The Pelletier family is scheduled to head back to Massachusetts family court Friday in hopes of regaining custody of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, who has been held in a psychiatric ward in a Boston hospital since February 2013.
The nearly year-long saga was thought to be coming to a close Dec. 20, when a family court judge in Boston was expected to issue a final ruling on the matter.
Instead, the judge ruled that Justina was to remain in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and ordered a new guardian ad litem to examine the case.
In addition, the judge further ordered that Justina have no contact with her family.
It is unclear what, if anything, will be done at the hearing Friday.
Justina’s bizarre case started on Feb. 10, 2013, when Justina, who has been diagnosed and treated by Tufts doctors for mitochondrial disorder, a rare genetic disease, was sent to Boston Children’s Hospital for a bout with the flu.
Justina’s regular doctor was unavailable at the time.
Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital reportedly said that Justina was misdiagnosed with mitochondrial disorder and instead diagnosed Justina with somatoform disorder, a mental illness characterized by pain and gastrointestinal symptoms that have no identifiable physical cause. In tandem with that, the hospital has accused Justina’s parents, Linda and Lou Pelletier, of medical child abuse.Since that day in February, the Justina Pelletier’s parents have seen the situation devolve into the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families taking custody of the girl and limiting contact with Justina. The girl has been held against the family’s will and her condition has also worsened.