Jerika Bolen Dies

by Wesley J. Smith

Fourteen-year-old Jerika Bolen has died after ceasing medical treatment. From the Detroit News story:

Jerika Bolen, the 14-year-old Appleton girl whose decision to end treatment of her brutal disease drew nationwide support and stoked new debate on right-to-die issues, died on Thursday, her mother, Jen Bolen, said.

Jerika followed through on her decision to enter hospice and end an arduous, lifelong fight against Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, an incurable and progressive disease that racked her body and brought continual pain. She died at Sharon S. Richardson Hospice in Sheboygan Falls. Jerika never walked, and as a teen only had movement in her head and hands.

People in the disability rights community are distraught for the loss of a sister, and also for another confirmation that there is much more public support–and media applause–for the deaths than for their lives.

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