Saint James the Greater by Ermes Dovico

ST dies naturally before State “kills” her

ST, the 19-year-old British girl engaged in a legal battle against doctors who wanted to put her to death because she was incurable, has died of a heart attack. Her sad story is exemplary in understanding the abyss into which the West is falling.

Life and Bioethics 16_09_2023 Italiano

“I am in a race against time to escape this system and the certain death it wants to impose on me”. This is what ST said just a week ago in an interview with the Daily Mail. On 14 September, however, she died: of a heart attack, the reports say. But behind an apparently natural death lies a 'state murder', and a brutal one at that.

You will remember the story: ST is the 19-year-old British girl suffering from a very rare form of mitochondrial disease (the same as Charlie Gard), who had spent the last year fighting against the doctors of the hospital where she had been admitted. They had decided it was better to take her life immediately because they couldn’t treat her. Despite being in intensive care, forced to undergo dialysis, and despite having undergone a tracheotomy due to complications caused by Covid, ST was perfectly capable of understanding and expressing herself. “I want to “die trying to live”, she had said; she also wanted to try an experimental therapy in one of the three hospitals between Canada and the United States that had already agreed to admit her. But her British doctors and the judges prevented her from doing so.

Now, it could be said that her death has put an end to the litigation, that the affair ended in a deadlock. But, in reality, it has not, because the 'system' has demonstrated its violence which crushes anyone who opposes its logic of death: anyone who is not useful, anyone who is not wanted, anyone who affirms life, must be eliminated.

Knowing that our days are now numbered because of an illness does not extinguish the will to live, because we are made for life; and life is greater than the finiteness of our human condition. We are not objects or machines that, having finished functioning, are destined for the scrap heap. ST's doctors have shown instead that they reduce a person to an object: if it cannot be healed, if it cannot be repaired, it must be thrown away. And faced with the reaction of ST and her family, who did not accept this reduction of the human person, they became violent and once again the judges joined in and took their side: this is the 'system'.

Firstly, by pretending to be merciful - with a palliative care proposal to let her die 'peacefully' - they made the last year of ST's life a living hell. They forced her into a legal battle to escape the hand of those who saw her life now as useless; continually frustrated in the hope of being able to access experimental treatments; humiliated because since she did not give up hope, doctors and judges decided that she did not have “the mental capacity to make decisions about her health”. And in view of the decision of the doctors, who did not hesitate to take the girl to court because of her will to live, many doubts could also be raised about the adequacy of the treatment that had been administered to her over the past year.

Moreover, the same hell was also experienced by the parents who, in addition to the agony over their daughter's condition and the clash they had to face with the doctors, were forced into debt to pay the legal fees (£25,000) to defend their daughter's reasons for living.

Add to this the condemnation to anonymity because the judge forbade the dissemination of her name (ST is the acronym decided by the court to identify her case), and that of her family members, as well as the hospital and the place where she was hospitalised. This decision also prevented the family from launching a fundraising campaign (£1.5 million was needed) to transport ST by air ambulance to one of the North American hospitals for experimental treatment.

This alone should be enough to cause horror at such violence by the State against its most fragile citizens. But there is still the most important issue to add: with ST's death, the legal battle ends without reaching its conclusion. Which leads one to think that the most disturbing and dramatic element of this affair remains unresolved, namely the possibility of the state ignoring a citizen's current will for their life - a will expressed while fully conscious - in order to decide that their 'best interest' is death.

Unfortunately, however, this case is not at all unresolved, because the judge's intention was clear enough to guess how it would end. He had her name blacked out and prevented ST from going to North America and raising the necessary funds. And again the judge a few weeks ago ruled that if a sick person, even a terminally ill one, does not want euthanasia, then their will is not free and so they are to be given a guardian who will decide in their place, for their 'best interests'. It was obvious how this would turn out.

This move towards barbarism, towards a state that is master of its citizens, a state that has the power of life and death, should scare us all. And it is not just happening in the UK: it is happening everywhere in the western world.


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