Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

2014 Shows

 
For the past year, Lou Pelletier and his wife, Linda, have been battling the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for custody of their 15-year-old daughter, Justina, who they claim has been held against their will by Boston Children’s Hospital. They say Justina suffers from Mitochondrial Disease and is in need of medication, but the hospital argues that the teen’s issues are psychosomatic -- and accuses the parents of committing “medical child abuse.” How did a dispute over a diagnosis turn into a headline-grabbing custody battle? Justina’s parents and sisters -- Jennifer, Jessica and Julia -- say they’re only allowed to visit the teen one hour a week and claim her health is deteriorating because she has not received proper medical care. The family joins Dr. Phil to bring awareness to their case. And, experts weigh in -- were doctors justified in their actions, or is this an abuse of power? Then, two-time cancer survivor Holly, 47, says she’s struggling with the fear of relapse and survivor’s guilt. Dr. Phil is joined by 43-year-old Hollye Jacobs, a breast cancer survivor and author of the new book, The Silver Lining, to offer Holly help in moving forward. Plus, Dani, a 50-year-old self-admitted sun worshiper, gets tips on coping with the signs of aging.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: khatgirl on May 31, 2014, 11:35PM - In reply to strine
The girls have been diagnosed and treated at Tufts Hospital in Boston.  In fact, during the time Justina was in Boston Children's Hospital, the judge had ordered DCF to have her doctor from Tufts treat her.  DCF refused the judge's orders.  Only now that Justina has been moved to a children's center in Connecticut last week, is she beginning to be treated by her real doctors.  I live in Massachusetts, therefore I have been following the story closely here.
 
Replied By: strine on Apr 20, 2014, 11:48PM
The parents are claiming their daughters have a mitochondrial disorder, but where is the evidence that they had them tested for a mitochondrial disorder?  If they were tested and found to have it, the parents would have a record of this finding.

The mother does come across as attention seeking in regards to becoming suddenly ill when she is confronted about her treatment of her child. Where's the evidence that either of their daughters have a mitochondrial disorder? I wouldn't believe their word because they have provided no proof and if the wife was doing something with those syringes the husband would rather deal with a hospital being evil than his wife.  

I'm disappointed that Dr Phil would run an episode making these people think they are justified and their child is being stolen. This episode seemed to be about placating those people and making out the hospital is keeping secrets for their own benefit (when they actually have to for HER benefit).


 *   Why didn't he ask for proof of a diagnosis? Surely the person who found she had a mitochondrial disorder would have proudly stood on the Dr Phil show and talked about it. Did the mother just read about these disorders and decide that is what they would call "it"?

 *   What was she really doing with those syringes?

 *   Why didn't Dr Phil ask for proof that the hospital told these parents there was no such thing as mitochondrial disorder? The mother was squirming after he read the letter from the hospital saying they regularly treat kids with mitochondrial diseases.  Seems she made up the story about them saying there was no such thing.

 *   Why are so many people willing to jump on the bandwagon against a hospital based on no proof of a diagnosis and purely on the word of parents whose child was not even removed from them by the hospital? Seems the majority of people believing them do so based on their own stories and the power of Dr Phil's opinion alone.

 
Replied By: grandmafrances on Apr 20, 2014, 10:06PM
We have just had this show aired in Australia.  I want to share that as unbelievable as this case is I was not surprised at the the attituded of your DSCF (?) as my daughter has met the same with her state department of children's safety (DOCS) here in Australia. 

One office declared my grandchildren in danger while with their father - 12 months later another office of the same department has decided my daughter is the abusive parent and they are perfectly safe with their father.  There was no investigiation despite claims there has been, no interviews of doctors, psychologists, teachers etc and certainly no one has even requested my telephone number (I live in a different state) so that I can give them details of conversations I have had with the children.  Why is my daughter considered abusive?  She too is following medical advice from the children's psychologist to not reveal details of their practice or appointments to the father to prevent coaching of the children by him, we had also been reporting bruising, illness and inappropriate behaviour following the time children had spent with their father.  This government department, in my opinion covering their backs, has gone so far as to deny being contacted by anyone making reports regarding the children other than my daughter.  This is not true and have been present in the doctor's office while he made the calls to report.

We now have to document all contact with any department and request everything be backed up in writing.  These government departments are power mad - one worker insisted on seeing the children separately at her office.  My daughter complied as to do so would have meant possible problems.  At the end of the interview with the second child my daughter was told she was abusive by taking her children to inappropriate places with the implied threat of losing her children as a result.  Yes, their office at their insistence!

All I can say to this family is hang in there and I pray it will be resolved in your favour before it is too late.
 
Replied By: highonfire2010 on Apr 5, 2014, 6:38AM
if the parents know what is wrong with thier child get CUSTODY BACK TO THEM DCFS THIS IS JOKE , GO AFTER METH HEADS THAT KILL THIER KIDS NOT WANT TO SAVE THEM IDIOTS DCFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Replied By: pennyscents on Mar 28, 2014, 2:44AM - In reply to susmeyer
You are correct; there is more than one side here. I needed to know more, so I have done the research for myself & will include the information here. However, I must also point out that the syringes that you speak of, as the reason for having supervised visitation are not true. One, the supervised visitation came before that & two, the mother explained that she had them because she is diabetic (she also apologized). If you are going to give information & claim unfairness, then you should at least be fair too. I don't believe that you intentionally gave false information, though. I just believe that you believe what you have been told. I can't help but wonder if MANY are being led by a FEW experts that had a difference of opinion on what the cause of this girl's condition is.

