Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pelletier verdict

Boston Children's Hospital wasn't medically negligent in its treatment of a Connecticut teen who spent nearly a year in state custody after doctors suspected her parents of medical child abuse, a jury in Boston concluded Thursday.

The verdict in the medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the family of Justina Pelletier capped a high profile dispute that drew national media attention and sparked a broader debate over parental rights.

Doctors and Pelletier's parents disagreed on whether the cause of her numerous health problems, which included an inability to walk, talk or swallow, were true medical ailments, as her parents maintained, or were largely psychological.

The Suffolk County jury reached its verdict after less than six hours of deliberating Thursday.

The trial spanned five weeks and centered on whether Pelletier's parents were unfairly barred from their daughter's treatment and whether Pelletier's separation from her family was detrimental to her health.

"The jury's decision affirms what Boston Children's Hospital has always believed: that our clinicians provided Justina Pelletier high quality, compassionate care, and always acted in the best interest of her health and well-being," the hospital said in a statement.

Pelletier's lawyers didn't respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.

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