Connecticut residents who have followed the 16-month saga of Justina Pelletier may be relieved to know that the teenager has finally be returned to the custody of her parents. The ordeal began when the girl was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease by physicians at Tufts Medical Center. When she transferred to Boston Children’s Hospital, physicians there disagreed with the diagnosis, believing it to be a psychiatric condition instead. The girl’s family asked to have her returned to the care of doctors at Tufts.
The case became more muddied when the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families asserted that the girl, who is now 16, was a victim of “medical child abuse.” The girl was given to the custody of the hospital, and her family was allowed limited visitation. However, she was not allowed to go home.
The Pelletier parents continued to wage a legal battle in hopes of bringing their daughter back home. A Massachusetts juvenile court judge has handed down a ruling returning the girl to the custody of her parents. The young girl had released a video pleading for the judge to let her go back to her family and friends prior to the ruling. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has stated that it will not oppose the court ruling.
Family law cases can be difficult, but this particular case drew an incredible amount of public ire until its eventual resolution. Cases like this one will often require an attorney with experience in family law and custody matters to make a successful argument for returning a child to the custody of his or her parents.
Source: FOX News, “Justice for Justina: Judge orders Connecticut girl to be returned to family“, Cristina Corbin and Perry Chiaramonte, June 17, 2014