Pelletier family pushes for legal changes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Pelletier family pushes for legal changes after custody battle

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Justina Pelletier's father said he was fighting to make sure no other families go through what he did. (WFSB photo) Justina Pelletier's father said he was fighting to make sure no other families go through what he did. (WFSB photo)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A West Hartford family engulfed in a custody battle with authorities in Massachusetts said they want to make sure other families don't have to go through what they did.

Lou Pelletier has been fighting to regain custody of 15-year-old daughter, Justina Pelletier. She's been in Massachusetts for the better part of a year for medical treatments.

"I will not stop until this nonsense comes to an end," he said.

Lou Pelletier was at the Massachusetts state house Thursday afternoon in an attempt to make lawmakers listen.

"DCF takes control of somebody and you fall into this deep rabbit hole and there's no way out," he said.

Justina Pelletier was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by Tufts Medical Center only to have Boston Children's Hospital cast aside that finding. The hospital then took custody of her for a year with the blessing of the Department of Children and Families and a judge. They insisted that her problems were psychiatric and not physical, according to her family.

"This 13-month experiment that Boston Children's Hospital has done did not work," Lou Pelletier said. "In fact, it just about killed her."

The Pelletiers said they were on the verge of regaining some control over their daughter's treatment albeit with strings attached.

However, Lou Pelletier has already sought out state lawmakers in Connecticut. He asked them how parents can essentially be accused of child abuse while their daughter can be legally wrestled away, all over a diagnosis disagreement.

"She did much better under the care of her parents," said the Reverend Patrick Mahoney, who's been helping the Pelletier family. "The legislature needs to get involved with this and not step back."

The Pelletiers said they would like to see the process that has taken their daughter rethought from square one with whatever legal changes that arise.

They argue that an infamous accused killer has enjoyed more privileges in jail this year than their daughter.

"If the Boston bomber is being treated better than my daughter, Justina Pelletier, I think that speaks volumes," Lou Pelletier said.

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