The state practice of revoking parental rights based on medical child abuse [disparate medical opinions] is being legally challenged by the parents of a child who received treatment at Boston Children's Hospital in June 2012.
Nature of the Action:
The Massachusetts Department of Children & Families ("DCF") has violated and continues to violate the fundamental rights of parents under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to choose which healthcare providers will examine and treat their children. DCF has unconstitutionally expanded the concept of "medical child abuse" without sufficient and justifiable standards to intrude on sincere, vigilant and loving efforts by parents who face competing diagnoses and different views on the medical condition of their children.This May 2014 civil complaint bears an uncanny resemblance to the case of Justina Pelletier. Both children entered Boston Children's Hospital with complex medical histories and both were reevaluated and subsequently diagnosed with undifferentiated somatoform disorders. The Boston Globe reported in December 2013 that Boston Children's Hospital has a history of alleging medical child abuse and then subjecting the taken children to psychological therapy.
Abuse allegations are self serving because when the hospital is successful in its claims, the state permits the institution to keep the children, dismiss previously established diagnoses and proceed with its own judgment. Elizabeth Wray was another child whose parents were charged with medical child abuse while their daughter was receiving care at BCH. In the cases referenced the new diagnoses are psychological in nature.
Rob Graham, Boston Children's Hospital spokesman has refuted claims that the hospital conducted research on Justina Pelletier. In a written response to the Hartford Courant, Graham said that the "allegations that research was conducted on the patient are baseless and patently false."
Undifferentiated somatoform disorders are difficult to identify and manage conditions. Research on the subject suggests that some patients may require psychiatric confinement and intensive cognitive behavioral therapy. Dr. Alice Newton , head of Boston Children's Hospital child protection team and orchestrator of the Justina Pelletier custody petition told The Boston Globe that these drastic measures were worthwhile. It is likely, but yet unproven, that Boston Children's psychiatric staff were engaged in somatoform clinical research.
According to the complaint Dr. Gary Gosselin, Boston Children's Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Medical Director, advised the parents that their daughter would be placed under state jurisdiction if they failed to agree with the hospital's orders. With no suitable options the parents agreed to: accept the somatoform diagnosis, pursue no further second opinions and commit their daughter. The forced isolation worsened the child's condition, she was released but remained subject to DCF's supervision.
Intimidated by Boston Children's Hospital dictates and the institution's connection to the Department of Children and Families, the parents are asking for injunctive relief to continue to seek other medical advice without fear of losing their daughter to protective custody.