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Anonymous's Latest Target: Boston Children's Hospital 329

Brandon Butler writes: "Supporters of the faceless collective known as Anonymous have taken up the cause of a young girl, after the State of Massachusetts removed her from her parents earlier this year. However, the methods used to show support may have unintended consequences, which could impact patient care. On Thursday, the Boston Children's Hospital confirmed that they were subjected to multiple DDoS attacks over the Easter holiday. Said attacks, which have continued throughout the week, aim to take the hospital's website offline. Similar attacks, including website defacement, have also targeted the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network. Both organizations are at the heart of a sensitive topic, child welfare and the rights of a parent." Members of Anonymous are now calling for a halt to the attacks.
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Anonymous's Latest Target: Boston Children's Hospital

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  • by Tucan ( 60206 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @01:56PM (#46842817)

    Here is the story: []

  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:08PM (#46842945)

    So you are expecting every small company to afford a large network infrastructure

    Not at all - I do expect the large network infrastructure providers to be able to harden themselves against such attacks, especially given their clients.

    Like I said - at least it had a switch-over, so although doctors could not access things for 'minutes' (how many are we talking about anyway?), they should have been mostly unaffected.

    That said - some absolutely critical things should not be placed under the total care of service providers. Would you do away with your HDD/SSD and rely entirely on cloud storage?

  • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:10PM (#46842967)
    We can't know the details, because releasing them would be a violation of patient health information privacy laws. So we only get to hear the story from the side of the parents. We do know the physicians at the hospital have diagnosed the child with medical child abuse. A key point form the Slate article someone else linked is that 1 in 10 children who are abused medically, die. It isn't something that is taken lightly.
  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:15PM (#46843021)

    I heard about it on the radio a couple of weeks ago. This case is an absolutely appalling abuse of power.

    Advocates Fight for Justina Pelletier, Teen Held by State in Psych Ward []

    One day Justina Pelletier was a seemingly healthy teenager performing jumps and spirals at a skating show and six weeks later, on Feb. 10, 2013, she was in the emergency room at Children's Hospital in Boston after a severe bout with the flu, refusing to eat and barely able to walk.

    Her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier of West Hartford, Conn., say their daughter was diagnosed and being treated at Tufts Medical Center for mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic disorder with physical symptoms that can affect every part of the body. Justina's sister Jessica, 25, is also being treated for the disease.

    But three days later, a team of doctors at Boston Children's said her symptoms were psychosomatic, according to the family. The hospital then filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, as required by law, because they suspected the parents of child abuse for subjecting their daughter to invasive medical treatments and denying her mental health therapy. ... more []

    Pelletier Family Files Habeas Corpus Pleading, Points Out Disturbing Facts About Boston Children’s Hospital []

    ... Among other things, the Petition also argues that the requirement to issue detailed written findings of fact and conclusions of law justifying DCF’s intervention has never been met. Never has the juvenile court issued such required findings of fact or conclusions of law.

    “This case comes down to the simple fact that new doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), who had no experience with Justina, came up with a different diagnosis than her expert treating physicians at Tufts Medical Center,” said Staver. “The state cannot take children from their parents when the parents make reasonable choices for their medical care. This case is outrageous,” said Staver. .... Justina has gone from a competitive figure skater to being confined to a wheelchair,” said Staver.

    Fourteen months ago, Justina, now fifteen years old, was seized by Massachusetts DCF after her parents, at the direction of Dr. Mark Korson, took her to Boston Children’s Hospital to see Dr. Alejandro Flores, a gastroenterologist who had previously treated Justina when he worked at Tufts Medical Center before he transferred to BCH. Dr. Korson, Chief of Metabolic Services at Tufts Medical Center, was Justina’s primary physician who was treating her for Mitochondrial disease. Instead of allowing Justina to see Dr. Flores, Justina saw Dr. Jurriaan Peters, a BCH resident only seven months out of medical school. He brought in Dr. Simona Bujoreanu, a psychologist who coauthored an article in which she contends that in up to 50% of children who present with physical complaints, the complaints are not physical but mental. Without consulting with Dr. Korson or Flores, Dr. Bujoreanu rendered a diagnosis of Somatoform disorder. Without a thorough review of her care, she opined that Justina’s physical complaints were mental, not physical. BCH then presented the family with a new treatment plan to discontinue all medical care and medications and which forbade any second opinions. When the parents refused to sign the new treatment plan and requested that Justina be discharged so they could take her back to Tufts Medical Center, BCH called DCF, and DCF prevented the family from discharging Justina

