I Helped My Daughter Die

2010, Crime  -   169 Comments
Ratings: 9.00/10 from 58 users.

For a year Kay Gilderdale believed she could go to prison for the attempted murder of her own daughter, and then a court cleared her. The judge agreed that she was just a loving mom, trying to do the best for her sick child. The cheers of her relatives may have died down but the debate around this case has not. If out of love and dedication, Kay helped her own daughter commit suicide, should the law take action against her, or not?

Lynn was fourteen when everything changed and the start of it was so mundane. Lynn had fallen ill in 1991. She was diagnosed with severe form of chronic fatigue syndrome, known as ME, which attacked her body relentlessly.

From her fifteenth birthday she was paralyzed from the waist down and could only be fed through a tube. Her body was giving up. Over sixteen years she would be in hospital fifty times with a succession of serious illnesses.

Kay was there constantly for her daughter, but so was the pain. They both lived on hope that one day Lynn would recover. She had osteoporosis with 50% bone loss, ongoing anemia, liver dysfunction, hypothalamic dysfunction, and she got to the point when she said: I'm too broken. You can't fix me anymore. She felt her only escape was to die.

She tried to break free, in May 2007, attempting suicide. However painful for her brother and parents there was no doubt that Lynn wished to die. She had painstakingly written her own online journal.

My body and mind is broken. I'm so desperate to end the never ending carousel of pain and suffering. I have nothing left and I'm spent.

Kay wanted to take her to Switzerland, but Lynn couldn't wait anymore. In December 2008 she took a massive dose of morphine. Kay at first tried to convince her not to do that, but latter on she assisted in Lynn's suicide. So now it was not just a family matter. Police and courts were involved.

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169 Comments / User Reviews

  1. There is a story in Quran where Al-Khidr killed a young boy.

    This story teaches us there are rare cases, which cannot be judged by regular rulings. For those cases there are different rulings which is only applicable for special occasions and by special ones. Only God and his knowledgeable ones knows what is wrong or what is right.

  2. I have MS - the highly progressive kind. This mother is my hero!

  3. Tough choice to make as a parent or loved one. Not sure I could help them die, but I would understand why and that would make it a tough choice for me. It depends how much life they have left and that would be my choice to decide it if asked to assist.

  4. This is so Fing infuriating I can't believe it. This woman was forced to watch her daughter suffer for nearly TWO DECADES, and the authorities think she needs to spend the rest of her life in jail? They should butt the **** out.

    Absolutely ridiculous. The UK government is making itself look as incompetent as the United States'.

    And wow.... The baroness should never speak in public, and alleviate herself from her position permanently....

  5. I understand the Baroness's point... but I think if someone explicitly states that they want help, then who is to say "no?" She wants to protect the people who can be taken advantage of, which I completely understand, but surely there is a way to get around it to be able to help those who want it and not destroy the lives of the people who assist.

  6. I'm confused why the mom is in so much trouble...didn't it say that the girl gave herself the morphine? I could be wrong.

  7. I don't particularly know about all the other stuff but Switzerland is a
    good country in my mind because they recognize a persons right to end
    his own life for whatever the reason. A person has a fundamental right
    to end his own life whenever he wants to whyever he wants to and he
    should be medically assisted with this to ensure that is it clean and
    efficient. Swiss law accommodates this critical human right. Switzerland
    is home to a large majority of the humanitarian organizations that
    works towards this noble mission. Hopefully the rest of the world will
    follow suite.

    America makes getting a gun as easy as
    buying a loaf of bread but then charges people with horrendous criminal
    charges for obtaining cyanide or nembutal. This is wrong. A man should
    be able to walk into a hospital and be quickly given the tools he needs
    to end his life effectively. Guns aren't nearly as effective as people
    think, because of the light caliber or worse the recoil people end up
    not dying but being severely disfigured and mentally and physically
    disabled. If our government was more humanitarian, they would help put
    people down so they don't have to suffer and it would be more cost
    effective for them, which is much more important, because they would not
    have to pay for the man's (who failed) care.

    can only pray that hopefully Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands
    will positively influence the rest of the World in this regard.

  8. Everyone decides for themselfs and we have to respect that and realise that for EVERYONE on this planet, life is only temporary. Its a process we all go through. We are all in the process of dying already since nobody is immortal.
    That cant be a wrong thing. Just because we dont know what lies ahead for sure, doesnt mean its all that horrible.
    Who knows? Be happy for the dead! This world isnt all that for most people anyway. Like the girl in this videos.

    Still i would like to stress to anyone planning their death, that life is a thing to treasure in any case. Find closure in little tiny things. Not in material things (which is what we all try to do). If you able to read this comment, it means your life can still be full of joy!!! Feel free to contact me if you need guidance in this. Im more than willing to help anyone.

  9. Stupid part is the one who wants to die is the only person who will be "hurt" the rest have to suffer until their time is up.

    1. So someone has to suffer for the sake of others?
      Thats really selfish dont you think?

      "Please dont kill yourself, i would be really sad..."

      Everyone decides for themselfs and we have to respect that and realise that for EVERYONE on this planet, life is only temporary. Its a process we all go through. We are all in the process of dying already since nobody is immortal.
      That cant be a wrong thing. Just because we dont know what lies ahead for sure, doesnt mean its all that horrible.
      Who knows? Be happy for the dead! This world isnt all that for most people anyway. Like the girl in this videos.

      Still i would like to stress to anyone planning their death, that life is a thing to treasure in any case. Find closure in little tiny things. Not in material things (which is what we all try to do). If you able to read this comment, it means your life can still be full of joy!!! Feel free to contact me if you need guidance in this. Im more than willing to help anyone.

