Justina Pelletier’s family wins right to take her back to preferred doctors

by
March 4, 2014

The ailing teenager at the center of an interstate custody battle is going back under the care of Tufts Medical Center, where she was being treated until another Boston hospital made a different diagnosis and urged child protection officials to take her away from her family.

The development in the case of Justina Pelletier, 15, came at an attorneys-only hearing in Boston, where a contempt of court order against her father was also lifted. Lou Pelletier violated a gag order when he appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” last month to decry Massachusetts Department of Children and Families’ decision to take his daughter, who is from Connecticut and was only in the Bay State to get medical treatment.

Doctors at Tufts performed surgery on Justina and prescribed medication, all to treat her for a rare condition called Mitochondrial diagnosis. But when Pelletier took his daughter to Boston Children’s Hospital to seek treatment for a negative reaction to the flu last year, doctors determined that her problems were partly psychiatric and that the invasive treatment at Tufts constituted medical abuse. They contacted DCF, which took the girl.

Justina spent the past 13 months detained in two Massachusetts’s facilities against her parents’ wishes. She is currently being held at the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network facility in Framingham, Mass., after spending a year at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Also at Monday’s meeting, lawyers for the Pelletiers sought to have DCF transfer custody of the girl to their counterparts in Connecticut while the family continues to fight for her return. A decision on that issue could come on March 17.

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