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14-Year-Old Chilean Girl Pleads With President to Let Her Die

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By Ivharue Ofe with agency report

The touching plea of a 14-year-old Chilean girl, asking the government to allow her end her life has touched the world . The girl, Valentina Maureira, who has cystic fibrosis, posted a YouTube video shot from what appeared to be a hospital bed asking President Michelle Bachelet to allow her die by euthanasia (the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy) .

“I urgently request to speak to the president because I’m tired of living with this illness. I want her approval so I can get a shot that will make me sleep forever” said the teenager, in the video which has over a thousand views.

Valentina whose brother died from same illness at age six, agrees that she is frustrated by the lack of options and how much it has affected her quality of life and requests to die by lethal injection.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease which primarily causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. The disease, which requires daily care, causes recurrent infections and damages tissues, making breathing difficult.  According to the doctors, this degenerative disease is affecting Valentina’s liver, pancreas and lung.

Valentina’s father, Fredy Maureira, attested to the Press that after he first heard his daughter’s wish to die he cried through the night. “This is so tough but I have to respect her decision because she’s the one who’s suffering this illness, I already lost a six-year-old son because I didn’t have enough money and organs. Now my daughter just wants to die in a dignified way” the exhausted father had said.  He concedes that he supports her choice to die, nevertheless, if she wants to keep fighting, he’ll be by her side every second.

A presidential spokesman had previously said that although, it is impossible not to be overcome by emotions with the girl’s request, it’s impossible to grant her wish to ‘sleep forever’ because it was not allowed under Chilean law. Notwithstanding, President Bachelet, who is a paediatrician, visited the teen at the hospital on Saturday and spent an hour with her.

According to a statement made by the hospital, Valentina had been transferred out of the critical paediatric patient unit and  therapeutic efforts are being aimed at the recovery of her nutritional state and support of her family.

The ministry of health in Chile is in contact with Maureira’s family and is providing her psychological assistance as well as medical treatment.

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