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Parents lose custody, then sue Children's Hospital for negligence

Parents in Hawaii, like those in other states, have the right to pursue legal action on behalf of their minor aged children. This is especially pertinent to those whose children have suffered from medical negligence. A recent situation in a Northeastern state made news headlines as horrified parents fought for their daughter to be released from court-ordered state custody.

The child involved is now 17. In 2013, she was undergoing ongoing treatments at a noted medical center for mitochondrial disease. At some point, her parents took her to another hospital, seeking emergency care for gastrointestinal problems. They were shocked when hospital staff claimed their daughter was being medically abused.

The girl's parents say they were devastated when a court agreed with that assessment and ordered their child to be placed in a locked psychiatric ward. They immediately began to fight for their daughter's return home, claiming that their right to make medical decisions on behalf of their child was being violated. In 2014, a judge ruled in their favor, and their daughter was released from state custody back into their care.

The child's parents have since filed a legal claim against the hospital and several doctors, claiming negligence and civil rights violations. They have publicly stated that their daughter's right to an education and faith practices were denied for the 16 months she was held in state custody. Such situations obviously pose serious legal challenges for concerned parents. Those facing similar circumstances in Hawaii can seek guidance by contacting an attorney with experience in medical malpractice litigation.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Parents of Justina Pelletier sue Boston Children's Hospital for negligence", Michael Levenson, Feb. 25, 2016

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