Friday, July 11, 2014

PhRMA and Physicians Engaged in Medical Child Abuse

The medical child abuse concept, as defined by Drs. Carole Jenny and Thomas Roesler, states that parents are the sole perpetrators in these injurious pursuits. Medical child abuse is rampant in the U.S. but not by the usual suspects.

Medical Child Abuse Perpetrators

All aspects of medical treatment are controlled by physicians but inexplicably these professionals are never indicted, prosecuted or penalized when their malpractice is exposed in medical child abuse trials or custody hearings. When medical child abuse allegations are raised in criminal hearings the surgeon and the prescription provider should be facing the jury along with the child's parents or custodian. The American Medical Association has been silent on the subject of physicians preying on children.

Rebecca Riley Medical Child Abuse Case History

The Rebecca Riley medical child abuse trial covered by 60 Minutes is just one case reference. Rebecca's 2006 death was caused by a drug overdose. This four-year old was on physician-recommended multi-psychotropic medications. Her parents were convicted of murder, her physician, psychiatrist Dr. Kayoko Kifuji of Tufts-New England Medical Center, was not on the indictment.

Through her lawyer, Dr. Kifuji said that she was following standard medical protocol. The drugs given to Rebecca were prescribed off label. This means that Rebecca was subjected to potentially harmful experimental products. Dr. Kifuji ordered the drugs but it is not known whether she explained to the parents that Rebecca's medications were not authorized for use in children.

Joshua Parker et al Medical Child Abuse Case History

An another example is the Kate Parker criminal indictment. The mother has been with charged with medical child abuse yet her son's surgeon, Monica Wehby of Legacy Health is not listed as a defendant in the upcoming trial. According to Kate Parker's November 12, '09 diary post, Dr. Wehby had performed tethered cord surgery on Joshua, one of Ms. Parker's children, five times. The cost of this procedure is reported to be $23,000. Dr. Wehby is one of fifteen physicians mentioned in Mrs. Parker's journals. The list of medical providers can be found here and the indictment here . Mrs. Parker's journals provide details regarding Joshua, Bethany and Hannah's surgeries and prescription regimens.

Justina Pelletier Medical Child Abuse Case History

Allegations of medical child abuse outside criminal proceedings are reviewed by juvenile judges and normally their dispositions are confidential. This court-mandated secrecy policy allows juvenile judges to generally avoid scrutiny, shields physicians' reputations but does nothing to protect the alleged victim's interests.

The Justina Pelletier custody dispute is an illustration of untoward behavior on the part of Dr. Alice Newton and Judge Joseph Johnston . Justina Pelletier was a captive of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families from February 2013 to June 2014. Boston Children's Hospital according to The Boston Globe received more than $400,000 for its medical child abuse intervention.

Once Justina became a ward of the state, her medical care was provided by Boston Children's Hospital. Justina's BCH physicians were allowed to change her diagnosis from physical to mental and treat her accordingly. Justina's ordeal has prompted four members of the House of Representatives to introduce legislation that would end the practice of using foster children in clinical trials that offer no benefit to the enrollee. If enacted Justina's Law [H.R.4989] would:
prohibit Federal funding of any treatment or research in which a ward of the State is subjected to greater than minimal risk to the individual's health with no or minimal prospect of direct benefit.
The proposed bill, although a positive step, avoids the question of the propriety of using foster children in medical research.

Children's Psychotropic Drug Research

For decades news outlets, child advocacy organizations, some mental health care professionals, and the Government Accountability Office have criticized the extensive use of psychotropic medications in children but the number of minors under the influence continue to increase, especially for those under state custody. Congressional investigators and other concerned parties cannot explain why foster children are far more likely to receive psychotropic drugs than children in the general population.

One possible explanation: Foster children are the primary resource for PhRMA's medical experiments. Because the conscripted minors do not react positively in clinical trial environments clinicians may apply psychotropic drugs to help control behavior during the course of the project.

