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Youth offers suicide plan reward
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A seriously ill young man in Hunan Province is offering a 5,000-yuan (US$732.73) reward for a way of committing suicide that will make the death appear to be from natural cuases.

The local education authority ran a story on the Website of Longhui County asking for the public to help the youth.

Tan Tierong, 18, said he planned to end his life in 15 days in an online post on Netease.com yesterday, today's Guangzhou-based Information Times reported.

He said he had shaved his head to prepare for death.

The local education authority, concerned by his depression, ran a story on the Website of Shaoyang City's Longhui County asking for the public to help the youth.

Tan has been confined to wheelchair since he was 16 when he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, the government Website said.

He didn't receive proper medical treatment because his family was unable to afford the 80,000-yuan expense and his condition worsened.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis affecting joints in the spine and the pelvis, eventually causing fusion of the spine.

The typical sufferer is young and has chronic pain and stiffness in the lower spine.

Tan started to write posts talking about his depression in late March, the Information Times report said. His father had died and his mother was suffering mental illness.

"I can't think about the days ahead when I will be unable to move any part of my body except my eyes. I will be as stiff as a stone sculpture," he told the Information Times.

When asked whether he would commit suicide as he claimed he would, he hesitated and said "probably."

Psychologists have called for intervention saying the patient still has some doubts.

(Shanghai Daily April 30, 2009)

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