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Lauren Hill Should be “Extraordinary Person”

by | Apr 10, 2015

By Wesley J. Smith

Lauren Hill

Lauren Hill

Brittany Maynard was lauded internationally–at A-list movie star decibels–because she committed suicide rather than face the difficulties of terminal brain cancer.

But 19-year-old Lauren Hill–with the exact same disease–received far more subdued coverage. You see, she was less newsworthy than Maynard. She wasn’t transgressive. She intended to live until she died–play basketball, and raise money for research, not take poison pills. Hill’s extraordinary life has now come to an end.

From the CNN story:

“I never gave up for a second, even when I got a terminal diagnosis, never thought about sitting back and not living life anymore,” she told CNN affiliate WKRC-TV at the time. She had already committed to play for Mount St. Joseph when she was diagnosed. In October, the school received permission from the NCAA to move up its schedule so Hill could play.

Yes, Hill received some attention, and she deserved every i-dot and t-cross.

But she wasn’t a People cover story. CNN didn’t name her an “extraordinary person” of the year or repeatedly feature her as a top story. Oprah didn’t interview her family.

Hill had true dignity. Yet, everyone knows who Brittany Maynard was. Far fewer know Lauren Hill’s name.

That dichotomy reminds me of how everyone knew Jack Kevorkian’s name, but few the great medical humanitarian, Dame Cecily Saunders, the founder of hospice. In a nutshell, these contrasts tell us a lot about what has gone so wrong in our times.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.

Categories: National News