Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23, 2013: Safeguards and other chimeras

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…

And Finally...
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.


  1. I sincerely hope that the writer of that hideous letter about the autistic child IS found, and she is charged with every possible misdeanor, felony etc etc they can find in the books to throw at her. Again, I suggest she serve at least a year working full time (for service) with the extremely disabled.

    On bullying and safe generation (I'm 63) has been...for the most part, there are exceptions) the most miserable generations of parents in history. We wanted to be our childrens FRIENDS not their parents. *We* said please and thank you to the child, but they were not expected to do the same. They were allowed to act out in restaurants and grocery stores, where when my kids were small and acted up, one parent would take them to the car to finish their meals. My older daughter was a definite challenge. When I told her to do something it was "because I said so." She challenged me. I challeged her back "When you get your drivers license in a few years, and the light turns red, what are you gonna do?" "Stop" "Why" ::::embarrased look::: RIGHT ON KIDDO...because it said so!

    My generation did not discipline their kids, instead when they turned 16 we gave them the keys to high powered brand new sports cars...then we cried when they wrapped themselves and their friends around telephone poles. Parents should be just that...parents. If you wanna be someones friend, go get a dog. Or wait until your kids are grown. My daughters are now 42 and 45 and we are FRIENDS. GOOD friends. I guess the whole point of this rant about my generation being, in general, poor parents, is that we enabled them to do whatever they wanted for so daggone long, NOW it's rearing it's ugly head in their children in the form of bulling and the other atrocities you mentioned in your column. It runs down hill. How did my grandkids turn out...having parents grow up with rules and consequences? I'm proud to say that all 3 grandchildren are well disciplined, but not overly so, polite and well mannered. Yes, once my daughter who caused me all the trouble caught me laughing at her as she yelled at her son and said "Be quiet Mom, I know I've turned into you!" We both got a good laugh out of that one.

    On euthansia? I'm prolife, but that is just me. If someone else is otherwise, and there's an ultimate punishment for that decision, it'll be made at the right they stand before God. I'm TOTALLY against partial birth abortion, that is 100% murder.

    If you're sick, elderly, etc...I think you should have the right to choose. That's between you and your God. When I had surgery 2 years ago, we were scrambling down to the wire to get the DNR and Living Wills and organ donation paperwork notarized before I went into surgery. I've told my daughters "if there's no QUALITY of life, there needn't be a QUANTITY". I've signed papers to keep me comfortable and withhold all external life support. I won't have my death hastened by any artificial means due to my religious beliefs, but I don't want it prolonged that way either.

  2. I find this whole thing to be totally absurd. The idea that a beautiful young girl was horribly "abused" by classmates and had to leave to move to another area is riduculous. As for her killing herself due to the mistreatment by the government who has a constitutional job to protect all human beings. The same goes for what happened to Mitchell. I agree with your statements that it is not right that one is denied their requests for treatment just because they may be disabled. Yet at the same time allowing a government to suggest assisted suicide in place of treatment has got to stop.


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