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:24PM (#46843105) Homepage Journal

    1. Children's hospitals receive donations and nail research grants with an alarming deftness. Boston Children's Hospital is, according to their own architecture, the best []. There's no shortage of money. They did have some layoffs a couple of years ago [], but with a ridiculous savings ratio (255 jobs, costing 89.5 million annually, constituting somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3% of their budget.)

    2. Their primary website is located at ( Patient info retrieval is hosted on ( There is a booking form located on the main site, but at any rate it's working just fine now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:38PM (#46843219)

    The doctor diagnosed her with an actual physical illness without running the tests needed to diagnose her. Boston Children's Hospital did some of those tests, and they indicated that she probably didn't have it.

    They said her parents were medically abusing her because they took her to a large number of doctors and appeared to be doing forum-shopping until they found a diagnosis they liked - mitochondrial disease is claimed by roughly 50% of parents who are ultimately found guilty of medical abuse. Her parents also had a port installed in her digestive tract, which was fairly risky (due to the surgery and increased chance of infection until it's removed) and wouldn't have helped with her disease, if it was real.

  • by jopet ( 538074 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:38PM (#46843227) Journal

    Some probably adolescent script kiddies with an ego by far exceeding their intelligence try to play digital lynch mob.
    What pathetic little cunts.
    Not for the first time showing how much worse than individual stupidity their collective stupditiy can be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:15PM (#46843581)
    She is not fine, in fact she is degrading. Her hair is falling out and she can no longer even walk.
  • by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:21PM (#46843637)

    1. Children's hospitals receive donations and nail research grants with an alarming deftness. Boston Children's Hospital is, according to their own architecture, the best []. There's no shortage of money. They did have some layoffs a couple of years ago [], but with a ridiculous savings ratio (255 jobs, costing 89.5 million annually, constituting somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3% of their budget.)

    Having income is not the same thing as having money. Hospitals and medical care is expensive, especially in the US. It looks like that job cut was due to a $150 million budget shortfall.

  • by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:33PM (#46843733)

    I heard about it on the radio a couple of weeks ago. This case is an absolutely appalling abuse of power.

    I did some Googling on this case in since I hadn't yet heard about it. Found this article: []

    If it's true that the parents shopped around for doctors to perform surgeries, and had extreme surgeries carried out around mitochondrial disease with no diagnostic based diagnosis that raises a ton of red flags.

    If you're going to make your kid get a stomach shunt, you'd at least want to run a few tests first, no? It seems reasonable that the doctors would want to separate the child from her parents if they thought they were unreasonably subjecting their daughter to medical procedures. Worst case: Childrens runs the diagnostics that should have been run in the first place, finds evidence of mitochondrial disease, gives the child back, and there is no harm done. If the doctors are right? Then a child's health may have been destroyed for no reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:34PM (#46843743)

    You have no idea. I ran with Anonymous before they became "hacktivists" (back when they were still doing POOL'S CLOSED, etc). Encyclopedia Dramatica had a picture of one of the raids on Habbo I participated in - I think the newer incarnation of it still does (I was the guy copy-pasting Clarence Carter's "Strokin'" over and over again). Back then, Anonymous raided PURELY to screw with people and get a reaction. It wasn't about activism, it wasn't about "changing things" or trying to fight perceived injustices. It was about hearing Hal Turner (pre-arrest) scream himself hoarse on the radio after the tenth caller in a row started playing the Fresh Prince themesong over the phone, or sending people thousands of empty USPS boxes.

