14-Year-Old's Request to Die Goes Viral

Valentina Maureira suffers from cystic fibrosis, wants to 'sleep forever'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2015 8:17 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2015 7:29 AM CST

Valentina Maureira's brother died from cystic fibrosis when he was 6. The 14-year-old has the same inherited disease and was told she has a life expectancy of 17, reports CNN. Except Valentina doesn't want to live that long. The Chilean teen posted a now-viral video to Facebook late last month, a plea to President Michelle Bachelet that she be allowed to end her life. "I am tired of living with this sickness," which causes damage to the lungs and digestive system, Valentina explains. "Please authorize an injection so I can sleep forever." But a rep for Bachelet on Thursday explained "it's impossible to grant her wish" due to Chilean law, which bars euthanasia and doesn't allow a government official to circumvent that. Still, the president herself, who is also a pediatrician, did visit Valentina for more than an hour last week; the two posed for a selfie.

The president's rep explained "we will provide all the emotional and psychological support and medical treatment to improve her living conditions." As for her medical condition, the Universidad Catolica clinic in Santiago describes it as stable and notes she is not facing, as Reuters puts it, any "immediately life-threatening conditions." But her father described a painful existence: "She has already had five operations ... which have caused her a lot of suffering. It was promised that things would get better, but for her it was worse." She suffers from persistent headaches and vomiting as well. In an interview with the AP, he says he "cried through the night" after learning what Valentina wanted, "but I have to respect her decision because she's the one who's suffering this illness." (One country has made euthanasia legal for kids.)

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