Custody dispute over teen to be settled by judge

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When most parents make decisions regarding their child, they usually consider all the available options. Whether the issue is what school their child should attend or the medical treatment the child should receive, a parent should always keep the best interests of the child in mind. Sometimes though, others might feel that parents are not acting in a child’s best interests and decide to intervene. When this happens, parents can find themselves locked in a custody battle they never thought would happen to them.

Orlando readers might be familiar with a dispute between parents of a teen girl and a hospital. The teen girl was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by one hospital, but a second hospital disagreed. The second hospital believes that the girl does not have the disease but has a psychological disorder. When the girl’s parents attempted to transfer back to the original hospital, the second hospital intervened and charged the parents with medical child abuse. The teen has been in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families ever since.

The parents have filed a motion to be granted conditional custody of their daughter. Children and families services is fighting the motion. The judge can find in favor of the parents, find in favor for the agency or opt to transfer the teen’s care to the state of Connecticut, which is her home state.

This case is interesting because generally, social services gets involved when a child is being denied care. However in this case, care is being given, but there is a disagreement about a diagnosis. The judge’s decision will be important because it could set a precedent; it could allow a hospital over overrule a parent’s decision about the care and treatment for a child. Those who find themselves in a battle for their child should consider seeking the advice of an experienced legal professional so their rights to parent can be enforced and protected.

Source: Newsmax, “Justina Pelletier: Judge to Settle Custody Battle for 15-Year-Old” Clyde Hughes, Mar. 20, 2014

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