    The real split (though I think this is well-known history at this point) came when Anonymous started attacking Scientology. There were those of us who were doing it for laughs, who did the whole "WE DO NOT FORGIVE WE DO NOT FORGET" thing purely as a joke, and were basically just a group of people from 4Chan's /b/ who had nothing better to do.

    The current incarnation of Anonymous are the people who started taking that joke seriously and decided to venture into hacking (even though as far as I know, Anonymous actually has only a few real hackers), DDoS, and other script kiddie stuff. I personally left because I knew that at that point, the level of what Anonymous was doing had gone from (relatively) harmless trolling to things that could get people arrested. Plenty of other people thought the same way. I'm willing to bet that very few, if any, of the current people in Anonymous trace their roots back to the Habbo raids, or to 4Chan at all, and that's because all of the people who were around for the Habbo raids were the ones who were smart enough to leave when things started getting serious.

    The only real Anonymous is the one on 4Chan. The new group are just using the name.

  • by psm321 ( 450181 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:37PM (#46843777) Journal
    They do... if you review any of the available information on the case it's obvious that she is both physically and psychologically much worse off now. Wheelchair-bound instead of ice-skating and smuggling notes begging to be taken out and saying "I feel like I'm in jail". BCH and the judge messed up (possibly with good intentions at first) and now are perpetuating their mistake to try to cover it up.
  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:59PM (#46843903) Homepage

    a) Mitochondrial disease is not well understood, and Justina in fact shows symptoms that point to such. As does her sibling.

    b) BCH had a similar case, they tried to seize a 5 year old girl. Only thing is when Child Protective Services (CPS) went to the home, they realized it was someone who used to work for them and that they knew were not a danger. So custody was restored.

    c) But at this point, their 5 year old daughter had gone without treatment for so long. She died.

    d) Their son began to show similar symptoms. This time BCH did do a test. The result showed positive. But they did not inform the parents for three months. And still did not act on it. A second test was done by an independent lab. Which also confirmed evidence of mitochondrial disease. Their son was released.

    e) Their son has since gotten treatment at Tufts under the same doctor treating Justina. Who is regarded as one of the premier experts in this field. Oh, guess what. After the restoration of treatment, their son's condition improved. Shame their daughter hadn't been treated by BCH, or she'd probably be alive.

    f) BCH killed one child and is now killing another.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @04:01PM (#46843923)

    No! What is going on at Boston Childre's is in no way reasonable. Please read the ABC News story. Does this seem "psychosomatic" to you?

    Justina's ordeal began in 2010, when she had severe cramps because of a stomach blockage, according to her father. Doctors at Connecticut Children's Hospital unsuccessfully tried to "flush" her lower intestinal tract and subsequently did exploratory surgery, he said. Doctors found a congenital band, about 20 inches of cartilage wrapped around her colon and removed that and the girl's appendix, he said.

    In 2011, when her condition did not improve, he said doctors referred Justina to Dr. Alejandro F. Flores, a gastroenterologist at Tufts.

    Does referral to a gastroenterologist seem "unreasonable" for a problems of the bowel and stomach??

    You don't suppose that the problem could be with Boston Children's? You might want to read this too:

    Frustration on all fronts in struggle over child’s future []

    The abuse here is by Boston Children's in the form of an ultimatum: abandon the treatment plan from an expert in the medical area where your daughter has been experiencing problems, as proven by surgery, for our treatment plan that says it is all in your daughter's head or we will use state power to seize control of your child.

  • by pr0fessor ( 1940368 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @06:37PM (#46845017)

    I found it interesting that she was taken off the medications used for stroke victims which they say was diagnosed via MRI as a large stroke. MRI is a standard diagnostic for stroke or also a CT scan and that it is related to the original diagnosis as it's a possible side effect of the mitochondrial disease. It's also a physical sign that would rule out somatoform disorder or somatic symptom disorders.

    Being that it was characterized as a large stoke tells me that the MRI should have shown it clearly making misdiagnoses unlikely.

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