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Teen in custody battle to be moved from hospital
Boston Globe, by Patricia Wen, Neil Swidey

Original Article

Posted By:mitzi, 1/11/2014 12:26:53 PM

Justina Pelletier, a teenager caught in the middle of a high-profile medical dispute and child custody battle, is expected to be discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital to a residential facility in the next few weeks, after a juvenile court judge moved on Friday to end a stalemate that has kept the girl at the hospital for almost a year. Eleven months to the day after Justina’s mother brought her to Children’s, Judge Joseph Johnston put in motion a plan that fulfills the parents’ long-sought wish to have her leave the locked psychiatric ward of the Harvard teaching hospital. But instead

Comments:
Update on a story that was posted here.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: hdgalley, 1/11/2014 1:48:11 PM     (No. 9688361)

Judges just messing things up!!! Give the child back to the parents, life will go on quite well

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Reply 2 - Posted by: JAN, 1/11/2014 1:53:54 PM     (No. 9688368)

This is a most horrifying story in it´s implications for the rights of parents who have nothing but their child´s best interest in mind.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Susannah, 1/11/2014 3:05:48 PM     (No. 9688445)

It´s hard to know what´s going on here, since all parties have been gagged, and the hospital is bound by HIPPA not to discuss the patient. The girl has had an appendectomy, a cecectomy, several colonoscopies, and several laparascopic procedures at the behest of the parents. One court document that emerged said that the parents had doctor-shopped for a physician who´d agree to the invasive procedures. Maybe there´s a reason for the custodial dispute. I don´t know. Not enough information.

This is a terrible problem that will never be resolved to anyone´s satisfaction. There have been cases where children died of treatable ailments because their parents refused them medical attention on religious grounds. What do we do about those?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Shimmer128, 1/11/2014 6:19:21 PM     (No. 9688597)

Who cares about those cases??? They have ZERO to do with this case.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Susannah, 1/11/2014 7:52:05 PM     (No. 9688672)

The point about the cases I cited in which the parents denied their children life-saving medical treatment is that sometimes the parents don´t act in the best interests of the child. I have no idea if that is the case here. It may be. It may not be. Since all the parties are gagged, and HIPPA prevails, we don´t know.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: lostinmassachusetts, 2/24/2014 10:24:00 PM     (No. 9745222)

Here are the details of this case as I understand them: This young girl was diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition (mitochondrial disease) by medical staff at Tufts New England Medical Center (a highly-accredited Boston hospital). She had been treated treated there (apparently successfully, according to her parents) for some time until she developed influenza and was then admitted to Boston Children´s Hospital for treatment. Once there, a member of BCH staff disagreed with the other hospital´s diagnosis, claiming her symptoms were only psychosomatic, and placed her in a locked psychiatric ward. Her parents attempted to resume treatment at the other hospital, but BCH then complained to the MA Department of Children and Families, accusing the parents of "medical child abuse." The Pelletiers have sued in the MA courts, which have ruled against them. Now there are a couple of factors which call this decision into question: (1) BCH and Tufts are both highly-accredited facilities, but they are also rivals in the field of pediatric medicine in Boston; (2) The MA DCF has no resident medical staff to enable them to decide which course of treatment is correct; (3) BCH accused the Pelletiers of child abuse for insisting on the original course of treatment, without presenting any proof that this treatment had in any way harmed the child; (4) BCH itself has recently opened a center for pediatric gender realignment surgery, which some might say is both quack medicine and form of child abuse in itself because it mutilates a child´s body to correct gender identity problems, which are arguably a psychological problem. For my money, both the BCH and the MA DCF are wrong in this case and should be overruled.

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