Terminally Ill Teen Wins Right to Die

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posted on Nov, 10 2008 @ 11:37 PM
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news.bbc.co.uk... The 13-year-old, from Marden, has refused a heart transplant because it might not work and, if it did, would be followed by constant medication.

The girl, who has a hole in her heart, says she wants to die with dignity.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



Hannah previously suffered from leukaemia and her heart has been weakened by drugs she was required to take from the age of five.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is yet another individual to add to the list of those who have had to put up a fight to gain control over the personal choice of life or death. This case is especially notable in that the individual is so young--thirteen years old. Though it differs from other cases we've seen, I thought it would be an opportunity to revisit the ongoing discussion.

How do you feel about the issue of voluntary euthanasia and the right to die? Does your opinion differ when presented with this particular case (and if so, why)? Is there a moral difference between allowing someone to die naturally and allowing the hastening of death (euthanasia)? Why do you think our society is in such opposition to allowing the terminally ill to choose death? Just a few questions to urge along the discussion--don't feel pressured to answer them all
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posted on Nov, 10 2008 @ 11:52 PM
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Nice thread. What a complicated issue.

I think that people deserve to have the right to die, but I think that 13 might be a bit too young to make such a decision. Facing a life of using medication is not appealing, but to miss out on everything else that life has to offer just because of that is really a depressing outlook.

It is hard to believe that she won't be able to drive for 3 years, won't be able to vote or smoke a cigarette for 5 years, drink alcohol for 8 years.... yet she is somehow responsible / mature enough to make a decision to legally end her own life.

Very difficult topic. I can't imagine what her parents must be going through.



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 12:00 AM
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I agree with karlhungis on this one. Thirteen is too young to make that kind of decision.

The article doesn't say if she still has leukemia. Says she previously suffered from it, leading me to believe she beat it. So, is having a hole in your heart considered terminal, when there are options to be taken?
I thought terminal meant there were no options.

If it is just the hole in the heart, as a parent, I would surely go for the heart operation.



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 12:35 AM
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If she wasn't so young, I wouldn't have a problem with this. I'm not sure if I'd ever let myself be euthanized, but I am sure it would take more than this girl is going through to convince me to do it. Thirteen is too young to make a decision like this one.



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 12:50 AM
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My first thought was very much in line with the thoughts of all of you. It is tragic that such a young girl has chosen to decline treatment. The fact is, she may have indeed eventually passed away despite medical treatment, but she also just might have survived. As an outsider, it saddens me to think of what future prospects she might be rejecting. But then, as I read that she has had leukemia for most of her life (its treatment contributing to her current problem) and now faces the prospect of either (a) receiving yet another invasive treatment, to be followed by a lifetime of medications and inevitably more surgeries, or (b) death, I sympathize. I can certainly see how she might be ready to say "Enough.". The physical pain must be absolutely incredible and I cannot even imagine the mental torment it must inflict upon a child. The article quotes her father as saying, "Hannah had been through enough already and to have the added stress of a possible court hearing or being forcibly taken into hospital is disgraceful." Taking it all into account, I must agree with him. There are no comfortable options in a situation like this.

Clark, I also thought that the term "terminally ill" was strictly reserved for cases in which there is no treatment and death is certain to follow within six months (this seems to be the clinical definition). Apparently, the term is often used more loosely to describe a situation in which treatment may be tried but death is projected to be imminent. A relative of mine was recently diagnosed as "terminally ill" with cancer, but the doctors are still prescribing chemotherapy in the hopes of saving her. I would assume this case would fall under the same category, as her successful treatment was not promised and death was sure to come quickly if treatment failed.

[edit on 11/11/08 by paperplanes]



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 02:18 AM
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I believe this should be a human right.

I just hope she decides not to though!

I completely understand her concern about the medication, and repeat transplants! I have grown up with transplants and post-transplant medication my entire life! I was raised in a care home for the medically fragile. Every part of the process is unfair
BUT...I hope she doesn't end her life
We are making medical advancements...there is hope...definitely still hope.

[edit on 11-11-2008 by Lucid Lunacy]



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 10:07 AM
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Thirteen years of suffering is enough. Isn't it? I think we have an inner
clock that tells us when our time is up. This child is wise beyond her years.

All of us need to have a living will incase we are ever in this type of
situation where we choose to die and those around us question our sanity.

The will to live is strong yet those who choose not to live anymore have
thought about not living for a long time. Prolonged illnesses with no hope
for wellness is a strong motivator.

I would like to know how her parents are responding to this situation.
Are they encouraging or discouraging her? Do they choose for her to live
or die? Is she being coerced in some way? Are there legality issues?



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Lucid Lunacy

I completely understand her concern about the medication, and repeat transplants! I have grown up with transplants and post-transplant medication my entire life! I was raised in a care home for the medically fragile. Every part of the process is unfair
BUT...I hope she doesn't end her life
We are making medical advancements...there is hope...definitely still hope.