  10. i have multiple sclerosis. i spent 19 months in a long-term care facility in boulder, co. i have learned how the US really feels about their disabled. not the ones they show on TV. the rest of us. i have discussed with a few close friends my decision to take my own life, rather than return to a for-profit institution where the bottom line is budget not the welfare of the residents. i will not return to an environment that takes away what little control and dignity i will have left.

    i am 48 years old and i am planning my death instead of my retirement.

    and no, i am not suicidal; however there is no cure for MS so i have to plan every step of my life and the end is one of them. by the way, the number one cause of death among sufferers of MS is suicide.

    i honor kay and respect lynn's choices.

    1. I hope you can enjoy your time on this earth my love<3

  11. I totally believe that if one of my family members had a terrible illness, like ME and wanted to die I would help them do that. People don't understand what suffering and pain is like until they themselves go through something so awful and sad. I think that people who do suffer with a terminal illness should be given the choice to be assisted in death when they feel the time is right for them, and they are of sound mind. Switzerland has the right attitude to assistance death and maybe other governments should learn from that.

  12. My wife's uterus ruptured giving birth to our daughter Stella and because the hospital was ill prepared Stella went without proper air for 45 mins. As a result she had serious brain damage.

    Our daughter would never walk, talk or be able to breathe or swallow adequately on her own. She would most likely not be able to make sense of her visual surroundings or be able to feel the love from her mother and I.

    18 days after her birth my wife and I decided to take her off life support. When we took her off life support she begun to struggle for breath as we tried to comfort her the best we could. After a few minutes of this she turned blue and finally stopped breathing and was pronounced dead by the nurse. Then suddenly she started to breathe again and her colour returned. This went on for the next 23 hours until she finally died.

    I cannot imagine what my daughter went through. I can only relay what it was like for me to have to watch the most precious girl in my world suffer needlessly for such a long time. I would not wish it upon anybody; it rips your heart out. But because of Canadian laws we were not able to take direct action to help end her life.

    The act of keeping people alive in this manner is completely barbaric; we treat dogs with more compassion. The law needs to change.

  13. Being a British made program of the high regard Panorama has there will be no mention of religion in this show. Yet the religious in this comments section have to 'moralise' it for their own personal decision because they follow a chap in the sky. The mother and daughters personal decisions were not based on any religious affiliation,. Your rude, and quite frankly ill informed verbose nonsense is an insult to a specific situation that this Mother and Daughter had to face. I find your interruption selfish and insensitive.

    'his forever' should have been a clue to the type of blindfolded individual we are talking to.

  14. Listening to the Baroness was unbearable. I felt as though I was choking to death.

    1. Agreed. Just imagine the amount of pain and grief her mother was in and Baroness was insensitive to all that. Gosh.

    2. If you mean her listening to her voice, she has spinal muscular atrophy. But if you mean her feelings on assisted suicide laws, I agree with you.

  15. All this god waffle! Didn't have one as a child, still don't have one now and I count myself lucky for that. I did have some odd ideas of my own though, all home grown in my own little head. Whenever I came across an exhausted bee or a sun burnt worm, or any creature suffering a hard death, I would worry about what to do for it. I always had it in mind that I should end its misery but would battle with myself as to whether I might be stealing its death from it. Maybe we get the death we deserve - for a worm that might mean drying out in the sun, a sort of payment for living so damp in the dark. I came across a trout one day, hooked and abandoned and tangled in fishing wire. It occurred to me that maybe I was supposed to be his death and though I'd never killed anything before I found a stick and knocked him on the head. About five times, just to make sure :/ When my mum was dying she got to a point where the pain was so intense and she was so tired, that she asked me if it was okay to die now. Everything in me wanted to say no, but I said yes, that she could go when she was ready. I have never wished for anything so hard as I did for bravery in that moment. I wanted to stop the world, stop time, stop the pain for her. All I did was sit and watch and wait and hope she wouldn't draw the next breath. I don't pretend to understand what this lady went through that night, but I do admire her. She went where most of us fear to tread. I do think most of us have knocked and run though... ;)

    1. I could never get my head around religion until I just removed god from it. I guess I need to believe in something after this life, but the god people have got a big racket going on around death and grief, such that they've attached god to the idea of an afterlife so inextricably that it was a huge revelation to me to understand that the two things need not be intertwined at all. One can imagine a god with no afterlife, and vice-versa, quite easily, once it occurs to the mind. The whole concept of god seems alien and just wrong to me. I like to imagine a community of spirits, a sort of democracy I suppose, in the place of the lonely, angry, jealous tyrant-boss others imagine.

    2. Your first line reminds me of something I heard when I was little, he who gives his devotion to a formless god gets fruit in no form. Take whatever meaning suits you, all it meant to me was that the speaker was recommending himself as the form of god. Give me your devotion and I will give you fruit ;) As with all religions, they tell you enough to amplify your fears but never enough to quell them. Being a living creature, I have yet to experience being dead, probably won't even when I do! If as some believe, we have lived before, I don't remember a thing of it. However I try and imagine an afterlife I always come back to the same question, what's the point? Better your democracy of souls than an eternity of kowtowing ;))

  16. could we please try to stay on topic. any further posts concerning religion will be deleted. this is an important topic and we do not need our views on religion to derail a discussion that could be useful and educational. thanks

    1. Asking people to stop writing about religion when the subject is suicide reminds me of a scientist asking for miracles.

    2. lol i sort of agree. that is why i let it go for a while yesterday. the issue was not what people hold as justification for their stances it was the argument going into the issue of if god exists or not, life after death and even mother Theressa . that is not what the doc is about and counter productive to the topic at hand

    3. It is a tricky one though isn't it. :~/ Religion wasn't mentioned in this doco, but it does call into question one's morals and ethics on the suicide issue. Any time you talk morals, many people can't help but bring their religion into it because as we've seen many times here on TDF, that seems to be where many believers say/believe that's where morals (especially their own) come from, their 'deity.'
      It's not the point, but is the 'elephant in the room' for many.

