Esquire’s Charles Pierce on the Pelletier Case

More liberals are coming to the defense of the Pelletier family, and highlighting the “arrogance” of Children’s Hospital and DCF.  This time it is Charles Pierce at

. If Judge Johnston finds the Pelletier family’s behavior unseemly, he might ask himself how he’d react if his child had been permanently hijacked in what is little more than a dick-swinging contest between hospitals, with Children’s Hospital being the biggest and swingin’-est dick of them all. What Children’s did to the Pelletiers is utterly insupportable and, as Wen and Swidey wrote, it’s become almost policy.

As the Wen/Swidey story makes clear, this already has become such a standard practice at hospitals around the country that the hospitals have developed the study of “medical child abuse” into a specialty. This whole thing reeks of institutional arrogance and a flagrant disregard for the basic principles of medical practice — including, to mention only one, First, Do No Harm. In the Pelletier case, I hear echoes of the same institutional arrogance that attended another, radically different episode of child abuse — that of the day-care abuse frenzy in the 1980’s, including the infamous McMartin pre-school case in California. In any case, there was a clear breakdown in what should have been a collaborative effort between Tufts and Children’s regarding Justina’s care, and how obstreperous her parents were shouldn’t have been a factor in that.

mention all this because, sooner or later, it’s going to become a thing in our politics, and it’s going to get shoved into the binary nature of our national slanging match, and it’s a helluva lot more complicated than that. (The one part of Judge Johnston’s ruling that I wholly applaud is his effort to keep the likes of Mat Staver out of this.) And, at the end of it all is a 15-year old, who will live in a locked psychiatric ward until she’s 18 because doctors couldn’t keep their egos out of the way long enough to give her the care she needed.

Children’s Hospital and DCF/DSS have been conspiring to do this to parents for the past twenty years. It is time for the legislature to act to stop this abhorrent practice. It is time to restore parental rights in the Commonwealth.

Until we do, no family should feel safe taking their children to a hospital in this state.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno