The Rare but Potentially Fatal Abuse Nobody Cares About
by No Longer Silenced Movement
I don’t know if you heard the story, but last year Boston Children’s Hospital suffered a lot of backlash after flagging a case as medical child abuse, which would result in the state taking the child away. Last year, I read a post that Boston Children’s wrote addressing the issue, and the comments were flooded with harsh negativity. People said they were awful, cruel, and despicable doctors trying to rip a child away from their parents.
Is that what people think? Do people automatically assume the parents have done no harm, and that the person taking their child away from their abusive custody is cruel? The case was difficult because medical child abuse is probably the easiest to cover up, and it is the least looked for abuse in children.
The case all started when Justina Pelletier, a 14 year old girl, was brought in by her parents to Boston for the treatment of mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial disease, is not very common, it’s symptoms are not very unique, and it is potentially fatal if left untreated. The problem wasn’t only that it’s difficult to diagnose, but no formal test was done, called the “hallmark of mitochondrial disorders” by the diagnosing Doctor from Tufts Mark Korson. Besides the sketchy lack of tests and research done into her symptoms, mitochondrial disease is known as the go-to disease to medical child abusers.
For not having a clear and confirmed diagnosis, it’s important to note that prior to this, she already faced extreme surgeries. The 14 year old, never tested for a disease, already had a permanent port surgically implanted into her stomach to flush out her digestive system, a common problem of those suffering child medical abuse. Many were upset about the stance Boston Children’s took on the childs case, including the original diagnostician, saying they’re extremely intrusive.
They pulled the child away from her parents, the accused abusers, and prevented contact from them. What may seem extreme to the outside, how would you feel if it were a confirmed medical abuse case? You’d be praising the doctors for stepping in and insuring the safety of that child, while still working to get her well.
All abuse is important, and any suspicions should always be reported. Nothing is more painful than a child stuck in an abusive home.
Hello from the Proxy Project!
Our Social Marketing Intern, Katie, found your blog! We are adult survivors of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), the most lethal type of child abuse, and we are also scientists who are following this case.
I think you would be interested to read my 5-post series on MSbP, since you are expressing concern about the welfare of the child. There are a lot of red flags for MSbP in this case, but they are not where you would think. https://proxyprojectresearch.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/is-the-justina-pelletier-case-munchausen-syndrome-by-proxy/
I agree with you – the media have fallen down on the job, and also, law enforcement has not fulfilled its duty. Hopefully the investigations I call for in my series of posts will take place.
Thanks for calling attention to this important case and to the important topic of child abuse!