      I'm glad I don't have your mod. job here mate. ;)

    4. @ oQ Charles and doco
      i understand. and i am usually one of the first to have the religious debates. and this decision wasn't made to stifle anyone or made lightly. why a person holds an opinion is as important as the opinion in many cases. i saw the conversation degrade beyond the topic quickly and decided to bring it back. this is the last i will say on this

    5. Right.
      JackMax suggested I ask you about the Blue Lake which hasn't changed in over 1,000 years.. Have you ever been there?

    6. I replied in a more appropriate thread, it's awaiting moderation to clear a link I added, in the doco 'Great Natural Wonders of the World'.

    7. I've had to make the decision to turn the life support off to one of my children and although it was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, it was thinking clearly and humanely with all the evidence being given "god" or religion played no part in my final decision.

    8. In other words, you made your decision based on the situation, not the dogma. More power to you.

    9. Robert i'm not trying to be a smart a$$ but can you say the alphabet backwards as fluently as forwards?
      I'm interested as my 4 1/2 nearly 5 year old son can and I have tried numerous times without success.
      I've asked other people I know and they have indicated that their attempts were unsuccessful, as I respect your knowledge and opinion, I was only curious to your reaction to his learning capabilities.

    10. You might want to read about Professor Backwards, a famous vaudeville act, and then compare your son's talent to his, i.e., show him a bill and see if he can recite its serial number backwards--and no, I can't recite the alphabet backwards. If I wanted to, I would have to memorize it.

    11. well, i didn't exactly mean everybody.
      It would have no part in my decision if i was faced with the situation the lady was in, it would have no part in my daughter's decision if they had to decide for my end either.

    12. I'm sure that most caring and truly compassionate parent would always do whats best for their children even if the pain that is created for the "loved ones' may be intense at the time, the realization the compassion shown to the patient/sufferer. One own beliefs and morals seem to have some part of the equation is in my opinion wrong the only consideration that should be of concern should be the best interest of the person who's life is being put to question.

    13. That's slightly different. I might make the exact same decision as you if in the same situation. I can't say for sure, though I'm very opposed to suicide.

    14. So you're saying that turning off a machine that you know for all intents and purposes is keeping your son alive is not the same as letting your son or in this case daughter end their own life considering they are now above the legal age to vote and have their right to be heard? To not be adhered to is contemptible in any moral society with or without the illusion of some divine supernatural being, that has yet to have been proven by science in any way shape or form to date. For every reason or argument you could give me pro "magic man", I could give you a corresponding counter-argument against 'him'.

    15. Do you know of any atheists who would disapprove of the mother's or daughter's decisions? Do you know of any who cricitize the mother's or daughter's actions on non-religious grounds? Because it rears its ugly head as evidenced by a number of posts on this thread, religion becomes relevant to this documentary--although it really shouldn't.

    16. Right, except for the last four words, I agree with you there.

    17. And that's just one of the things that makes you despicable. Mind your own business.

    18. This is an ethics doc as much as a legal one. What do you want to post about other than the ethical aspect of this "case"? Go ahead. It's "important" as a topic because of the MORAL implications. But to squelch opinions with the threat of having them deleted is also a form mild tyranny. If the doc talks about an issue such as suicide, (which it SPECIFICALLY does), than that is a moral/ethical issue, and that is why it a legal issue as well. Just saying, I know this is a privately owned website and all of us are "guests" here, but it's offensive to be threatened to be "deleted" because you hold a minority view. That's "thought suppression." I don't like what many posters post, especially the Christian-bashers, but I think they should be tolerated in their right to say it (within reason). Respectfully and peacefully yours, Charles B.

    19. What you are saying has some validity, but at the same just because something is a moral issue does not mean that religion has anything to with it. That idea comes from the archaic notion that morals and ethics come from religion. This is just simply not true. Any religious comments here are based upon the concepts that were dreamt up millennia ago and have no basis in our society. And before anyone starts to argue saying, 'oh, so thou shalt not kill has no basis in our society?' I answer: no, it doesn't. Our own laws and attitudes towards murder are relevant and they have their own reasoning behind them - which is very different than an angry god telling his ignorant children about his house rules (that they better obey, or else).
      Religious comments in this setting detract from the discussion because they are based on arguments from an archaic culture. How can you have a meaningful discussion when someone simply keeps answering, 'it's wrong because the bible says so'? There is no reason behind this point of view and so there is no reasoning with these people in this setting. Their opinions have nothing to do with morals and ethics - they are just regurgitating what they have been spoon-fed. Because of this a debate/discussion would be rendered useless and instead this page would simply become a platform for the religious to preach their views, while those who actually want to discuss the ethics of the issue would be forced elsewhere.
      Again, moral/ethical issues such as these are not in the purview of the religious! They are told what to think and so have no rationale behind their concepts. For me, in today's world, this is pretty abysmal and extremely damaging to intellectual advancement.
      Leave them to debate the morality of theological issues. Leave real world ethics to the people who deal in reality.

  17. I think it went the way it should have. It was a unique case. It had to be investigated and tried because there was a killing that took place albeit not one of malice. The mother is not a murderer or a threat to society and it would not have served justice if she had been found guilty and punished. A criminal record wouldn't have been appropriate either. Justice should always be tempered with mercy. Justice without mercy isn't justice at all. It's revenge. Certainly, not warranted here.

    There is not one of us that can really understand what she went through. A little humanity is what is needed here, not a blind adherence to some rigid law.