Children's clinical trials are punitive: the test subjects, generally held in medical facilities, are forced to ingest under-study drugs and undergo blood/urine extraction procedures. Sometimes the children are fitted with gastrostomy tubes to facilitate the drug delivery system.

Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, stated in reference to the April 2014 paper, " Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications ," the following:
This study adds critical hard data to our understanding of a persistent and unacceptable trend in pediatric psychiatry. Our poorest, most vulnerable children, lacking access to evidence-based care, are receiving potentially harmful treatment with little oversight.
GAO officials testified in late 2011 that physicians treating foster children were placing their patients on concomitant prescriptions of five or more drugs, were exceeding dosage guidelines and were authorizing psychotic products in children under the age of one. [p. 2 of the GAO Report]

In May 2014 the CDC advised that more than 10,000 Medicaid-insured toddlers had been prescribed ADHD medications FY 2013. Attention deficient drugs are just one of many psychotropic agents recommended by PhRMA for use in the juvenile population.

The CDC figures are incomprehensible but they are just a minuscule representation of the numbers of children being abused by their physicians. Prescribing data collected by IMS Health’s Vector One: National and Total Patient Tracker Database for 2013 shows that 8,389,034 children, 0-17 were taking some type or combination of ADHD, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, antipsychotic drug.

The latest proposed behavioral disorder requiring prescription therapy is called Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder .

PhRMA formulated the country's mental health epidemic— physicians provided the key.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Letter to Reverend Barber Regarding State Medical Child Abuse Practices

June 17, 2014

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
President NC NAACP
P.O. Box 335
Durham NC 27702

Dear Reverend Barber:

There are many abominable practices in our country but of singular import is the use of foster children in medical research.

The latest figure available from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates there were more than 400,500 minors available for pharmaceutical/medical test product studies in 2011.

NIH reports that there are 13,690 children's trials here and in other countries either completed, in progress or terminated. Many of the U.S. minors who are selected for research are under state protection but the government does not segregate this data.

Medicaid insures foster and poverty-designated children. The CDC confirmed last month that 10,000 Medicaid-covered toddlers had been placed on ADHD drugs. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights says these figures are not inclusive and state that 274,000 0-1 year olds and 370,000 toddlers are on psychotropic drug regimens .

Although not specified as such, these prescriptive practices are clinical trials and a form of medical child abuse because the psychotropic products are not FDA approved for these age groups.

For decades the National Institutes of Health and PhRMA have allowed third parties, e.g. Covance , to select children from state welfare agency rolls and situate them in clinical trials. This concept is condoned by the governing parties because most parents are not willing to subject their children to experimentation.

It is customary for drug development service companies to pay volunteers for participating in clinical trials. State welfare agencies are also reimbursed for the use of their captive children. For more on this subject and the AIDS drug research projects please refer to Harriet Washington's book: Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.

Other than financial incentives, why would states conscript previously abused children for medical research? The expressed reason is to save lives and enhance knowledge.

To appease child protection groups, the government requires Institutional Review Board approval before children may be enrolled in these exploratory enterprises. These considered safeguard measures are meaningless because foster children's civil rights are being abridged.

New York City foster children suspected of AIDS infection were the recipients of toxic drugs in the late 80s and early 90s. The public become informed of these practices in 2004 with the publication of Liam Scheff's report, " The House That Aids Built ." His allegations prompted a federal investigation and criticism of Mr. Scheff's findings on the part of The New York Times. But there is no debate that these activities occurred or that children suffered during the course of the experiments.

NYC child welfare administration officials told The Times that 90% of the children labeled H.I.V. positive were enrolled in these drug programs over a 14-year period. The number of foster children involved in these trials is unknown because the documents were either missing or incomplete. Welfare spokespeople admitted that the safety and well being of these children were not carefully monitored. Absent paper work allowed supervising pediatricians to say that they do not remember deaths or serious side effect events in the almost decade and a half endeavor.

