‘Justina’s Law’ Would Protect Wards of the State From Being Used as Medical Guinea Pigs

Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teenager who was confined to the psychiatric ward of a Boston hospital without her family’s consent for nearly a year, recalled her ordeal at a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday to promote a bill bearing her name.

“Justina’s Law,” introduced last month by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), would protect wards of the state from being used as human guinea pigs by medical researchers.

“What they did was terrible to me, and what they did to my family. . .I just don’t want it to happen ever, ever again, to anyone else,” Justina said.

Her father, Lou Pelletier, said that a minor declared a ward of the state can be used for medical research. “They can do any research they want on them,” he said, adding that “the same thing is happening at every single children’s hospital in this country.”

The bill, which would prevent non-therapeutic medical experimentation on such children, was co-sponsored by Bachmann’s fellow co-chairs of the Foster Youth Caucus: Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), and Jim McDermott (D-WA).