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Parents battle hospital for custody

California parents may have read about a challenging custody battle a couple in Connecticut has been going through. The couple's daughter has spent the past 10 months at Boston Children's Hospital under state child custody. The ordeal began in February 2013 when the couple brought their 15-year-old daughter into the hospital for severe symptoms similar to a previous diagnosis of mitochondrial disease that had been made at Tufts Medical Center.

The physician who previously treated her at Tufts referred the family to Boston Children's Hospital because the girl's gastroenterologist had transferred there. A few days after her arrival, physicians at the hospital began to suspect the problems were psychiatric and that the parents were prohibiting their daughter from getting the treatment she needed.

The physicians at the hospital reported their suspicions of medical child abuse to the state when the parents threatened to bring the girl back to Tufts Medical Center to resume her treatment. The hospital took the child into emergency custody, where she has spent most of her time in a child's psychiatric ward over the past 10 months. The couple went into juvenile court in December 2013 in an attempt to get the child back before Christmas. The judge appointed a court investigator to reexamine the evidence but ordered that the girl had to remain in state custody.

It is apparent that both sides of this controversy believe that they are acting in the young girl's best interests. The parents feel that the previous treatment is what is right for their daughter, and the state's position is that the parents were depriving her of necessary psychiatric care.

Source: Fox News, "Family battles hospital for custody of daughter in controversial ‘medical child abuse’ case", December 23, 2013

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