State offers plan on medical custody dispute

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts officials have announced a plan to return Justina Pelletier to her home state of Connecticut. The teenager is at the center of a custody dispute involving different medical diagnoses by two hospitals.

Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz (POH'-la-noh-witz) said the "reunification" plan calls for Justina to be transferred to a facility in Thompson, Connecticut, as the first step in a process that could eventually return her to the custody of her parents.

A judge will make the final decision to return Justina to her family.

In March, the court ordered the teen placed in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

Tufts Medical Center had treated Justina for mitochondrial disease, a disorder that affects cellular energy production. But Boston Children's Hospital later diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.

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