of that I have 4 young kids and two of them are twin 2 year olds, one of them is at this point needing A LOT of attention.) I told them my story. I had NOTHING to hide. It became increasingly clear I was guilty in their minds already. They were going to take my kids in another room to question them, I said “no. I don’t know you.” I don’t think they particularly liked that. They talked to them on the sofa while they asked me for phone numbers of doctors and physical therapists and the orthopedic surgeon. I gave them all. It would only help them see how much I loved and protected my kids, right? My doctors all knew me well and I was always responsible and took very good care of my kids. I love them more than ANYTHING and would protect them from ANYONE who would hurt them. They asked my kids questions that made them feel insecure and confused. The questions were worded in a way so as to get a certain answer. After they left I was reeling in my head. My kids were very upset. What just happened. I was told to wait while they looked into it. My doctor called me the next day and told me she had received a call and told me “they won’t bother you again” she was by our side the whole summer for everything and has known my kids since birth. Well they did. I got repeated phone calls from people working with social services questioning me about private matters. I started to feel uncomfortable and feel a sense of unsafety for my kids so I looked online to research. OH MY GOODNESS. I didn’t like what I read. The stories did NOT stack up in my favor. I contacted a lawyer/friend who works in these types of situations and he took my situation very seriously. So seriously that I started to worry more. Other friends of mine had told me not to worry and had the same perspective as me “you have nothing to hide”, “you are OBVIOUSLY a great mom.” I have learned that this isn’t how they system works. It is unfortunately a very broken system that is meant for good but often causes a lot of harm to families and individual kids. You are guilty. Until and if they decide you aren’t. At the lawyers advise, we started to build our case. Seeing psychiatrists and doctors and asking professionals to write testimonials about their experience and professional opinions about the health and safety of our kids. We stayed away from home to avoid a confrontation. Our kids were scared. We were scared (but tried not to let on). It took weeks before we got the call that things looked ok and we were clear. It is still on file. All of it. It won’t go away. I believe that if we didn’t respond in such a proactive way (getting professional reports and evaluations and sending them via certified mail) that things would’ve gone differently.

    This was one of the scariest situations I have EVER been in. I knew that we had nothing to hide, but THE STAKES ARE TOO HIGH when it comes to a child being taken away EVEN if they will be returned days or weeks later. I was not going to let that happen. Even if it was a small chance. That is why we were so proactive despite people’s advice that everything would be ok. Here is my advice to other parents. Keep these tips in the back of your head (or better yet, printed out somewhere in your desk to access if you ever need it)

    *You do not have to (and shouldn’t) let ANYONE into your home without a warrant. You waive your rights by doing this and they can begin to build a case against you by ANYTHING they see, hear or perceive. Things will be perceived a certain way, or can even be twisted in a report to paint the picture that the social worker wants to.

    *Not letting them in will NOT make you look more guilty. You are already perceived as guilty.

    *Be respectful, not rude. They aren’t necessarily the “bad guys”. But the system IS broken.

    *Don’t sign anything.

    *Seek out a lawyer and in the meantime start to build a case for yourself. We found that they don’t care much for witness accounts, but that a private professional opinion can carry weight. We sought out our hospital staff, pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, and a private doctorate in psychology for an evaluation and report.

    *Teach your kids that they DO NOT have to talk to anyone at school even if the staff at school says they need to answer questions. They have a right to say NO and to call you.

    *There are forms you can fill out online to legally protect your kids from questioning at school to further cover your bases. This way the school is liable to contributing towards subjecting your child to questioning.

    *Be proactive in documenting the events and keeping copies of all reports. This file is closed, but permanent, and if something ever comes up again (like another trip to the ER- which its bound to happen at some point with crazy active kids!) you want things to be VERY clear that it was an UNFOUNDED investigation and that your children are not being abused or neglected.

  103. […] medicine, defensive . . . parenting? Yep. Earlier this week I wrote about the parents who say Boston Children’s Hospital kidnapped their daughter. With similar stories surfacing all around the country, parents are taking proactive measures to […]

  104. Brianne says:

    This fear of doctors writing off symptoms really hits home for me. I have friends and family who can’t understand why I question everything doctors tell me, especially friends with advanced degrees in medical research and the like. But as someone with auto-immune diseases, I spent 2 years with doctors telling me it was all in my head and one even going so far as to give me a placebo (he didn’t change his stance on my problems being psychosomatic, though, even when my symptoms continued on, what I later found out, was a placebo). Members of the medical community should be a bit better about policing their own because those bad experiences have turned me off of doctors. I can’t trust them, I simply can’t. Being told for years that you don’t know your own body and that you are going so crazy it’s causing physical symptoms is so disempowering. It is no wonder that others, like me, who go through these experiences are flocking away from Western Medicine in droves. It has it’s benefits, but it is also it’s own worst nightmare.

