Skip to comments.Dying boy, 15, gets wish: losing virginity
Posted on 12/23/2001 6:26:24 AM PST by Mopp4
A terminally ill boy had his dying wish granted in Australia this month, but ethicists are still at odds over whether it was the right thing to do.
The wish was not for a trip to Disneyland or to meet a famous sports star. Instead, the 15-year-old wanted to lose his virginity before he died of cancer. The boy, who remains anonymous but was called Jack by the Australian media, did not want his parents to know about his request. Because of his many years spent in the hospital, he had no girlfriend or female friends.
Jack died last week, but not before having his last wish granted. Without the knowledge of his parents or hospital staff, friends arranged an encounter with a prostitute outside of hospital premises. All precautions were taken, and the organizers made sure the act was fully consensual. The issue has sparked fierce debate over the legal and ethical implications of granting the boy's request. By law, Jack was still a child, and the woman involved could in theory face charges for having sex with a minor. The debate was sparked by the hospital's child psychologist, who wrote a letter to "Life Matters," a radio show in which academics debate ethical and moral dilemmas. The scenario was presented in the abstract, with no details about the boy's identity.
"He had been sick for quite a long period, and his schooling was very disrupted, so he hadn't had many opportunities to acquire and retain friends, and his access to young women was pretty poor," the psychologist said recently in an interview with Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper. "But he was very interested in young women and was experiencing that surge of testosterone that teenage boys have." Hospital staff initially wanted to pool donations to pay for a prostitute, but the ethical and legal implications prevented them from doing so. The psychologist presented members of the clergy with the dilemma and found no clear answer. "It really polarized them," he said. "About half said, 'What's your problem?' And the other half said [it] demeans women and reduces the sexual act to being just a physical one."
Dr. Stephen Leeder, dean of medicine at the University of Sydney and a "Life Matters" panelist, said the issue was a difficult one. "I pointed out that public hospitals operated under the expectation that they would abide by state law," he said. "While various things doubtless are done that are at the edge of that, it's important the public has confidence that the law will be followed." Jack's psychologist, who works with children in palliative care, said the desire was driven in part by a need for basic human contact. "In a child dying over a long period of time, there is often a condition we call 'skin hunger,'" he said. The terminally ill child yearns for non-clinical contact because "mostly when people touch them, it's to do something unpleasant, something that might hurt." Leeder called the diagnosis "improbable." Judy Lumby, the show's other panelist and the executive director of the New South Wales College of Nursing, argued that the details as presented made it abundantly clear the boy's wish ought to be granted. "I said that I would try my darndest as a nurse to do whatever I could to make sure his wish came true," she said. "I just think we are so archaic in the way we treat people in institutions. Certainly, if any of my three daughters were dying, I'd do whatever I could, and I'm sure that you would, too." National Post
This is the sort of soul-less, animalistic response to impending death that might be expected from a human child raised by beasts.
You've got to assign a healthy dose of blame to the parents here.
Hopefully he was below the age of accountability or still recognized the impotence of such a nearly final act or perhaps it was natural for his true self to be judged accordingly.
Hahaha! Thanks for the first laugh of the morning!
To me, this whole story is a non-issue. Let the kid have what he wants.
Good lord, talk about a tempest in a teapot! Must have been a slow news day.
Sheesh, he is 15, and he knows he's dying..so he wants to experience sex so he can leave this earth having experienced what we all are...HUMAN....
I say good for him!!!!
I also remember me at 15, I had raging hormones and thought with my member several times. (Don't know if I've changed that much, have to ask my wife).
What would have been a better for him to ask for? A new playstation (that'd really be earth shattering), a trip to Disney World?
Yea it may be seen as self centered, but put yourself in his place, what would you ask for as a dying wish?
My Grandfather on his deathbed told my father his wished for one last peaceful bowel movement (he was a little more blunt). My father was shocked, until years later when he had quaduple by-bass surgery and finally understood that my grandfather was right.
So not having "walked a mile in his shoes", I give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he made a right request.
And this "child of the media" wants 30 seconds of immediate sexual gratification rather than an eternity of life.
If he is dead now, I doubt he considers those 30 seconds very important right now.
Notice also that his "instincts" told him NOT to tell his parents, nor hospital administrators ...... Another case of "morality" and "good conscious" coming from instincts deep in our souls.
And I do! Childhood cancer is nearly always genetic, and that places blame for the whole sad situation squarely at the parent's feet.
Just curious, but are you female?
I know when I was at that age my hormones were going wild - hell they still are, but while I have never acted on those impulses I was also never dying slowly of cancer.
I don't care that I will be missing out on the chance to lead a full life, just let me have sex before I go?
I would imagine he cared greatly about missing out on a full life, sex or no sex, he still loses that.
If it were me in Jack's shoes you bet that would've been my dying wish.
Your entire thoughtful (and humorous) post is appreciated.