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Girl, 14, Ordered to Undergo Cancer Treatment, Dies

March 30, 1985|Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Pamela Hamilton, the young cancer victim whose parents lost a fight to prevent her from receiving medical treatment on religious grounds, died "peacefully at her home in the company of her family," a doctor said.

The 14-year-old girl lapsed into a coma and died Thursday, said Dr. Brian Corden, director of pediatric hematology and oncology at T. C. Thompson Children's Hospital.

"Pamela was probably one of the most singularly brave girls I've ever met in my life," Corden said. "She fought this thing with a will that is just incredible. In my years in oncology I've never seen anyone fight so hard as she did."

Corden said he believes that Pamela's family feels "totally exhausted, and I think they want very much to have a chance to grieve in private for Pamela."

In 1983, when cancer was found in the girl's leg, a state court ordered the girl to undergo cancer treatment over the objections of her fundamentalist preacher father, Larry Hamilton. She seemed to have been cured.

But, during a routine checkup in January, new cancer was discovered in her lungs and back. Doctors said then that she would not recover.

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