Justina Pelletier Leaves Hospital, But Not For Home


After nearly a year in the custody of Boston Children’s Hospital and the Department of Children and Families, where her condition has apparently been declining, Justina Pelletier has been transferred to a facility in Framingham, Mass.  She remains, however, under the care of doctors at Children’s Hospital, who insist that her problems are psychiatric rather than physical; possibly until her 18th birthday.

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West Hartford’s Justina Pelletier Transfered to New Facility (West Hartford Patch)
Freedom at last? Judge rules Justina Pelletier held for almost a YEAR in Boston hospital against her parents wishes should be moved to another clinic (Mail Online)
Freed at last – judge rules Justina Pelletier held captive in hospital against her parents wishes should be moved to another clinic (GA Daily News)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. This particular website, although it is just repeating what other media has said, has done a very good job of bringing together a lot of important material. I’ve been following the situation closely, and there is a lot here I haven’t seen before, particularly the compilation of much of the television coverage by Fox News. Anyone who wants to understand what is going on here should really dig into the links provided by this website.

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  2. And when you think of the financial cost of all of this, not just in the Pelletier case but in the whole widespread practice… Billions of dollars winding up in the pockets of psychiatrists and mental health services, all of it a waste of tax dollars.

    They might as well all be on welfare, at least then they wouldn’t be causing so much harm.

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  3. And I cant get over the irony here. They called it medical child abuse when the parents were letting her (she’s not a baby, she can make her own decisions) be treated for mitochondrial disease because there’s no test to prove she has it…

    But, of course, there are NO TESTS for psychiatric diagnoses either! In fact, unlike with mitochondrial disease, there is NO laboratory evidence what so ever that ANY of their so called “psychiatric diseases” even exist!

    There’s no way that they don’t know this. Do they really think that this completely 100% unproven “somatoform disorder” not only exists, but can make somebody so seriously ill that they can not even walk? Really? They are willing to ignore serious physical signs of real disease to assume that a completely theoretical “mental illness” could be causing such serious symptoms… and to do this while a young persons life is potentially at risk.

    How can they live with themselves, and why is this being allowed to happen?

    And of course, even if it turns out that she didn’t have mitochondrial disease and she does survive, the drugs and this whole traumatic experience would have messed her up for the rest of her life anyway. Again, how can they not know this? What they are doing is sick and atrocious one way or another. Even if they turn out to be right, they still harmed her and potentially ruined her whole life!

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