If she lived in Belgium, she may well now be dead
Readers may recall in mid-February news about a young Chilean girl suffering from cystic fibrosis appealing via youtube for the Chilean President to grant her wish to die by euthanasia.
Only days later, when the video went viral. President Michelle Bachelet, also a trained pediatrician visited with Valentina Maureira, even posing for a 'selfie' on Valentina's hospital bed.
A Presidential spokesman said that although "it's impossible not be overcome by emotion with the girl's request, it's impossible to grant her wish" because it's not allowed under Chilean law. She said the health ministry is in contact with Maureira's family and is providing her psychological assistance, as well as medical treatment.
Valentina's brother died from the same ailment at the age of six.
Today reports from Chile are telling the world that Valentina has now changed her mind. She told the El Mercurio newspaper that "there are people who have led me to change my way of thinking."
Her father said 'his daughter especially was moved by a visit from an Argentine family whose children have been stricken by the incurable respiratory illness. He said she also was given hope by meeting a patient who has survived beyond age 20.'
In Belgium, where minors can access euthanasia with the approval of thier parents and emancipated minors without any additional consent at all, Valentina may well now be dead.
Instead, a real outreach of compassion to Valentina has given her hope and re-assurance. This, and not euthanasia, is a true response of compassion.