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Parents fight hospital for custody of their daughter

Washington residents may be interested to learn about an unusual child custody battle going on in Boston. For 10 months, the parents of a 15-year-old girl have been fighting to regain custody of their daughter from Boston Children's Hospital. After a dispute over the girl's diagnosis resulted in allegations of medical child abuse, the girl was placed in the custody of the state, living primarily in a psychiatric ward.

The child custody case began after the parents brought their daughter to the hospital in February. According to the parents, their daughter had begun to experience severe symptoms from a mitochondrial disease that had been diagnosed previously at a different hospital. Three days after the girl checked into Children's Hospital, doctors changed her diagnosis to a psychiatric condition. They also accused the girl's parents of preventing her from receiving proper treatment for her psychiatric problems.

Unhappy with the new diagnosis, the parents told staff at Children's Hospital they planned to take their daughter back to the other hospital. The doctors then called the state and reported the parents for suspected medical child abuse. The girl was then placed in emergency state custody where she remains. In a recent hearing, the girl's parents were unsuccessful in regaining custody of her before Christmas.

Because emotions can be intense during a case like this, parents fighting to regain custody of their child may decide to seek help from a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to represent the family during court appearances and present their case to a judge in an effective manner.

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

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