I just finished writing the first post in a series about my experiences, some positive but mostly negative, in the world of modern medicine. Then I saw this article on the case of Justina Pelletier, a profoundly disturbing story about state interference and medical mismanagement, even abuse.
Justina is a young girl who was being treated for mitochondrial disease at Tufts medical center. When she came down with a virus, she was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment. The end result of that decision was that Justina was removed from her parents’ custody and diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, for which she was given drug treatment. She has been hospitalized under the custodianship of the state for a year now. Her condition has visibly and markedly declined during that time. Her parents are fighting to have her released back into their care.
This is a frightening example of the terrible power the medical establishment has been given by the government. It is capable of tearing families apart and destroying lives to a degree that is heartrending. The fundamental question here is this: who do the children belong to? Their parents? Themselves? The state? I think the government’s answer to that question has been made clear not only by this case, but by many similar cases.
So the question is, are we to believe the parents, who dearly love their child, or the staff at Boston Medical? I suppose it’s possible that the parents are actually guilty of medical abuse as it is claimed, but it’s also possible that this is an example of a tragic injustice, the victim being a helpless young girl with a poorly understood disorder.