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Medical child abuse allegations lead to custody dispute over teen

When most people in Alaska think of a child custody dispute, it is usually in the context of divorce. While divorce is certainly a situation in which child custody issues would arise, there are other situations in which parents could find themselves fighting for custody of their child.

Take, for example, a current case that is happening in Connecticut. The parents of a 15-year-old girl are fighting for her custody after the state took her away from them over allegations of "medical child abuse." Medical child abuse allegations can arise when a hospital believes that a child's parents are not allowing the child to receive proper care or are urging harmful or unessential medical treatments.

This case is quite complex, but the allegations stem from an incident in which the child's parents threatened to remove her from the care of one hospital and take her to back to a hospital she had been treated at previously. They were upset that the hospital had dramatically changed the girl's diagnoses and treatment without consulting her previous doctor or another physician the family was told they would see.

Once the hospital reported the allegations to the state, the child was removed from her parents' custody. They have been fighting to get her back for more than 10 months.

Any parent would feel helpless in a situation like this. When you try to make the best decisions for your child and someone thinks your wrong and takes your child away from you, what can you do? Although your options will likely depend on the specifics of your situation, it is important to talk to an attorney experienced with child custody issues. The sooner you understand the legal aspects of your situation, the sooner you can start making decisions about how to get your child back.

Source: The Boston Globe, "No release for Conn. teen caught in hospital," Neil Swidey and Patricia Wen, Dec. 21, 2013

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