Most of the children in the AIDS research trials were held in medical institutions as are those in current pharmaceutical evaluative studies. Incarceration ensures that the test subjects receive the under-study drug and are available for bodily fluid extractions. Blood is acquired via venipuncture for 0-18 age groups; urine by catheterization in the youngest subjects.

These procedures often require restraints. Children unable to swallow pills or who are troublesome are fitted with gastric and or nasal feeding tubes. Dr. Katherine Painter, former director of the NYC Incarnation Children's Center verified Mr. Scheff's medical child abuse complaint.

In 1998 The Times advised that federal officials were investigating psychiatric experiments conducted over a three year period by the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The clinical trial study consisted of 100 mostly black and Hispanic youths, ages 6-10 who were intravenously-fed fenfluramine based on the supposition that violent or criminal behavior could be ascertained by certain brain chemicals. Fenfluramine was banned in 1997 because of its heart-damaging side effects.

With the imprimatur of the federal government, states are subjecting their wards to medical child abuse via clinical trials. Please censure these abhorrent practices.

For the children,

Lynne Vogel

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Reflections on Misconduct in the Justina Pelletier Affair

Judge Joseph F. Johnston's Pelletier Family Gag Order

In a rare display of contempt, Lou and Linda Pelletier Justina's parents, chose to breach Judge Johnston's gag order and publicize that their daughter Justina had been imprisoned in Boston Children's Hospital for months. This was a perilous decision because exposure of confidential court matters can lead to prison and or fines.

The precipitate for judicial intervention was an allegation of medical child abuse. This charge was not levied against Justina's former medical providers but against her parents. The term, medical child abuse, is a contradiction.

Boston Children's Hospital Benefits from Medical Child Abuse Allegations

Justina Pelletier became a ward of the state in the now cause célèbre diagnostic dispute between Boston Children's Hospital and Tufts Medical. As reported by the The Globe Justina is one of six minors whose parents were charged with medical child abuse while their children were receiving care at Boston Children's Hospital in the past eighteen months. These accusations are a conflict of interest because the abuse complainant, if successful, keeps the child and receives remunerations for their efforts.

Justina's Boston Children's Hospital incarceration, most of which was in a psychiatric ward, lasted from February 2013 through December 2013. Costs are not revealed. After the December 2013 Boston Globe revelatory articles Judge Johnston ordered that Justina be transferred to an out patient psychiatric facility. Under Judge Johnson's direction, Justina was moved again in May.

There has been no explanation or follow-up investigation as to why Dr. Alice Newton , director of Boston Children's Hospital's child protection team and Judge Joseph Johnston , the presiding arbitrator, subjected Justina to these punitive environments and other harsh measures. Justina posed no risk to herself or others because she was incapacitated at her time of admit and remains in the same condition.

Doctor Alice Newton and Judge Joseph Johnston's Conduct in the Justina Pelletier Case

If the circumstances of the case had been presented to a jury it is unlikely that they would have allowed the state to take custody of Justina Pelletier.

A review of the Justina Pelletier case suggests misconduct on both the part of Dr. Alice Newton and Judge Johnston. Within a three day period Dr. Newton and her staff were able to determine that Justina Pelletier was suffering from a psychological condition called somatic system disorder . This is an unsupportable assertion because medical literature states that this mental illness requires months of observation to evaluate. There are no tests to ascertain SSD, judgment is purely subjective. Somatic system disorders, new psychiatric nomenclatures , are often alleged in medical child abuse custody petitions across the country.

To enhance her medical child abuse allegation, Dr. Newton told Judge Johnston that the cecostomy button procedure performed by Tufts as a result of Justina's diagnosed mitochondrial disease was a needless operation.

Dr. Newton did not tell Judge Johnston that Boston Children's Hospital treats mitochondrial disease and performs cecostomy button surgery. Justina had been referred to BCH to see Dr. Alejandro Flores, her former Tuft's gastroenterologist. All of this information was available to the court but it did not stay Judge Johnston's quick decision to revoke parental rights.

