Timely information - Sarah Jacobs..
Sarah Jacobs the 'Welsh Fasting Girl' died on 17th December 1869.
Sarah was born in 1857 on a farm near Llanfihangel-ar-Arth in Carmarthenshire. When she was nine, she became seriously ill and was confined to bed for a considerable period of time. She passed the time by composing poems and reading the Bible, but then according to her parents, Evan and Hannah, she suddenly began to refuse food. However, she did not suffer any ill effects, and seemed to be thriving.
Word got about, and soon, Sarah became famous, with people travelling from all over Wales and England to see her lying in her bed, surrounded by flowers and reading the Bible. They considered themselves to be witnessing a miracle and were encouraged to give gifts and money to Sarah.
Some people, however, were obviously sceptical and Dr Phillips of Guy's Hospital decided to arrange for six nurses to carry out a 24 hour vigil, in which they would observe, but offer no treatment or help unless Sarah asked for food. This Sarah did not do and she slowly lapsed into semi-consciousness, before dying on 17th December 1869. An autopsy later found food in Sarah's stomach and tragically groove marks on her toes, where it was supposed she had been tried to open a stone water bottle in a desperate attempt to get water.
People were outraged when news of the cruel experiment and Sarah's death became public and her parents were imprisoned for manslaughter, however, none of the doctors or nurses were prosecuted.
In modern political thought ...
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