UPDATE: Developments in the anonymous autistic letter situation
I have learned from reading the news that there is now an investigation being launched by the police near Newcastle, Ontario. If the investigation is successful, there might be charges laid against the person who wrote that hate-filled letter, which I transcribed on Tuesday. While the person might not be charged with a hate crime, there are other possible charges that can be brought to bear.
What I take away from this is that, despite what I read in the theoretical books, there are those like myself who do not see euthanasia as an option for the disabled. I certainly wish Max’s family the best and hope that with the community, and now the province if not the nation’s support, that they can learn and grow beyond this. The world is a better place with Max and his family in it!
I understand that there is an investigation as to who might have written the letter; that was in the Metro Toronto Free Paper as of yesterday, Aug. 22, 2013.
In Other News:
It seems that Senator Pamela Wallin will have to pay back about $139K of money to the government. It’s incredible that in this day and age, people think that they can get away with that…
I was writing on euthanasia, but I want to be clear: I don't want to be a one-note pony. However, I will say that there have been a few things that have happened in the news in the last while that have caught my attention. I am writing about bullying and safe schools. We know of Rehteah Parsons, a young teen who killed herself after she was sexually assaulted at a party. And then there is Mitchell Wilson, who took his own life after he was attacked - the day before he was to testify against his attackers.
My point here is that in school, there is a push on to make schools safe. In both these cases, school was not obviously safe. Mitchell's alleged attacker moved schools, and that person's friends took up the slack. Rehteah Parsons moved schools and her cyber bullies followed her to the new school. When people found out, she was ostracized.
There were safeguards in place to keep students safe and those safeguards failed utterly. I know of a teacher who was reputed to have made an autistic kid write out 10,000 times I am dumb, and this happened in the early 1980s. The teacher? Had political connections and was reduced to a librarian but not allowed to teach. Good on 'em...
The point is that there were legal and administrative safeguards in place to stop these things from happening and these things happened anyway.
In Holland, I understand that the patient has to request death. Yet, we have the Groningen Protocol which allows disabled infants to be killed. So how do the infants ask for death? And in either Oregon or in Washington, a woman was denied treatment, but reminded that assisted suicide could be paid for by the State. So is that coercion? How would she respond? The woman went public with the letter she got.
So in that state, we have moved from request by the patient to a polite written request from the state. There were supposed to be safeguards in place...
And that's my point. We have safeguards in schools, and they are not working. So what makes us think that safeguards would work in cases where there is secrecy and only the 'family' is affected? Most people die with family, not friends around them. And with the secrecy laws that they have in hospitals, we will never know about abuses. [Source on this is CBC website, in May from fifth estate] Hospital workers are not allowed to say ANYTHING under their contract, apparently including when they see 'criminal' or questionable activity.