Opposing medical treatment opinions do not warrant the taking of a child so the question remains why did Dr. Alice Newton and Judge Joseph Johnston act to remove Justina from her parents' custody?

It is a disquieting consideration but children who become wards of the state due to physical and or medical abuse are valuable assets. They are used in medical research, prescribed experimental psychotropic drugs or as in the case of Justina Pelletier confined in psychiatric facilities.

Suggested Readings:

The Kids for Cash case of juvenile judges who violated children's civil rights.

2008 Testimony of Kimberly Castro regarding the death of her daughter Chelsey Cruz while she was under state protection and Boston Children's Hospital supervision.

Medical Child Abuse/MSBP 2004 Indictment of Kelly Savage — Ms. Savage was exonerated.

" UK firm tried HIV drug on orphans " in U.S. institutions. The Guardian —April 2004

The cruel methodology of children's clinical trials is detailed by Liam Scheff in " The House That AIDS Built ."

"Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries"—The New York Times—May 2014

Psychotropic Drugs: What Are They? "—ABC News—2011

"Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications " —Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology—April 2014

Psychotropic Meds for Georgia Youth in Foster Care: Who Decides ? — Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children—January 2011

" Payment of clinical research subjects " — The Journal of Clinical Investigation—2005

" The Justina Pelletier Medical Experiment "— Daily Kos—April 2014

" What Killed Rebecca Riley ?"—60 Minutes—2007

Watchdog Says Report of 10,000 Toddlers on ADHD Drugs Tip of the Iceberg —274,000 0-1 Year Olds and 370,000 Toddlers Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs— Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)—May 2014

"A medical collision with a child in the middle"—The Boston Globe—December 2013

"Frustration on all fronts in struggle over child’s futureThe Boston Globe—December 2013

Thursday, May 29, 2014

CDC Medical Child Abuse Report: Ten Thousand Plus Toddlers Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs

Psychotropic Drug Regimens are Medical Child Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an unreasonable number of children under the age of three are the recipients of psychotic medications. This information coupled with last month's New York Times report that 6 million children are under treatment for psychosomatic disorders raises the question of professional misconduct.

Because the FDA has no authority to regulate the practice of medicine, these subjective childhood mental illness determinations strongly indicate that some physicians have been abusing the country's carte blanche prescription delivery system.

This laissez-faire marketplace has been beneficial to pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug prescribers but not to the children who have no say in the matter.

The behavior-altering drugs under scrutiny are not FDA authorized for use in children under the age of six but physicians may recommend medications outside their intended use.  It has long been verified that these Class II substances pose significant risks to patients, especially children.

Although troubled by the data, the CDC offered no suggestions on how to dissuade physicians from approving dangerous substances for three-year olds and other children.

Doping minors, many of whom are state wards, for economic gain is an indefensible enterprise. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2011 there were 400,500 children under state protection available for research projects.

Consideration: If physicians were charged with medical child abuse these predatory prescription practices would cease.

Medical Child Abuse References:

"Psychotropic Drugs: What Are They? "—ABC News—2011

" Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications " —Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology—April 2014

" Psychotropic Meds for Georgia Youth in Foster Care: Who Decides ? " — Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children—January 2011

" Payment of clinical research subjects " — The Journal of Clinical Investigation—2005

" The Justina Pelletier Medical Experiment "— Daily Kos—April 2014

" What Killed Rebecca Riley "—60 Minutes—2007

Watchdog Says Report of 10,000 Toddlers on ADHD Drugs Tip of the Iceberg —274,000 0-1 Year Olds and 370,000 Toddlers Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs— Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)—May 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Medical Child Abuse Perpetrators

Who are the medical child abuse perpetrators?

By current definition, the child's parents or guardians are the guilty parties. The term medical child abuse was originated by pediatrician Carole Jenny and her psychiatrist husband, Thomas A. Roesler.

