Dear ACLU of Massachusetts:
I realize you guys can't take every case, but would you please take a look at the case of Justina Pelletier? This is a 15 year old girl, currently at Boston Childrens Hospital, whose parents lost custody of her after they were accused of "medical child abuse." The parents, who are Connecticut residents, have been fighting with Boston Childrens doctors about her diagnosis, and whether she is physically or mentally ill (or maybe neither). A Judge recently ordered an independent review of the case.
What really concerns me, though, is that this child has been in a locked psychiatric ward for TEN MONTHS. This is macabre. Only persons who are in imminent danger of harming themselves or others should be in such a restrictive setting. Justina is in a wheelchair and not really in any condition to hurt anyone else. No one involved in the case has said or even suggested that she is suicidal. Justina has civil rights, too, and they can't be taken away just because she is presently in state custody. Even if she can't go home, she should be in a foster home, going to school like a normal kid, having regular visits with her family, even if supervised. If she is too sick to leave the hospital, she should be in a regular childrens' ward, not a jail cell.
Please take a look at this horrid situation and help Justina, if you can. Even her court appointed guardian doesn't seem to have considered her civil right to physical liberty. You are in the unique position to speak for a girl who can't speak for herself. Please don't let her down.
Very truly yours, Jennifer P. Jonsson (Not a lawyer or a Judge or a doctor or in any way related to the Pelletier family or affiliated with Boston Childrens Hospital)