Friday, March 28, 2014
House Republican Leadership Letter To Governor Patrick Regarding Justina Pelletier
March 28, 2014
His Excellency Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State House, Room 105
Boston, MA 02133
Dear Governor Patrick:
As you are undoubtedly aware, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts currently finds itself at the crossroads of state involvement and parental rights in the case of a young woman currently in the custody of the Department of Children and Families – Justina Pelletier. This case has captured the hearts and attention of many as we have witnessed the struggle of parents desperate to return their daughter to her home state of Connecticut in the ongoing quest to afford her the medical treatment she so desperately needs. As such, we write you today to urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to open the line of communication with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, and work to facilitate the safe and prompt return of Justina to Connecticut.
The case of Justina Pelletier has evolved before our very eyes, and has unfortunately been elevated to an unprecedented level. The Pelletier family, residents of Connecticut, has been forced to challenge the will of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in both the courts and through the media. While the Pelletier family continues their effort to seek the best medical care for their daughter, an ongoing struggle with the Commonwealth has placed their daughter in an untenable position, and has forced the family into an unimaginable situation – a showdown with our state over the custody of their own child.
Just this week, in a ruling by the Juvenile Court of the Commonwealth, the Honorable Joseph Johnston wrote in his disposition order that, “Heightened efforts must be undertaken by the MA DCF to place Justina in Connecticut and to transfer both the clinical and legal case to Connecticut.” We, the undersigned, agree whole-heartedly with this directive of Justice Johnston that Justina should be returned to her home state. Therefore, we urge you to pursue every means necessary, in consultation with Governor Malloy, to return Justina to Connecticut. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts can no longer be viewed as obstructionists in a family’s desire to return their daughter home to Connecticut.
We appreciate there may be a myriad of facts in this case to which we are not privy, and we are by no means interjecting ourselves into the medical diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Justina. We are, however, of the certain belief that this young woman belongs in her home state of Connecticut where she can both receive medical care and be close to her family.
We would be happy to meet with you to discuss this issue in greater detail, and we look forward to your timely attention to this extremely pressing issue.
Representative Bradley H. Jones, Jr.
20th Middlesex District
Representative George N. Peterson, Jr.
9th Worcester District
Representative Elizabeth A. Poirier
14th Bristol District
Representative Bradford Hill
4th Essex District
Representative Viriato Manuel deMacedo
1st Plymouth District