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Justina’s case is a complicated one. Boston.com reports that Pelletier has spent most of the last ten months locked in a psychiatric ward at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Judge Joseph Johnston recently ruled that the state should maintain custody of the couple’s 15-year-old daughter Justina,
WSFB reports that Justina’s nightmarish journey began in February when the 15 year old was receiving treatments for Mitochondrial Disease. When Justina’s symptoms worsened, she was sent to Boston Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with Somatoform Disorder; a mental illness in which doctors can’t trace symptoms back to any physical cause.
When the Pelletiers tried to remove Justina from the hospital, they were reportedly prevented by hospital staff, including security.
A somatoform disorder is a mental disorder characterized by symptoms that suggest physical illness or injury – symptoms that cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition or by the direct effect of a substance, and are not attributable to another mental disorder (e.g., panic disorder).