Conn. girl placed in Mass. custody in care dispute

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

BOSTON (AP) — A Connecticut girl has been placed in the permanent custody of Massachusetts child welfare officials amid a legal dispute involving different medical diagnoses by two hospitals.

Juvenile court Judge Joseph Johnston in Boston issued the ruling Tuesday in the case of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier of West Hartford, Conn., whose parents sought custody. A family friend says the couple is devastated by the ruling.

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families took emergency custody of Justina last year.

Tufts Medical Center had treated Justina for mitochondrial disease, a disorder that affects cellular energy production. But Boston Children’s Hospital later diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.

When Justina’s parents, Linda and Lou Pelletier, rejected the new diagnosis and tried to take her back to Tufts, the Massachusetts department took custody of the girl.

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