    1. And just what's the matter with revenge, especially with respect to someone like Leslie Van Hooten who was just refused parole for the 20th time? When it comes to certain crimes, to hell with mercy. What mercy did the Manson family show its victims. What mercy did Jahred Lochner, Stephen Holmes, Richard Ramirez or Rodney Alcala show their victims?

    2. That is why we shouldn't have blind adherence to the law. Each incident is different and should be considered as a separate entity. If revenge is the only motive to pursue justice, then we may well be causing more damage than good. We cannot compare this woman to Manson and his ilk. Mercy should be applied when warranted and revenge when it is called for. This woman would never have committed what we normally think of as a crime except for the fact that she found herself in an extraordinary circumstance. A judge should not only have the ability to know the law in all its complexity, but should also have the wisdom to know how those laws should be applied with maximum benefit to all.

    3. Of course, this woman shouldn't be compared to Manson and his ilk or to any criminal, for she is far from one and if the representatives of the Crown had had any sense, the case would not have gone as far as it did--and, of course, revenge did not enter into it.
      However, if I'm beaten up or robbed, I want revenge on the perpetrators plain and simple.

    4. I actually agree with you on this one. Sharron Tate is still dead, so I think she should still be behind bars.

    5. Robert, (unrelated to this particular remark) you're such a Christian-basher! Do you really think that the world would be better without Christians entirely? I may not be the best example of a Christian, but I truly think we're the best of humanity. How did you get so jaded? It sounds personal.

    6. "I may not be the best example of a Christian, but I truly think we're the best of humanity." That's every reason to get rid of all religion, starting with Christianity.

    7. "Christians are the best of humanity."

      What basis or criteria do you use to arrive at this conclusion?

    8. My criteria: Christians have an answer for life's most fundamental question: "How do I know God?" and "What is my purpose for existing?" Without an answer to those two questions all else is meaningless. We as humans have to fight to be something more than savage and cruel and evil, as that comes naturally it seems. I do believe all that is good in me was originally put there by God and all that is noble and selfless in me has been expanded by God, despite my failings and/or sin. Christ can make an evil man redeemed, and a good man better.

      With that said, I acknowledge the huge amount of evil religious and even "Christians" in name at least, have done in the world. I've even known a few very "evil" pastors--rotten to their selfish core--true wolves in sheep's clothing, as the Bible says. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a fishing dragnet that has caught many, some good and some evil. The good will be gathered to be with God eternally and the evil cast away into hell. This was his parable on the seashore after his resurrection. I didn't understand that when younger, but after working with other Christians for years, I fully understand. The church has both the most evil and the best of humanity within it at the same time. If you only see the evil or only see the good, then you don't see the church as it really is. My goal is to work from within to rid it of the evil the best I can, so that those who are outside the church cannot truly mock it entirely. Blessings.

    9. You and your religion have no answers, only a lot of empty verbiage and inane assertions. What you believe is only garbage. It’s what you can prove and so far you have proved nothing. Like those of your ilk, you never seem to tire of claiming knowledge which you don’t have and this is only one of the many things that makes you intellectually and morally bankrupt and your religion which is no more than a conduit for dogma and the ignorance which goes with it equally so.

    10. Robert, you've inspired me to be more proactive. I want to move back to the U.S.A. where I can get back into active ministry and "be" the hands of Christ in real life situations and not just talk about it philosophically. I'm hitting middle age and I want to use what little time I have left here on earth for good. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. It's time for me to step up or shut up. Blessings.

    11. Do others a favor, keep your religion away from them.

    12. Labels are complicated, but I refer to myself as agnostic, so we know each others position on that. But, after now watching the doco, I see religion is off topic as it wasn't really mentioned. It was about the law, a place religion has no place in.

      Which is actually one of the biggest problems I personally have with organised religions, that being that they endeavor to inject themselves into places they have no right to be. And your answer? That there's good and bad in 'Christianity'. Hmm, the same as everywhere else. Not such the 'best of humanity' as you claim. lol. Your 'purpose' argument is BS too, and no different to any other religions claims on purpose for life, despite your claim somehow Christians are correct and all others are wrong.

      (I did ask you about Christians, so I'm not having a go at your answer being off topic, I am too. Just at how absurd your claim and reasoning is. )

      This was all about the law, and helping someone die if they so wish. Anyone's religious beliefs have no place or bearing on what the law should say on that matter.

      My personal opinion on it is that mother did the right, correct, loving thing.

      The father I think it was made a remark that hit home to me, when at the beach talking about before Lynn got sick, and 'knew about pain'. Anyone that's 'known pain' knows that there is a point that you can reach after time where it's not worth it anymore, everyone has their limit. Thankfully I've never reached that point. I wonder if you've personally truly known real, prolonged pain mate?
      There is a point where enough is enough, in Lynn's own words, 'I'm spent, I've nothing left'. To not allow someone to die at that point for them, or charge someone who out of love helps them is dead wrong I believe.

      Any 'God' that says that's wrong is not a 'god of love'. No religion has any bearing on what the law should dictate, and clearly in this particular case, the jury only took 2 hours to say Kay did the right thing morally by Lynn.

    13. That you would even consider allowing a terminally ill person to suffer clearly demonstrates that Christians are the best of humanity.

    14. I probably don't share many of the views of Robertallen in so many things but will agree on that one! Christians in this country have turned as punitive and heartless compassionless bashers of society and the a christian can say "we are the best of humanity" just exposes the tremendous blindness and arrogance. Where are the primitive church humility and love and compassion gone?

