Another "Terri"

In St. Clair County, Illinois, another woman is being fed by a tube. She is 19 today and was brutally beaten when she was three into a vegetative state:

A brutal beating destroyed most of Kassy Stewart’s brain on June 12, 1988. The Belleville girl was four months shy of her third birthday when she entered a nursing home.

Her mother and the mother’s live-in boyfriend served prison terms for abusing and torturing the little girl. Each blamed the other for Kassy’s injuries.

While Kassy remains on tube feeding, a juvenile court judge in Belleville continues every six months to review her unchanging condition — an estimated IQ of 7 and a body with vital organs that function only because her brain stem survived the abuse. She is both blind and deaf.

“It gives me a pang in my heart every time it crosses my desk,” said St. Clair County Associate Judge James Radcliff, who presides in juvenile court.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services asked another judge in 1988 to allow Kassy to die if her heart stopped.

The girl was subjected to 30-minute cold showers as punishments for minor infractions, was beaten on the bottoms of her feet, was starved and repeatedly thumped on the back of her head — all before the beating that put her in a coma.

Is it time to pull the plug on this innocent woman, too? What say you?

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