West Hartford daughter ordered into foster care - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

West Hartford daughter in hospital dispute ordered into foster care

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A judge has ordered Justina Pelletier of West Hartford into foster care amid hospital dispute. (WFSB photo) A judge has ordered Justina Pelletier of West Hartford into foster care amid hospital dispute. (WFSB photo)

A judge in Massachusetts ordered a daughter from West Hartford to be placed in foster care, denying a reunion with her family.

Justina Pelletier has been in a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts since last year. Her parents brought her to the Boston Children's Hospital emergency room because they said she suffers from mitochondrial disease, a rare disease where the body cannot produce energy.

However, hospital officials insisted the 15-year-old's problems were mental.

They said she was suffering from a condition called Somatoform Disorder. Doctors said that's a mental illness where someone can actually experience physical pain.

Justina Pelletier's family said she was experiencing physical pain, but the hospital brought in the Department of Children and Families. The state of Massachusetts took custody and said the teen's parents were committing child abuse by not getting her mental health treatment.

"This child has been ripped away from this family," argued Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said.

The Pelletiers said the battle to get their daughter back has lasted a year. They appeared in court Monday, where Linda Pelletier, the teen's mother, collapsed after hearing the judge's foster care ruling.

"And they see their daughter in suffering and pain and they're not able to do something about it so that has obviously taken a toll on the family," said Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.

Several weeks ago, the same judge moved Justina Pelletier from Boston Children's Hospital to a psychiatric facility. Now, she'll be put into foster care within the next 48 hours.

"They are outraged by that there is no medical attention there," Mahoney said.

The Pelletiers said they will comply with a gag order by the judge.

They said they are concerned Justina Pelletier's health is deteriorating.

Boston Children's Hospital has declined to comment, but said that it has the teen's best interest at heart.

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