  105. Amanda says:

    I find it interesting that the very facility that got them in this situation was requesting get return. This alone should have given them a clue. But I do know this from my own experience with CPS, they will do interviews and sit on open causes for a few months so they don’t have to do anything and then the time limit is up so they close the case. Less work for them that way. My step son was ina house full of people manufacturing and taking drugs. His mom popped positive while pregnant and custody was removed from her without anyone ever calling us to have us come get him. He suffered the most horrible diaper rashes (skin peeling off) and live crawling all over his head from 6 months on and they wouldn’t do anything to help us. He was deaf at a year because of the cigarette smoking in the house that caused many missed ear infections and scar tissue to his ear drums. When I took him to the END to get tubes placed she canceled his surgery appointment and I had to start over.
    I wonder if they get up one day and just pick a family to destroy because some just don’t give a crap when there is obvious neglect. To add to it, these situations will only become more prevalent Thanks to Obama care. There will come a point when you don’t get the luxury of a second opinion and if you refuse they will take legal action. As a health care professional I see this everyday.

  106. d says:

    Our son was accidentally burned in December of last year. We went to two hospitals for treatment. While at HCA owned doctors hospital of Augusta Georgia we refused a tetanus vaccine for our son. Long story short, a pediatrician by the name of Richard cartie , MD. Called CP’s and somehow convinced a corrupt juvenile judge by the name of lisa coogle rambo to court order the seizure of our son and have him force vaccinated.
    The court order indicated that our refusal of the tetanus vaccine put our son’s life, possibly, in danger. Said assertion is 100% without scientific merit in this instant matter.
    After CPS kidnapped our son at gunpoint he was neglected resulting in an injury to his wrist. Son was returned to us one day later. We had a police report made, have filed criminal complaints against all immediately involved, and are in the midst of a title 42 section 1983 federal civil action against the hospital, doctor, nurses, state actors, the so called juvenile judge, and two of her toady attorneys. A link to our first civil complaint:

    • nic says:

      Why would you refuse a tetanus shot? Sorry but that does sound negligent as burns can lead to tetanus infection and young children and elderly persons have weaker immune systems. I would have called a judge too.

      • d says:

        We never refused a tetanus shot. We refused a tetanus vaccine. A tetanus vaccine 1. confers no benefit AFTER potential exposure 2. is not and can not be a treatment and 3. is forbidden by the vaccine manufacturer to be administered if there is strong suspicion of tetanus infection. Pediatrician Richard Cartie and a senior nurse by the name of Donna Masters (employed at the Doctors Hospital of Augusta Georgia) fabricated multiple stories about us in order to mislead CPS, juvenile prosecuting attorneys, and a juvenile judge in order to punish us for refusing to provide informed consent for the tetanus vaccine. Again the tetanus vaccine is not and can not be an emergency treatment…ever. However, TIG is an emergency treatment for suspected tetanus exposure. We never were offered nor did we refuse the TIG. This was all about this pediatrician and his employer getting medicaid money (all kids get medicaid when they are seized by the State). We are self-pay and flat out refused to apply for medicaid so Dr. Richard Cartie simply had the State steal our son after which time Cartie was the first to bill Medicaid. This hospital is well known for it insurance frauds.

  107. […] acknowledged as having a physical cause, and are often accused of making things up or having a somatoform disorder, “a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical […]

  108. […] acknowledged as having a physical cause, and are often accused of making things up or having a somatoform disorder, “a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical […]

  109. […] acknowledged as having a physical cause, and are often accused of making things up or having a somatoform disorder, “a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical […]

  110. […] acknowledged as having a physical cause, and are often accused of making things up or having a somatoform disorder, “a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical […]

  111. Mark Pursel says:

    I am a 21 year police veteran and current police detective that has actively investigated hundreds of child abuse cases. I am also a victim of DCFS corruption. I offer the following advice: Do not ever speak to DCFS…When they come to your home, step outside and close the door behind you…Collect their business card and listen to the allegation against you…Then exert your right to reman silent and do so…Do not answer ANY questions. Do not allow them into your home. Do not allow them to see or interview your children. Do not sign anything. Do not provide them with ANY information about your children or family. If you have time, record the at the door encounter. If your children are old enough, teach them how to exercise their right to remain silent; children should exercise their right to remain silent if interviewed at school or if DCFS comes back to your home with an investigative warrant (school interviews can be avoided by home schooling your children). Any investigative warrant obtained solely on an uncorroborated anonymous allegation to the DCFS hotline is illegal; you should seek an attorney to file a federal civil rights violation lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 if DCFS serves an illegal warrant on your home.

  112. TM says:

    Don’t cloud a legitimate tragedy with psuedoscience. Please and thank you.

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