Susannah Whipps Lee Criticizes DCF On Justina Pelletier Case
March 4, 2014
For Immediate Release
Susannah Whipps Lee, Candidate for the 2nd Franklin District seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, today criticized the Patrick administration and DCF for not confronting, or rectifying what Ms. Whipps Lee referred to as a “miscarriage of justice and an assault on the family.”
“I cannot just sit by quietly, like the Commonwealth’s progressive caucus, when we have rogue state agencies like DCF, who have failed to protect the life of at least one local child, and has literally stolen another child from a loving family.” Lee said.
Lee's comments reference the recent story of Justina Pelletier and her family, where a dispute between doctors at Tufts Medical Center and Children's Hospital resulted in an unfounded claim of medical child abuse against Pelletier's parents, Linda and Lou. This charge effectively ripped Justina away from her parents, who were rightfully advocating for their child's treatment , and placed her in the custody of the State. The battle over her safe and lawful return to her family has been in local and national news, and is not yet over.
“This mismanagement is the direct result of ‘one party rule’ and the failure of that one party to police itself and demand external audits and controls” said Lee. “We need to replace leaders like Denise Andrews and others who have neither the courage nor the compassion to sign onto the bill sponsored by Jim Lyons (R-North Andover) and Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) that would return custody of Justina Pelletier to a family who wanted nothing more than a second opinion on her medical care.”
Lee continued, “The idea that a child can be taken from her parents by a state agency for wanting a second medical opinion, and that this same 15 year old girl, who posed no danger to herself or others, was psyciatrically hospitalized against both her will and the will of her parents by an agency that has a questionable track record of decision making is clearly wrong, and contrary to the sovereignty of the American family and the rights of the Pelletier family. If I was the Representative from the 2nd Franklin District, I would sign on to Rep. Lyons and Rep. Lombardo’s legislation without hesitation.”