In the Jenny/Roesler opinion, parents or caregivers are able to trick doctors into performing unnecessary surgery and prescribing superfluous medications. There is no doubt that some parents manipulate the system but it is not credible that the medical providers are innocent parties in the subterfuge because they establish the diagnosis and are compensated for services rendered.

Until such time physicians are charged in tandem with parents, medical child abuse practices will continue.

Medical child abuse was the subject of a 60 Minutes report in 2007 following the psychotropic drug-induced death of four-year old Rebecca Riley. The parents were charged and convicted of murder— Dr. Kayoko Kifuji was given immunity in exchange for her testimony. Dr. Kifuji's attorney said that his client was practicing mainstream psychiatry. 60 Minutes, after reviewing Rebecca's medical records, noted that Dr. Kifuji had her patient on ten medications per day.

The latest example of medical child abuse allegations involves Oregon Senate hopeful Dr. Monica Wheby . Dr. Wheby is one of several physicians of interest in the Katherine Parker indictment because she performed tethered-cord surgery on the defendant's son. Tethered cord surgery is recognized by Legacy Health, Dr. Wheby's employer. The cost billed to insurers is approximately $23,000. Because she is an employee, Dr. Wheby says she is not remunerated for her surgeries but Dr. Wheby would not have a job if she did not enhance revenue for the hospital.

How Somatic Symptom Disorders Relate to Medical Child Abuse

Patients complaining of pain and other maladies of unexplained etiology are thought to be suffering from somatic symptom disorders. This terminology when applied to minors is interpreted to mean that parents are making their children sick with subliminal signals. Valid or not, this diagnosis is employed by interested parties throughout the county to persuade juvenile courts to revoke parental rights.

Once under state jurisdiction, seized children may be subject to extreme measures such as alternative medical treatment, psychiatric incarceration, enrollment in clinical trials and psychotropic drug regimens. The Justina Pelletier Medical Experiment is a case in point.

Psychiatrist Allen J. Frances, former chair of the '94 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual warned in 2012 that the somatic symptom disorder, as formalized in DSM-5, is subject to inflated diagnosis and may penalize parents who are:
considered 'excessively concerned' about a child's symptoms. Families caring for children with any chronic illness may be placed at risk of wrongful accusation of 'over-involvement' with their child's symptomatology or of encouraging 'sick role behavior.'
Are Clinical Trials Medical Child Abuse?

The National Institutes of Health reports that there are 13,504 children's clinical trials completed, in progress or terminated. In 2011 there were 400,500 children under states' protective care available for research.

Test subjects are recruited by advertising or are pulled from state agency welfare rolls. Because the government does not provide the data, it is not known how many children under state jurisdiction are utilized for experimentation. It is known that state agencies through various medical providers, are prescribing psychotropic drugs to their wards.

Depending on the type of study, clinical trials can be punitive and especially to an already stressed, out-of-environment child. The FDA defines clinical trials as studies on human volunteers but urges parents to consider enrolling their children for experimentation projects. Payments for participation in clinical trial research may be viewed here .

The National Institute of Mental Health initiated its Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Riluzole in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder in 2008. The 5-6 month experiment, if it had been completed, would have involved 80 children, ages 9-17 who were exhibiting bipolar/anxiety symptoms. During Phases 1 and 2 of the trial the children would be confined to the Pediatric Behavioral Health Unit. Research protocol: blood and urine samples, reduction and cessation of current medications, then application of either a placebo or the test product. Riluzole is currently prescribed for ALS patients

One of the inclusion criteria was that the enrollees had failed to respond to earlier atypical [off-label] antipsychotic medication clinical trials.

By any rational judgment clinical trials and psychotropic doping are examples of medical child abuse.


" Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications " —Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology—April 2014

" Psychotropic Meds for Georgia Youth in Foster Care: Who Decides ? " — Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children—January 2011

"Payment of clinical research subjects" — The Journal of Clinical Investigation—2005

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dr. Alice Newton—Medical Child Abuse—Justina Pelletier

Dr. Alice Newton, Director of Boston Children's Hospital child protection team, determined in February 2013 that the institution's newly-admitted patient, Justina Pelletier, was a victim of medical child abuse .

Those unfamiliar with this terminology might think that a doctor or doctors had provided injurious care. In one respect they would be correct but the most important aspect of the charge is that the parents or the child's caregiver were the instigators.  The psychiatric community posits that some  guardians create disease symptoms to persuade the medical community to act inappropriately.

The medical child abuse allegation is specious but it is the basis for child custody hearings and suspension of parental rights throughout the country. Because many adjudicators, like Judge Johnston, gag order the proceedings the number of children taken from parents remains confidential.

The reason the public knows about the Justina Pelletier custody dispute is the parents disobeyed the court's order.

Once the child is under state jurisdiction the protection agency may then legally place its ward in clinical trials. It is not uncommon for children under state jurisdiction to be prescribed psychotropic drugs to help them adapt to their new circumstances. It is not known whether BCH has Justina on behavior-altering substances but since she has been incarcerated in psychiatric facilities, part of her
regimen would likely include these calming but potentially harmful agents.

Are Dr. Alice Newton and Judge Joseph Johnston Guilty of Medical Child Abuse?

The Boston Globe's extensive coverage of the Justina Pelletier case raise troubling questions on the part of the hospital's care and treatment of their patient. One of which is, why did the evaluation staff immediately dismiss her entering mitochondrial diagnosis and want to initiate treatment for a psychological disorder? 

Unknown to the parents, BCH had petitioned the state for custody based on Dr. Newton's medical child abuse theory and as improbable as it may seem, these events occurred in a three day period.

The Pelletier intervention/custody papers filed by Boston Children's Hospital under Dr. Newton's name alleged that mitochondrial disease is a suspect illness. Dr. Newton also claimed that the cecostomy button surgery performed on Justina by Tufts Medical was an unwarranted procedure. These are misleading complaints because Boston Children's Hospital treats mitochondrial disorders and performs cecostomy button procedures. Judge Johnston based his opinion on refutable and easily obtainable information.

Dr. Newton, as the newspaper points out, never interviewed the parents or her patient before making her custody petition. Judge Johnston also did not choose to meet with fourteen-year old Justina before separating her from her parents.

While under Judge Johnston's watch, Boston Children's Hospital was allowed to confine Justina to its psychiatric ward for eight months. In fact the court gave the hospital carte blanche.  The child protection team altered Justina's medications, forbade contact with prior Tufts Medical physicians, severely limited parental visits, and provided no educational or religious support. The Globe cites five other examples of Boston Children's Hospital attempts to take custody of their patients through the juvenile court system.

Dr. Newton told Judge Johnston that Justina was exhibiting symptoms of a psychological illness induced by her parents. In Dr. Newton's opinion Justina was suffering from somatic symptom disorder. Dr. Newton's snap—somatic symptom disorder—judgment should have given the court cause for concern because SSD requires long-term evaluation to arrive at a probable diagnosis.

Psychiatrist Allen J. Frances, former chair of the '94 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual warned in 2012 that the somatic symptom disorder, as formalized in DSM-5, is subject to inflated diagnosis and may penalize parents who are:
considered 'excessively concerned' about a child's symptoms. Families caring for children with any chronic illness may be placed at risk of wrongful accusation of 'over-involvement' with their child's symptomatology or of encouraging 'sick role behavior.'
Because there is no evidence to support Dr. Newton's allegations or Judge Johnston's rulings these professionals have diminished credibility and should not be allowed to handle child custody issues.

There is a back story as to why Boston Children's Hospital is in the business of seizing children. Some medical child abuse critics have suggested a profit—fill-the-beds—motive but this charge would be difficult to prove.

The Globe reports that the Justina Medical Experiment venue is changing. Justina will be held by the JRI Susan Wayne Center for Excellence in Thompson, CT., but Massachusetts will remain her custodian. The Justice Review Institute, owner of the Susan Wayne Center for Excellence, is described as a therapeutic service provider.

Judge Johnston is insistent that Lou and Linda Pelletier receive counseling for their wayward behavior. In all fairness Judge Johnston and Dr. Alice Newton should be required to do the same.


The Boston Globe: "A medical collision with a child in the middle"

The Boston Globe: " Frustration on all fronts in struggle over child’s future "

Monday, May 5, 2014

Judge Joseph F. Johnston's "Very Concerning Conduct" in the Justina Pelletier Custody Case

Judges within the Massachusetts Juvenile Court system are expected to:
protect children from abuse and neglect, to promote opportunities for children to reside in a safe, stable, permanent family environment, to strengthen families...and to decide all cases fairly and impartially with dedication, integrity and professionalism.
From the information presented by The Boston Globe and other sources, Judge Joseph Johnston has not acted judiciously in the matter of Justina Pelletier. Because he had issued a gag order, Judge Johnston trusted that his rulings would remain a private affair.

In an unexpected countermove Lou and Linda Pelletier, Justina's parents, violated Judge Johnston's suppression of speech dictate and chose to go public after attempts to regain custody of their daughter failed. Because Joseph F. Johnston has life-time tenure it is unlikely that he will lose his judgeship but he is deservedly facing the court of public opinion.

The Justina Pelletier Medical Child Abuse Claim

When presented with medical child abuse allegations by Boston Children's Hospital in February 2013 Judge Johnston did not hesitate to suspend Pelletier parental rights. At dispute: whether Justina Pelletier was suffering from a psychological [Boston Children's Hospital] or medical [Tufts Medical Center] diagnosed disorder. The BCH child protection team led by Dr. Alice Newton told the court that Justina was suffering from a somatic symptom disorder .

If Judge Johnston or his staff had researched medical literature he would have known that the somatoform disorder cannot be diagnosed in a three-day period and that this novel mental condition is highly subject to misdiagnosis .

To further prove her point on parental medical child abuse, Dr. Newton referenced the cecostomy button surgery performed on Justina at Tufts Medical. An inquiring judge would have asked whether cecostomy button surgery is performed at BCH. Though unasked, the answer is yes .

The Dr. Flores mentioned in the previous link is Alejandro Flores, one of Justina Pelletier's former Tufts physicians. Dr. Flores' research and opinion on cecostomy surgery can be viewed here . The criticized cecostomy-button procedure is performed in hospitals throughout the country. All one has to do is check the web..

Custody hearings based on nebulous medical opinions should require an outside advocate but Judge Johnston did not appoint a guardian ad litem until December which was 10-months into Justina's psychiatric confinement.

Juvenile Judge Joseph Johnston knew or should have known that Boston Children's Hospital had a dubious history of medical child abuse complaints before the court because that point was highlighted in The Globe articles.

Parents, e.g. the Pelletiers, are not allowed to violate judges' orders and publicize judicial actions. When they do they can expect the court's wrath.

Judge Johnston could have rescinded his decisions in view of the facts but instead continues to punish the Pelletier family. The latest threat: the state may maintain custody of Justina until her eighteen birthday. In this disposition Judge Johnston displays his irritation by stating that the parents' public conduct is very concerning. True or false, the complaint is a ruse. The singular issue before the court is Justina Pelletier and her health has not improved while under BCH care and Judge Johnston's supervision.

By all accounts there is no evidence to support Dr. Newton's medical child abuse allegations. It is time for Judge Joseph Johnston to prove his worth and free Justina Pelletier from state custody.


The Boston Globe: "A medical collision with a child in the middle"
The Boston Globe: "Frustration on all fronts in struggle over child’s future"