 

To be fair to you or at least give an objective opinion, I will state this:

·         The Pelletier's do not have a great history for being the easiest people to work with. I can't say that I blame them through a lot of this! Although, there is a track record of them being difficult to work with before this happened. Bottom line, though, NOT grounds for having your child taken away!!!

·         Also, you are correct, she was wheelchair bound & very ill when she was brought to the hospital. However, I do not think the past 14 months are helping this poor girl, no matter what the actual diagnosis really is!!! That is where my final opinion comes in. I believe that DCF's involvement has harmed, more than helped this girl! Taking the parent's away pretty much completely now is just proving that they do not have Justina's best interest in mind. She has already had so much taken away. She is being harmed by this!!!

 

The most detailed information that I could find that shows detailed information from both sides can be found here. There are two parts to this very lengthily story, be sure to click on part 2 to read it all. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/12/15/justina/vnwzbbNdiodSD7WDTh6xZI/story.html

 

There are many things that concern me & leave me with the feeling that, yes, many are being led by few, without them even knowing it.

·         This mandated report filed with the judge by one of the nurses witnessing the care of Justina concerns me: http://tribwtic.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/higgins-letter-pdf.pdf

·         This quote by Dr. Dean Hokanson, Ph.D, former Chief Psychologist, Connecticut Children's Hospital, who treated Justina since 2006 statement (can be found on this page): "I assume they were running some sort of research program and this was the protocol; Justina just got whisked into the protocol. There is a lot of interest in somatoform at BCH, more than any place that I know."

·         This quote from the article that I linked: "Around the same time as Justina’s admission, a 5-year-old Massachusetts girl, who had been treated for mitochondrial disorder at Mass. General, arrived at Children’s. Within a couple weeks, her mother was escorted out of the hospital by security late on a Friday afternoon, and the state took emergency custody of the girl. For the first time in her life, she spent the night without a family member at her side."

·         The words from Dr. Korson's e-mail that was sent to Justina's court appointed attorney: “the team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home and severe restrictions imposed on contact with her parents. This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo.” “So now I am writing,” Korson told the lawyer, “because it feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs.”

·         There's more, but I can't read or write anymore.

 

 
Replied By: susmeyer on Mar 27, 2014, 3:08PM
In the video the father says she was in good health prior to this. They were just taking her there because her doctor had moved there.  If she was in such good health, why did they take her there in a snowstorm, by ambulance and to the emergency room saying she could barely walk?  Why not just make an appointment with her doctor? Why were they hospital shopping? Hartford Children’s, Tufts, and Boston Children’s to name just a few.
 
Replied By: igot2say on Mar 27, 2014, 1:41PM
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/we-petition-doj-criminal-investigation-boston-childrens-and-massachusetts-dcf-abusing-justina/jgdlThjc

Please sign the petition for Justina at Whitehouse.gov
 
Replied By: guymagoonjr on Mar 27, 2014, 12:32PM - In reply to lifesails
Why is it when I ask for help to protect my civil rights nobody stands up to help me, why is that:?  I've tried with local agencies, lawyers and the court.  People in society can be so cruel and not stand up for nothing anymore.  Nobody cares about their neighbors anymore.  I've complained for 40yrs and nothing has been done.  My rights have been violated all the way from the 1st to 7th amendment of my civil rights.  Nobody has addressed the initial causes I have like murder, kidnapping and attempted murder, along with abuse of their powers and nobody will step up on any of my cases.
 
Replied By: susmeyer on Mar 27, 2014, 10:19AM
Does anyone know how privacy laws work?  You are only getting the parents side of the story here. Shame on Dr. Phil and Company for doing a show without any of the facts and shame on the parents for airing this poor girl’s problems before the world.  Privacy laws prevent DCF and the hospital from speaking about what’s really happening to this child because they are PROTECTING her.  If you read other articles about the case you would know that she had been seen at many other doctors and hospitals previous to this.  You have to wonder why the parents kept switching. It is a typical sign of a problem.  Did the show say that supervised visitation was ordered only after the mother was found with syringes on a previous visit?  The show said “Justina was ice skating 13 months ago and can now barely walk”.  This is true and it was under the parents care that this happened.  They brought her to Boston because “she could barely walk”.  Her condition has improved since being out of their care. Google Garnett Spears, a little boy in New York who recently died because of his mother’s medical abuse.  I only wish that DCF had gotten to him sooner as they have with Justina.
 
Replied By: susmeyer on Mar 27, 2014, 9:59AM
What is wrong with you people?  Don't you realize that this is a one sided story and that only the parents version is being told.  Shame on Dr. Phil for even having them on when he knows he couldn't have all the facts.  Privacy laws prevent anyone with the "real" information from commenting.  Everybody knows that.They are PROTECTING  These parents brought her to Boston because she could barely walk.  Her condition is improving every day.  The comment that "Justina was ice skating 13 months ago and can now barely walk" was how she came to the hospital.  Read the Boston Globe article that says the mother was caught with syringes on a visit and that is when DCF ordered supervised visits.  Then look up Garnett Spears - a little boy who died recently because of the "care" his mother gave him.  If only DCF had taken him away sooner he would be alive.
 
Showing 1-10 of total 247 Comments