Brain-Dead Teen, Only Capable Of Rolling Eyes And Texting, To Be Euthanized


Last month the Teagart family
of Cedar Mill, Oregon set off a firestorm
of controversy after petitioning the state
for the right to end the life of their 13 year old
brain-dead daughter. Jean Ann Whorton takes us
beyond the facts. Caitlin Teagart was a beautiful,
lively girl who loved laughing
and playing outside, but all that changed
at the age of 12. Caitlin slipped into a persistent
vegetative state, confining her almost entirely
to her bed and Facebook. She doesn’t even have
basic motor functions any more. We literally have to drag her
to the car to drive her to school
in the morning. She’s totally unresponsive
when we talk to her. Her eyes just roll back
in her head. Caitlin, honey?
It’s your dad. With no hope that their daughter
would ever recover, the Teagarts decided to seek
legal permission to end Caitlin’s life. It is the most difficult decision
we’ve ever had to make but we just
keep reminding ourselves that the real Caitlin
is already gone. That’s just her body texting. But the Teagarts
soon found themselves at the center
of a heated controversy as euthanasia opposition groups
mobilized to stop them. These protesters say the groans
and exasperated sighs Caitlin sometimes makes
prove there is hope for recovery. But the Teagarts’ physician,
Doctor Kevin DeBacker disagrees. The sounds and movements
that Caitlin makes are caused by random synapses firing in what’s left
of her brain tissue as a response to atmospheric
changes, like it being cold
in a restaurant, or her mother
bursting into her room even though there is
a little thing called privacy. Doctor DeBacker believes
euthanasia is a humane way to end Caitlin’s suffering. We give her one painless injection,
and that’s it. Her eyes may flutter a bit
or she may murmur: “Are you for real
killing me right now?”, but then her struggle
will finally be over. Back at the Teagart home, the family is already preparing
for life without Caitlin. It’s hard, but we know
we’re making the right decision. Her organs can help
other children. We can give her eyes
to someone who would actually use them
to read a book. I have cramps. And I don’t even… What would you tell
other parents? I want parents out there to go home
tonight and hug their kids and be thankful they don’t have
such a piss-poor attitude. For Beyond The Facts,
I’m Jean Ann Whorton. Three days ago
Caitlin’s life was legally ended. Caitlin, by the way,
was the first Oregon resident to undergo the procedure
since 2009 when a dentist
had his receptionist euthanized after she was unable to perform
any function other than eating all the candy
in the waiting room. A recent study from
the Centers for Disease Control finds that over 100 million
children are being exposed to harmful levels of stupidity
in their own homes. Hear the debate about
second-hand ignorance on the next In The Know.

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