The Doctors examine the tragic story of a teenager who died after fasting for over two months.
The 13-year-old girl from India went without food for 68 days as part of a Jainism religious fast, which is an ancient religion from India. She reportedly only lived on boiled water and died two days after the fast ended.
The BBC reports that her parents, who are being investigated, insist that she voluntarily took part in the fast. The parents have been charged with culpable homicide, causing death by negligence and with cruelty against a minor. The parents reportedly denied making her fast and claim she asked them for permission to stop eating. They reportedly asked her to stop fasting after 51 days, but claim she continued for 17 days.
The Doctors explain that the human body is capable of surviving without food for months. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork believes the reason she might have died two days after the fast could be due to refeeding syndrome, which causes massive metabolic derangements that can cause heart failure and death.
He says after going for such a long period of time without food that someone would need a medical reintroduction of substance and should not just begin consuming food like normal.
Dr. Stork notes that fasting for just a few days should not cause metabolic derangement if you are healthy. As always, if you are planning to fast please check with your medical care provider to ensure that it’s safe.