    15. Wow. "Where have the love and the compassion gone?" That's the Westbourough Baptist Church Christian attitude, isn't it? That's how non-Christians see the whole church, isn't it-- Loveless and truly offensive? To excuse or turn a blind eye to the evils of our age, is not an option either, but the Bible does say that if we have no love, or if we do ministry without love, then we are indeed nothing. That's in Corinthians chapter 13. I'm guilty along with millions of other Christians, I think. It's time for me to repent, search out my true motives, do better, and hopefully others will too. Thank you for your insight there.

    16. It appears to me that you're here to troll rather than discuss the real issue of this doco. At no stage was religion mentioned in the entire documentary, so for you to bring up religion seems to be off topic considering that never seemed to have any bearing on her wishes.

      If you have an issue with Robert on religion please don't let me stop you however pick the right thread as we all should.
      Now we as humans are crueler to our own kind than we are to animal. If a beast is suffering we have no problems putting it down, yet with us we may be able to ease your suffering even if with have no cure and your quality of life is going to deteriorate until you die.

      I know which option I'd prefer....

    17. Jack: I had a one line reply to a post that said she had entered into eternal peace or something or other. It started in that way. I'm still surprised how much angst a minority opinion garners on such topics like this. If I'm a "troll" then I've been around (off and on) for several years, and that itself does not fit the bill for a "troll". You're just an antagonist. This post was meant for Robert and I put it here because the other threads were getting long and at least they used to limit out at a certain sublevel of comments. As far as animals vs people, I don't think animals have an eternal soul, people do.

    18. I don't know what you mean by eternal soul however if your saying that we human have an unique soul that no other living creature has can you show me the scientific evidence to that...?

      I'm lead to believe that whales and other sea mammals feel lose when they have a death in their herd, so if that is correct they have shown some type of soul or morning which would indicate compassion which is one of the key elements to any living creature having a "soul" .
      By my understanding from your reply your christian beliefs would be set aside for the welfare to your child? and if so does that invalidate your beliefs in an fictitious "god" or at least give you doubt in his so called standards...?

    19. And just why do you think animals don't have an eternal soul? Can you even prove the existence of a soul, much less an eternal one? I thought not.

    20. And that's why most Christians crawl in a gutter, morally and intellectually, compared to everyone else - they think they're better than other people and they think merely attaching themselves to this belief system makes them a better person. It's so very childish, and it's in complete defiance of their own scriptures, which unequivocally state that pride is a sin and to not judge others.

      Their own scriptures go on to say much worse about this sort of attitude, but of course the key part is "that you shall know a thing by its fruits" ... and the fruits of Christianity seem to be a fairly mixed bag, there's some good there but an awful lot of bad too. Divine Right, wars, slavery, torture, tyranny, genocide, domestic abuse, all sorts of horrible things people have done to one another, Christianity has, at one time or another, defended or even caused.

      A set of beliefs is meaningless in terms of how a person or group stacks up against others ... they have no value at all by themselves. The problem is that Christians think there is some value just to the belief, so that they believe they're better even when, by their deeds, they are less. But deeds are the only way these things can be truly accounted, for a man can say and believe fine and noble things ... but do mostly evil. So it is that Christians' view of themselves and others is warped, because it ignores not only the directions of scripture with regard to judging others, casting no stones, and so on ... it ignores that basic maxim of knowing a thing only by its fruits. They don't judge themselves that way ... only others.

      This isn't to bash Christians but merely to point out some uncomfortable facts about them and especially about their attitude of being better than others.

    21. That and the fact that over the history of the past 100 years, I would dare say the majority of orphanages, and feeding programs medical missions, and education programs have all been started and maintained by Christians. Hey, wait, I'm volunteering for a medical mission next month. The last time I helped, I was so tired my hands were shaking by the time I got home. Free dentists, free doctors, free medicines, free hope. If God allows I would like to be teaching in a mixed Muslim Christian (but started by Christians) school in North Africa. About two years ago, we met armed soldiers coming out of the bush. I wanted to tell my wife, "Pretend you don't know me, and save the kids if you can." Rather, I just sat there and wondered if me, my wife, my kids, and our friends would all be killed mercilessly. Thankfully they weren't the rebels. They smiled at me rather than shooting me. I was rather glad. And, bless my lovely wife--she's willingly even done medical missions in places
      where they would chop off my head just for being white (an added bonus
      for being Christian), and I mean that 100%. Terrible people those Christians. No matter what you think of them, I've cast my lot with men and women I view as being not just the best the world has to offer, but the world's only hope--and I mean that sincerely. Charles B.

    22. "That and the fact that over the history of the past 100 years, I would dare say the majority of orphanages, and feeding programs medical missions, and education programs have all been started and maintained by Christians." Source?


    23. Orphanages, feeding programs, education programs ... well, you know, in the Soviet era, the communists built the majority of those things where they existed too. And many of the ones that Christians started, have been done with ulterior motives in mind. The orphanages and medical missions in Africa are done principally with an eye to converts.

      Christians are no better or worse than most other people .... go by crime statistics and you can clearly see that. Their beliefs about charity and such are not unique and they do not have a monopoly on care, like they wish to pretend they do. The reason for that is to dehumanize nonbelievers. It works very well.

    24. G'day Robert,

      You ask what's wrong with revenge? I only have to look at the conflicts going on though out the world to see the problems revenge. I understand your point with individual cases, yet we see more cases of revenge killings through terrorist attacks happening all over the world with a majority claiming some type of revenge to to USA for something they have said "was in retaliation for a some prior event" be it true or false.

    25. And the law deals with individual cases.
      P.S. Have you heard of the Blue Lake?

    26. Are you referring to the blue lake at Mt Gambier in South Australia...?

      Yes I agree with you about the law.

    27. Yes. I read an article about it recently. Apparently the area has remained unchanged for over 1,000 years. Have you ever trekked there?

