The Death Of Elizabeth Bouvia

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In 1983 Elizabeth Bouvia, who was a 26-year-old quadriplegic who was affected by cerebral palsy, entered a hospital in Riverside, California wishing to starve herself to death. Elizabeth Bouvia suffered from cerebral palsy and severe arthritis causing her to be in chronic pain and close to being completely paralyzed. Bouvia was only able to make movement in some fingers on her right hand and make a few facial movements. Elizabeth Bouvia was unable to sit up and could only lay flat causing her to be confined to her bed, and further causing her to depend on others for even the simplest of tasks. Bouvia relied on others to feed her, bathe her, and help her defecate. Bouvia had no one in her life able to care for her around the clock like she needed, so out of options Bouvia entered Riverside General Hospital. Bouvia no longer wanted to live the quality of life she had been leading and decided she would rather die. Bouvia’s only request of Riverside General Hospital was to provide her with medication for the unbearable pain she suffered, and provide her a place where she could receive basic care while she tried to die. She decided she was going to end her life by not eating eventually starving herself to death. Believing that Bouvia could survive several more years with proper sustenance the hospital could not allow Bouvia to starve herself, so they began force-feeding her. Bouvia went California county court so she could get the right to be cared for in Riverside General
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