West Hartford teen Justina Pelletier is likely to remain at a Framingham residential facility where she’s been for the past month, and not move to a North Shore foster care placement that was discussed in juvenile court Monday, Boston.com is reporting.
But there appears to be hope for the thousands who have joined the fight to bring Pelletier back home as the judge reportedly expressed an openness to the 15-year-old returning to West Hartford with her parents. And at least two Massachusetts state representatives are calling for the Department of Children and Families to begin the process of releasing the teen to the custody of her parents, MyFoxBoston.com reports.
In a case that has garnered national attention, Pelletier has found herself in the middle of a year-long custody battle between her parents and the Massachusetts child-protection agency.
At the closed-door hearing this week, Juvenile Court Judge Joseph Johnston reportedly spoke about a plan by the state Department of Children and Families to transfer Pelletier to Shared Living Collaborative in Merrimac, Mass. The facility has backed away from the idea, though, because of the highly contentious nature of the case, sources told Boston.com & The Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, one of the sources told Boston.com that the judge on Monday expressed openness to allowing Justina to return home in West Hartford home to live with her parents, as long as certain oversight conditions were met. Lawyers representing Pelletier’s parents are expected to help look into such a plan and report back to the court on March 17.
Pelletier, who has been diagnosed and treated by Tufts Medical Center doctors for mitochondrial disorder, a rare genetic disease, was sent to Boston Children’s Hospital for a bout with the flu in February 2013. Her regular doctor was unavailable at the time.
Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital reportedly disagreed with the diagnosis and instead diagnosed Pelletier with somatoform disorder, a mental illness characterized by pain and gastrointestinal symptoms that have no identifiable physical cause.
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families then took custody of Justina when the Pelletiers disagreed with Pelletier’s treatment.Related Stories
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