    28. I have trekked around most of Australia and have visited the Blue Lake however Docoman use to live around that area in his earlier days.
      Keeping on topic from what I've seen there are quite a few good places for suicide and I'm sure there have been a considerable amount of "assisted suicide" at the lake.

  18. Good for her I say, if it was my daughter in that position and she asked for my help to end her suffering, I'd do it too :) BUt I respect other peoples choices to do what they think is best too. Just glad I have not found myself in this poor woman's position..

  19. This story reminds me of my hero "Dr. Jack Kevorkian" who pioneered voluntary euthanasia. I too love my children so much that I would of done exactly what this mother did as well! I also do NOT believe that committing suicide is a one way ticket to Hell. Period! In fact.... how could any loving parent condemn their child to "Hell" for any reason(s) at all? So, if a loving human parent couldn't do it..... then how could a loving "God" do it as well....eh?

    Btw - I believe that upon the death of the physical body.....the Soul 'always' goes directly back to its Source (aka God) and there is no ifs ands or buts about it. ?

    1. Except if you look at scriptures. Then all the ifs ands of buts come out to confront the specious doctrine that humans are eternal because what the bible says is that death is a sleep and resurrection is God's solution for physical death.

  20. I'm all for prolonging life, but not suffering.

  21. You did the only thing to do, she is thanking you right now mom ,listen you can hear her,she is so happy...

  22. How much morphine would kill a person? It's effects must wear off pretty quickly otherwise why give dying patients morphine pumps? If it took this young lady 30 hours to die, even after her mum gave her crushed pills, was she dying from a morphine overdose or just dying? I know when my mum was popping her clogs I kept thinking, and at times hoping, that the next shot would be the last. It took a good while and honestly, it felt cruel. I still have a nagging feeling that she might have died of thirst in the end. Sorry for the maudlins ;)
    I suppose I should have asked more questions but the details didn't much matter at the time, less so afterwards. I have no problem with assisted suicide. Maybe the patient should be allowed to write it into their care plan, register their intentions so as to protect the helper. Don't see it as much different from scrawling DNR across your notes.

    Brave lady though, don't know that I could do the same for my own girls. Don't even want to think about it.

  23. Extremely difficult decision to take : agonizing , i cannot imagine .
    We can debate for ever about whether that mom had any right to do what she did ,,,,,We can never be the judge of that .Only God can and will be...
    Let's hope nobody would find himself/herself in those mom's shoes ...
    P.S.: People would shoot a horse in agony to ease its pain ....That's a totally different story when it comes to humans in agony or in extreme pain .......God...

    May God have mercy on both the mom and that poor daughter of hers

    I "see " the image of prophet Abraham preparing to kill his own son ....but ,that's just an analogy i cannot help making ...not a comparison of course ..

    1. By the looks of it, this particular mother certainly didn't weigh any divine judgement into her decision. She respected her daughters choice, not the supposed choice of some judgemental deity. The abrahamic God and associated teachings are an attempt to simplify moral choice, and as history has shown time and time again, they utterly fail. They make presumptive assertions so far removed from everyday reality that a state of permanent cognitive dissonance becomes part of life for the believer. They become Law, and not even the majority of secular European justice systems of today are willing to look past them and admit you can't explain away a complex moral dilemma with "Thou shall not kill".

      Your "horse VS human" argument is a good example of this, it's simple and nonsensical yet it actually seems to carry a great deal of weight to a great deal of people. It does so because of a cultural past, not because it makes a logical point.

    2. The horse vs human argument is logical; perhaps you didn't really comprehend the point being made and so it seems nonsensical to you.

      The point is that we put down an animal in suffering because we think it's a kindness to end their pain. Yet we say humans must suffer to the end, even though we seem to believe human suffering is of greater concern than animal suffering. This, of course, doesn't really make any sense.

    3. Yet the government is so careful when executing a condemned criminal to death so as not to promote cruel and unusual punishment.

      Even the point of injection is cleaned in order to prevent any possible infections. The same drug that puts one to sleep for dentistry is outlawed..

      The problem with the law is lawyers....

    4. Lawyers play the law like the rules to a game but they don't make the law.

      As far as execution, I don't see any reason to do it in a barbaric way - because it's something someone has to do as a job and they have to sleep at night. But it is ironic that we take so much care with executions, yet demand that the sick, who have done no wrong, suffer til death.

    5. That was my vaguely put point... Thank you...

    6. I think that's roughly what I deduced as well, but thanks for putting it so eloquently. I still don't get the logic of his point however, maybe I should read more scripture. To me, saying that humans are different to horses because of "...God...." doesn't explain anything, it's just a reference to a concept that implies different truths depending on which religious beliefs you subscribe to.

    7. No, stay away from scripture and especially religion. They will screw you up every time.

    8. I don't think that part had anything to do with God (the part about shooting a horse in agony). I can't make heads or tails of the God stuff he wrote, but the particular portion about the horse seemed a good point, if you consider how willing we are to give mercy to a suffering, dying animal but not a human.

    9. lol right we kill a horse in agony because we are merciful. but we should let our loved ones suffer in pain.

      Your judgement is clouded by the brain virus of religion.

    10. Anyone who brands or attempts to brand this woman a criminal is a criminal himself. If I were an assistant D.A., I would resign before I would prosecute a case like this. Two or three weeks ago, I read of a similar case where an 80-year-old man put a bullet through the brain of his terminally ill wife of 50 years at her request. Unlike the case at hand, this matter was decided without fanfare by a judge who exonerated the man.

    11. That's not what i said .

      We should help you kill yourself out of mercy in order to spare you the agony of your silly thoughts haha


    12. so you do agree that people should be allowed to end their life when they are suffering?

  24. Having ME is considered "a living death" and sadly many people with ME take their own lives. The UK NHS offers little but exercise, which has proven detrimental, even deadly, to someone with ME (see the case of Brynmor John, a UK MP). We desperately need research and treatments but these will not be forthcoming until the politics surrounding the illness are addressed.

    The UK's so called expert in ME, Simon Wessely (a psychiatrist), is despised by the majority of ME sufferers. He is of the opinion that "ME is simply a belief, the belief that one has an illness called ME" and that we should be denied state benefits and appropriate tests. However, in 2006, Prof Anthony Komaroff said:"There are now over 4,000 published studies that show underlying biological abnormalities in patients with this illness. It is not an illness people can simply imagine that they have and it's not a psychological illness. In my view, that debate, which was waged for 20 years, should be over".

    The UK is killing many people with ME through their adherence to the Wessely school of thought. Many medical experts believe that a retrovirus is at the root of this illness (eg HERVs - Human Endogenous Retroviruses) and that it is an autoimmune disease which cannot and should not, under any circumstances, be dealt with through exercise.

    RIP Lynn - your mother was a very brave and determined carer.

  25. In death, one journey ends. Another eternal one begins. God rest her soul.

    1. Eternal rest for the soul wasn't my first thought for her. I just don't think it's our right to take our own life. I think it was a very poor decision.

    2. So she should have gone on suffering? You're pathetic.

    3. Robert: I see you're still commenting! To be extremely open, honest and transparent, baring my very soul's motivations to you--I still believe in God and I still believe in miracles, but if we take matters into our own hands (such as in this instance) then there is no room for God to act either with a miracle or with a "No. That's not my will to heal you, but I have a better eternity planed for you!" answer. The lotus of ultimate control is not our own, but God's. This is a truth I hold in my heart: No suffering here on earth can compare with the suffering I've been told awaits those in Hell. If she went to Hell, then the poor young woman has not lessened her suffering at all, but has made the mistake of an eternal life time. On the other hand, for those that love God, no amount of suffering here on earth will ever even be remembered one second into eternity. It's gone. It's over. It's finished--and it was worth the struggle 1000 times over to do it God's way. Every tear dried; every hurt, healed; every injustice, rectified. With this faith and concept of the world and the life to come, then it's not pathetic, but wise to keep going and the ultimate kindness to others to counsel them to do the same, no matter the circumstances. Those are my motives--they aren't cruel, but actually well-thought out. If on the other hand, you believe not in God, nor the soul, then it's very understandable to want to end suffering now, thinking that it will be over with your last breath. Either way, I think I win, as the comfort of knowing there is an eternal Heaven waiting for me even makes life here a little bit easier to endure, and if I'm wrong, I'll not even know it the moment after my last breath here on earth. Blessings! Charles B.

    4. You can't prove one word of this drivel, especially "No suffering here on earth can compare with the suffering I've been told [by whom?] awaits those in Hell. If she went to Hell, then the poor young woman has not lessened her suffering at all, but has made the mistake of an eternal life time" Not only are you a mental misfit, but a monster as well. .

    5. Robert, that's your choice not to believe. Perhaps you will be as consistently unrelenting in your atheistic stance when suffering and pain and/or trouble comes your way in the future, as it does for all of us, but perhaps not either. When people are hurting, even hardened God-haters call for pastors, just hoping for a glimmer of comfort. That's what they're there for. Very late. May or may not reply in the future. Good night. Blessings! Charles B.

    6. My dad didn't and he died of cancer of the colon.

      Trying to justify your existence again. You're beneath contemptible.
      P.S. By god-hater, do you mean hater of Your god?

    7. Yes. God. There's only one.

    8. How do you know this?

    9. Robert: How do I know? It's a subjective thing, granted. But the Bible does say that the Spirit of God is our source of assurance that we feel in our heart. Long answer short. My son wants me to paint, so I have to go. Peace to you. Charles B.

    10. It must be true because the bible tells me so. And you claim an I.Q. of 136.

    11. You can't judge..you are not the judge. It is said that people feel free to say their mind. The tongue is like fire, and it spreads hatred and evil. It is unfortunate so many people feel free to make such comments. Do you realize how hurtful this is to the family? Maybe not..If you can't feel this pain...that explains you putting yourself in the judge's seat.. The insensitivity of so called christian or others non christians is appalling...to me...Jesus would never say such a thing..

    12. I don't understand why you think this person cannot judge, when you are fine with everyone else and yourself judging, as long as they agree with you?

    13. Thank you. That was well said. We all make "judgement" calls. It's just not very popular here to have traditional conservative ones.

    14. And it's not very popular when an interloper tries to make them.

    15. Doctors make these judgment calls all the time..

    16. Just how do you know what Jesus would say?

    17. It may be hard to imagine what he would say, but it's hardly difficult to figure out what he wouldn't say. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't walk in your home, loudly and crudely praise your mother's skills at fornication and then demand a beer, for instance.

      If he ever existed, that is.

    18. Thanks for the laugh! Sounded like a song from the ICP.

    19. Not too complicated. Jesus you know him or you don't period!

    20. I heard a pastor once say that he says at funerals of suicides (yes, we even have to do those--dreadfully difficult)--he said "I don't know for sure where Michael is now, but I do know for sure that no matter where Michael is, he would advocate for you to have faith and place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ." With the parents that have lost young children: "Susan is in Heaven and the best way to ensure you'll be together again as a family is to place your trust in Christ." Then again, sometimes it's best to say nothing at all. It's really a burden sometimes as you bare the grief of many at a time of need when there is often no answers at all to give them.