With what you've been through, if you had the chance to end your life at 13, would you do the same? I don't know how old you are or if you are still having problems. I'm just curious.

I agree with the right to end one's life, if terminal, but I'm not so sure I would include anyone under the age of 18. If she goes through with this, it may bring the parents to the realization of "what if she recovered and was able to live a decent life?" I think as a parent, that would haunt me.



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 11:01 AM
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I've already decided that when I hit about 70-75 I'm going to hire a guy to follow me around and keep tabs on me. If I start getting senile and forgetting my kids' names and such he's to shoot me and put me out of my misery.

On topic, this type of decision is hard for someone so young. Their perception of what life will be like could be very different from reality. Someone that young doesn't yet have a solid grounding in reality. Although if the doctors agree that she would likely never be able to really be "normal" and constantly have transplants, meds, etc. then I think that might be grounds for at least considering just letting go.

If I were to tap into my spiritual side of reasoning, I might say that this is something that the parents needed to learn to deal with. Maybe the child was supposed to die young so the parents could learn and grow from it. Keeping her alive might just be working against that.

As a parent I'm not sure I could let go. I think I would fight it as long as I could until I was absolutely sure that there was no hope for recovery. I would protect my kids with my life. Without question or hesitation. But in this case it gets to a point where maybe the parent is only protecting themselves. I think any parent that is willing to die for their kid should be willing to suffer for them as well. Letting the kid suffer to keep the parent sane is selfish.

In the end, it's not for any of us to judge or make the call without actually being a part of the situation.

[edit on 11-11-2008 by an0maly33]



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Clark W. Griswold
 


What a sad story.

I do not believe however this girl is doing anything wrong by letting things run it's course. She has already had a long battle and is obviously tired and ready to move on.

If she were letting a doctor inject drugs into her to end things I might think otherwise.

I hope she travels well.



posted on Nov, 11 2008 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by Clark W. Griswold
 


We can't control our own birth, but if the time came.. I would want to control my death. I believe that someone with a healthy psychological profile should be able to choose whether they want to live or not. The freedom of choice is what allows us to grow and develop. The decision of life or death shouldn't be treated any different from anything else.



posted on Nov, 23 2008 @ 04:28 AM
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Originally posted by cindy22761

Thirteen years of suffering is enough. Isn't it? I think we have an inner
clock that tells us when our time is up. This child is wise beyond her years.

All of us need to have a living will incase we are ever in this type of
situation where we choose to die and those around us question our sanity.

The will to live is strong yet those who choose not to live anymore have
thought about not living for a long time. Prolonged illnesses with no hope
for wellness is a strong motivator.

I would like to know how her parents are responding to this situation.
Are they encouraging or discouraging her? Do they choose for her to live
or die? Is she being coerced in some way? Are there legality issues?
i agree we arent thinking about it like she would have .you posed a question and we considered and replied.this is her reality so shes the most qualified to answer it.



posted on Nov, 23 2008 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by Clark W. Griswold
I agree with karlhungis on this one. Thirteen is too young to make that kind of decision.

The article doesn't say if she still has leukemia. Says she previously suffered from it, leading me to believe she beat it. So, is having a hole in your heart considered terminal, when there are options to be taken?
I thought terminal meant there were no options.

If it is just the hole in the heart, as a parent, I would surely go for the heart operation.


As far as I know she is in long term remission from leukaemia (thank goodness) It was the aggressive chemotherapy at that time which damaged her heart to such an extent that it is now only functioning at 20% of the norm.

She is a very intelligent girl who, when she was told that a transplant may result in her death, made a well informed decision that for her, this was not an option she is willing to take.

She has said that at the moment, whilst her life is filled with medication and doctors, it IS manageable and she is has no fear. She has also said that whilst today she says she does not want a transplant, she has not discounted it since her thoughts may change if/when she gets more ill.

Incidentally her mum was an ICU nurse.

I admire her and her families strength, I'm not sure that I could be the same.

Some good news too, an insurance company has come forward who will fund her insurance to go to Disney




posted on Nov, 23 2008 @ 06:17 PM
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Wow, what a hard decision to have to make.

I guess I support this girl's right to refuse invasive surgery whereas I would be a lot more on the fence if she were actually requesting euthanasia or refusing all care.

And it seems that her parents are supportive of her decision, which says a lot about just how much she has already been through. I hope that the family is getting a lot of support from the doctors/nurses involved and also from friends – I can't imagine what a gut-wrenching process this must be for her parents.

I hope she changes her mind, but I do think that it's her right (under the guardianship and counsel of her parents) to refuse the transplant.



posted on Nov, 23 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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Now that there are artificial hearts and improvements on that technology, maybe this can be an alternative for her. Organ rejection would be off the table. I can't judge a decision like this. There is probably more than just a hole in the heart. Many kids are born with them and get surgery to fix it.






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