Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Latimer- A mercy Killing

Recently a man named Robert Latimer, who was convicted of second degree murder, was released on parole. The murdered person was his daughter, Tracy. Some say it was a "mercy killing", others say it was done as a cold blooded crime. The reason it is being claimed as a mercy killing was because his daughter was severely disabled. She had cerebral palsy.

Here is my controversial position:

After holding and raising Tyler to the ripe old age of 5, I couldn't imagine my life without him. We couldn't imagine his smile and laugh not to be wanted around anyone. People are drawn to him in a million ways.

His life is full of hurting. Not just physical hurt but emotional hurt to. He has more surgeries than a typical kid. He can't walk like a typical kid, he doesn't run, he can't climb, he can't ride a bike. He can't just go out to play because he isn't typical. He will get hurt, lost, and be left out and ridiculed.

I have watched him suffer. Every night I watch as his muscles contract and his muscles tighten and I can't help him. I have watched countless brain surgeries. I have glued together his head because of falls we have because of the cerebral palsy.

Would I murder my son? No. Because he is my son. He is also not as severe as MOST kids with cerebral palsy. Though the things I do are really tough and the life we live is not what most people would LIKE to live it really does take a lot of a person to care 24/7 in ways that they will never grow out of.

I do not agree with euthanasia. I find it sad. But I wonder what the alternative in his mind was.

As a discussion on facebook was brewing one lady there said it "wasn't like the girl was terminal. She ONLY had cerebral palsy." Well that can definitely limit your life span.

Or another " I know someone who has a relative that has something wrong and didn't grow up past an age of an infant and I know they would never do that. I don't see how people could"

The reason you don't see how people could is because you haven't walked in their shoes. You only KNOW a small glimpse of what it is like. You aren't the one caring for the 31 year old infant. You aren't the one that couldn't ever buy a house because that gave you an assets and takes away your child's insurance. OR the fact that you don't own a house because it has cost you MILLIONS to take care of them.

They live in pain. They hurt every day. Some have no quality of life.

Do I think Killing is the answer? Nope. But HELP is the answer.

Don't cut medicaid/medicare services
Provide respite care
Provide in home help for these people
Give them medicaid and medicare
Give them proper medical equipment so caring for the children isn't a burden
Provide support groups.


The Henrys said...

Oh I agree! HELP is needed and essential for families. If what happened to this girl is not a sign of that, then I don't know what is!

Pam said...

Actually, here was my exact quote:

"And notice that the murderer called it a 'mercy killing.' Amazing that anyone can buy this, especially since his daughter wasn't even terminally ill--she just had cp!!"

I see I wasn't particularly clear here. (I guess I was expecting people to read my mind!) I was reflecting on the reality that people typically think of a 'mercy killing' as one that happens when someone is on the brink of death (as w/ a fatally wounded soldier in war who's taking forever to die, the dying cancer patient who is in constant agony, etc.). This wasn't the case for this girl. Now we're being asked to buy into killing off people not only when they're suffering and relatively close to death, but even when they are not terminally ill and "just" suffering intensely. ( what would keep us from killing those who are undergoing intense psychological suffering?)

Anyway, I'm still not sure I've communicated clearly what I was thinking. I certainly wasn't trying to minimize the suffering those w/ cp (as well as their loved ones) endure.