Child wants heaven not hospital stay when deciding how to manage her terminal illness. 5-year-old Julianna Snow has made her own decision about how to deal with her chronic degenerative neuromuscular disease.
The child shared a decision that upsets many concerning her worsening condition: that as her disease progresses and in the case she contracts a pulmonary infection, she does not want to be taken back to the hospital and given more treatment but has chosen to die at home.
The 5-year-old suffers from a chronic disease called Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, which is a degenerative neuromuscular disease. There is no cure for her condition and she has become very weak, so that even a common cold can now be life-threatening for her.
She has asked her parents not to take her back to the hospital when her health inevitably takes a turn for the worse, as she would rather go to Heaven than undergo more aggressive treatment that would make her uncomfortable.
As Julianna’s physicians agree that, while the symptoms of her disease can be treated for now, she is unlikely to survive another pulmonary infection. So the girl’s parents have decided to let her decide what she wants to do the next time she will be sick, whether she wants to go back to the hospital for more treatment or stay at home and, in her own words “go to Heaven”.
The parent’s decision has sparked debate and controversy after the child’s mother explained her situation on a personal blog and the story was picked up by media outlets. Many people are in disagreement with the parent’s choice to let a 5-year-old decide when and that she is ready to die, as some believe that a child does not have the capacity to understand death.
But Julianna has explained to her mother that she does understand the fact that, should she stay home the next time she is ill, she will go to Heaven without her mother or father joining her immediately.
Part of the parent’s decision might have to do with her condition, as she is no longer able to eat or to move without help and has spent 63 days in intensive care last year because of respiratory failure.
Despite both fervent support and criticism of the parents decision and the controversy bioethicist are debating, on whether someone so young can make a life or death choice, the child is maintaining that she chooses heaven over more hospital stay, as she believes God will take care of her there.
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