Rep. Michelle Bachmann has a new theory about the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America who have come in large numbers to the southern U.S. border: they are future victims of a liberal plot to use unwilling children for medical experiments.
It all starts with the case of Justina Pelletier, the teenage girl who was placed in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families because of a dispute between Boston Children's Hospital and her parents, who were backed by other doctors from Tufts Medical Center, over her medical diagnosis.
Last month, she was finally returned to her family and now Bachmann has introduced legislation called "Justina's Law" that would prohibit "federal funding for medical experimentation on a ward of the State."
The narrative created by Bachmann and others within the Religious Right about this case asserts that the Boston Children's Hospital had received a federal grant to study somatoform disorder which prompted doctors to diagnose Pelletier with that condition so that the state could take custody of her and then use her as a guinea pig in the hospital's medical experiments.
This entire narrative is based on a bizarre misreading of the hospital's policy for allowing Wards of the state to participate in medical research trials, which is actually designed to protect such wards. The fact that Wards of the state can participate in medical trials under certain conditions and within specific guidelines is being intentionally misrepresented by Bachmann and others on the Right to claim that foster children are being used for wild medical experiments funded by grants from the federal government without oversight or limits.
Appearing on "WallBuilders Live" today to promote her law, Bachmann tied the issue to the debate surrounding the treatment of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border, claiming that President Obama and the medical community want to bring tens of thousands of children from Central America into the United States so that they can be turned over to state governments and then used for medical experiments.
"Now President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, those illegal aliens to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system," Bachmann said. "That's more kids that you can see how - we can't imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a Ward of the state can't say 'no,' a little kid can't say 'no' if they're a Ward of the state; so here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can't even say 'no.' It's sick".