As Western Journalism has reported, the parents of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier are desperate to save her from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, which stripped her away from her family more than a year ago.
Not only did authorities seize the teen when her parents questioned the medical advice of a recently graduated doctor who thought her diagnosed illness was all in her head; the DCF has since limited visitation to one supervised hour a week and has not allowed her parents to take photos of their daughter. As a last-ditch effort to reunite the family, the Pelletiers have taken their case to the state Supreme Court.
Lawyers for the family claim the former competitive skater’s health is deteriorating as state officials are refusing treatment that her doctors prescribed prior to this devastating ordeal.
Compounding the nightmare, Justina’s parents are prohibited from speaking openly about her treatment while in the state’s custody. The resourceful teen, however, has been able to pass secret messages along to her family.
— Jennifer Pelletier (@JennPelletier3) April 12, 2014
The latest, according to reports, should send chills down any parent’s spine. Justina’s father, Lou, released part of a hastily written note he received during a recent visit. The teen describes both physical and mental abuse, saying her captors “hurt me all the time[,] push me all the time and more.” She also alleges DCF officials prevent her from sleeping. Her note urged her parents to act quickly in her defense.
On the phone with Justina on our once a week 20min phone call… “I need to go home!” -Justina #FreeJustina
— Jennifer Pelletier (@JennPelletier3) April 15, 2014
A family spokesperson, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, released a statement indicating Justina’s parents “are devastated to see how their daughter is being mistreated while under the custody of the State of Massachusetts.”
He explained that the correspondence “reveals for the first time, in Justina’s own words, how she is being abused by Massachusetts DCF.”
Reports also indicate that the teen – now confined to a wheelchair despite the fact that, upon her seizure by the state, she was an active teen – is being denied access to church and a proper education.
We can’t have Easter Sunday with Justina because mass dcf is closed that day!! I’m so disgusted with these heartless people!!! #FreeJustina
— Jennifer Pelletier (@JennPelletier3) April 17, 2014
Millions of sympathetic Americans are incensed that this type of unwarranted intervention can take place in what was once a free country. The Pelletiers only wanted what was best for their daughter and, because the government believed it knew best, a family was ripped apart; and a teenage girl is withering away as a ward of the state.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Free Justina Pelletier Now