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Judge orders Connecticut teen to be returned to her parents

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 9:45 p.m.

BOSTON — A judge has ordered a Connecticut teenager at the center of a custody dispute based on conflicting medical diagnoses to be returned to her parents on Wednesday.

The family of Justina Pelletier of West Hartford had pushed Massachusetts to return their daughter, whose case hinged on dueling diagnoses of Justina's condition. Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz said on Tuesday that the decision was the result of the state's collaboration with the Pelletier family to establish a reunification plan.

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.

When her parents rejected that diagnosis and tried to take her back to Tufts, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families took custody of Justina, prompting the dispute.

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