Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was moved with compassion when he heard about 14 year-old Valentina’s euthanasia plea on social media.
Chile’s president has visited Catholic University Hospital in Santiago to meet with the young girl who shockingly pleaded on Facebook that the leader should let doctors give her an injection that will make her sleep forever since she is suffering from cystic fibrosis.
March 4 th, 2015
The government did not delay in visiting the young girl after seeing the heart-breaking news social media, but not many details were provided concerning the Chilean president and the teenager’s conversation. Brachelet said though the country could not grant her request, it might be able to pay for the treatment she needs.
Father supports her plea
Valentina’s father,Fredy Maureira, understands how agonizing it was to be in his daughter’s shoes. “This is so tough but I have to respect her decision because she’s the one who’s suffering from this illness,” Maureira said in an interview with Associated Press on Thursday. “Now my daughter just wants to die in a dignified way. She's exhausted…we're all exhausted but if she wants to keep fighting, I'll be by her side every second. My message to all the parents in the world who have healthy kids is: Please take care of them. Love them,” he added.
Older brother died from the same disease
Valentina knew exactly what was awaiting her and she doesn’t to endure the agonizing pain any longer. “I urgently request to speak to the president because I’m tired of living with this illness,” Valentina said in the YouTube video. She remembered how her 6 year-old brother had suffered before dying from the same disease.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that causes damage to multiple organs, especially the lungs and digestive system. It is an inherited, incurable disease that mainly affects people from Northern European ancestry, African-American and some Native Americans. It is estimated that there are 70,000 cystic fibrosis cases worldwide.
Human dignity and euthanasia
Chile is a country, like many others, where euthanasia is illegal but there are also many countries where it is legalised like Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The right to end one’s life on one’s own terms is a debatable issue in many countries, including here in South Africa. Civil societies, physicians and politicians’ view on euthanasia and human dignity is extremely divided. However, South African Law Commission defines this as an unlawful deliberate killing, even if the motive is to end one’s unbearable suffering or the suffering person has begged to be killed. End of life decision is always tough.
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