Is Justina Pelletier Alive
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Is Justina Pelletier Alive?

Justina Pelletier is a young girl who gained national attention due to a highly controversial medical case. Her story has sparked intense debates and raised questions about the ethics and boundaries of medical decision-making. In this article, we will explore the current status of Justina Pelletier and delve into the details of her case.

The Case of Justina Pelletier

In 2013, Justina Pelletier, then a 14-year-old girl from Connecticut, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by her treating physician, Dr. Mark Korson. Mitochondrial disease is a rare genetic disorder that affects the body's ability to produce energy. Justina had been receiving medical treatment at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for her condition.

However, everything changed when Justina's parents sought a second opinion at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH). The doctors at BCH disagreed with the diagnosis of mitochondrial disease and instead attributed her symptoms to somatoform disorder, a psychiatric condition. The hospital accused Justina's parents of medical child abuse and took custody of her, restricting her access to her family and her previous medical team.

The "Free Justina" Movement

The custody battle over Justina Pelletier attracted significant media attention and sparked outrage among many who questioned the hospital's actions. Supporters of Justina and her family rallied behind the "Free Justina" movement, demanding her release from BCH and the return of her medical care to her previous healthcare provider.

The case raised important ethical questions about medical decision-making, the role of parents in their child's healthcare, and the limits of psychiatric diagnoses in cases with disputed medical conditions.

Current Status of Justina Pelletier

As of the time of writing this article, Justina Pelletier is alive. However, her life has been dramatically impacted by the events surrounding her case.

After being held at BCH for over a year, Justina was eventually transferred to a residential treatment facility in her home state of Connecticut. Although she was initially placed under the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), custody was eventually returned to her parents in 2014, following a lengthy legal battle.

Despite her release, Justina and her family continue to face the long-term consequences of the ordeal. The traumatic experience has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on her physical and emotional well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happened to Justina Pelletier?

Justina Pelletier was taken into custody by Boston Children's Hospital after a disagreement between her parents and the hospital regarding her medical diagnosis. She was eventually released and returned to her parents' custody after a prolonged legal battle.

2. Is Justina Pelletier still receiving medical treatment?

Yes, Justina Pelletier continues to receive medical treatment for her condition. However, the exact nature and extent of her ongoing medical care are not publicly known.

3. Has there been any legal action taken against Boston Children's Hospital?

While there have been no criminal charges filed against Boston Children's Hospital or its staff, Justina Pelletier's family did file a lawsuit against the hospital. The lawsuit alleged medical malpractice, violation of civil rights, and other claims. The case was eventually settled out of court in 2016, but the terms of the settlement remain confidential.


The case of Justina Pelletier remains a highly contentious and emotionally charged topic. The question "Is Justina Pelletier alive?" can be answered with a resounding yes, but the impact of her prolonged custody battle and the disputed medical diagnosis have undoubtedly left scars on her life. As society continues to grapple with the complex intersection of medical decision-making, parental rights, and psychiatric diagnoses, the story of Justina Pelletier serves as a stark reminder of the need for compassionate and thoughtful approaches to healthcare.

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