Disabled rights groups ask county to stop planned death
Jerika Bolen Photo Via: WBAY
APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -
Disability rights organizations have asked child protection officials to intervene in an Appleton teenager's plan to go without her ventilator and end her life.
Fourteen-year-old Jerika Bolen suffers from spinal muscular atrophy type two. The incurable disease destroys nerve cells that control voluntary muscle activity. Jerika's movement is mostly limited to her head and hands. She said she is in constant pain. Her mother, Jen Bolen, agrees with her daughter's wishes to enter hospice care.
Carrie Ann Lucas, executive director of Disabled Parents Rights, says the Windsor, Colorado-based organization and several others have asked Outagamie County child protection services to step in.
Lucas says Jerika needs intervention, not assistance in ending her life which could continue for years. She says Jerika is being medically neglected, but should not be removed from her home.