    21. i have mixed feelings about your post. It is sad christians have a whole revelation handed down during thousands of years by many inspired writers. Still christians do not know what to believe about death( Something so critical to the human condition) But the bible fools us not. It doesn't not support ideas of a disembodied conscious eternal Spirit for sure and says throughout the texts that "The living know they will die, but The dead know nothing!, they have nothing for their labor, even their memory is forgotten...they have no share in what does on in the world(under the sun)" Eclesiastes 9:5-6. Also Jesus said of Lazarus when he died: " Lazarus sleeps, but I will wake him up" The doctrine that God did not create a whole indivisible human is opening the door to all kinds of spiritualistic beliefs among christians, is my real concern.

    22. That's called "soul sleep". I'm familiar with the theory. It's believed by Jehovah's Witnesses and a few others. At my 2nd cousin's presumed suicide via a drug overdose, this was the road the pastor took to try and comfort his grieving mother (my cousin), wife, and kids. Like I said--I hate those funerals. If this is so, then only the righteous have an eternal soul that continues after death. The passage in Ecclesiastes needs to be taken in context with other passages, I think.

    23. Can you even prove the existence of the soul? Do sheep have souls? How ants, praying mantises and venus fly traps?
      And speaking of the righteous, what about someone who condemns a terminally ill girl for committing suicide based solely on his religion?

    24. A pathetic non-answer.

    25. I see....well do you know him?

    26. If you believe in Heaven and Hell, then the most cruel thing a Christian can say is NOTHING. We offer eternal hope and justice, not just for this life, but for the life to come. What did I say that was evil? If I knew this family personally, I would most likely say nothing after the fact, but had they consulted me as a pastor and/or friend before the fact, it would be cruel and yes, evil, in my mind, not to state my belief that suicide is sin and sin leads away from God and not towards God. The flip side of the coin is that those that do have chronic ailments here on earth shall not in Heaven--be patient (if you can be). Try to endure. These isn't an example of Jesus placed in this situation, so we don't know what He would say. Blessings.

    27. In other words, Christianity offers nothing except blither and claptrap about heaven and an afterlife, none of which you can prove, just as you can't prove the existence of this god whom you claim to know so much about. You're no more than a snake oil salesman.

    28. "Proof" is a matter of faith as well as perspective. We spent the evening watching videos of people that have had Heaven and Hell testimonies. Didn't sound like blather to me.

    29. Proof is hard evidence and personal anecdotes and your opinion of them hardly meet the standard. Faith is stupidity and idiocy as you have so well demonstrated.

    30. having several women is sin too? Eating the bread that was dedicated for the temple is sin too? Having slaves is sin too? Not all suicide is the same..not all circumstances are judged just by the act. If you can go no further than the external act you are no better than any one else that judges by the appearances.

    31. Hum. There's enough ambiguity in life I will grant you that. That's why I say I'm not 100% certain about the eternal destiny of someone that commits suicide. I watched a video yesterday about a woman who shot herself and the Lord spared/rescued her after she had reached at least a portion of Hell, returning her to her body for a second change. That stretches my theology, but God is sovereign. With that said, I still say, it's not our right to choose our own exit time, even under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

    32. How do you know that "the Lord" spared/rescued this woman after she had reached at least a portion of Hell, whatever that's supposed to mean? Do you believe everything you hear? Do you also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy? How about unicorns and griffins?
      And who the hell are you who passes judgment on this long-suffering girl's suicide based solely on the tenets of his vile and idiotic religion to be dictating right and wrong to anyone? You're a new low in the human species.

    33. Do you think it is right that people like Lynn are offered nothing but exercise on the NHS in the UK? How many years could you take the levels of pain experienced only by those with terminal cancer, which is what the pain in ME is like for many?

    34. No, it's not right. Life is horrendously unfair. It would be an untruth to say what I'd do in her same situation, as I just don't know. My only solace would be to believe in the ultimate justice of God both in this life and in the life hereafter. I've had to walk my talk at least once when my daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness at age 2. God healed her, (and yes, we also had medical treatments) but it was one of the most scary moments of my life.

    35. So you would stop to ponder whether this unfortunate girl should go on in perpetual torment--and all because of your goddam religion. You're no better than Mother Theresa and just as disgusting.
      P.S. And just how do you know that god healed your daughter--and, by the way, which god?

    36. To be compared with Mather Theresa is not put down for me. Wow. Humbled. As far as my daughter is concerned, that's somewhat private, but since I mentioned it first myself, my 2-year-old daughter herself said Jesus healed her. She woke up from her nap and said very firmly "Jesus healed my neck!" and went into detail about him when we asked. We asked what he told her and she said, "He said 'Charness'" which is her name, and yes, she got better within days of this conversation. We watched the puss pocket in her neck shrink from the size of a goose egg to undetectable in a matter of days, after about 2 months of her having it and being very ill off and on.

    37. So because your two-year-old daughter claims that Jesus healed her, that makes it so. You're pathetic.
      Not to resent being compared with Mother Theresa who allowed people to suffer because she thought it was good for them is to expose you for the vile piece of humanity you are.

    38. then don't take your life, but stay out of hers, and those like her who suffer interminably. it's none of your business.

    39. But it IS my business. I want to be a pastor eventually (I intend to try again) and we as pastors encounter this situation on a yearly basis--chronic illness and/or suicide and/or depression and/or murder, and/or accidents and/or who knows what! When tragic or horrendous grief strikes, pastors are still the people called in the middle of the night, sometimes by people that haven't darkened the door of a church in 20 years (or their mother). What do you say then? Every good pastor I've talked with, listened to, befriended and had confide in me advocates "choose life and let God decide the time of your exit." If a suicide has already happened, I've found it best to just listen and be 100% honest and say, "I am not sure. God alone knows."

    40. That's the big problem with religees like you. You stick your uninvited noses into people's private affairs which are none of your business. This makes you despicable.

    41. When tragedy strikes, pastors are called by those who consider them important in their lives--but not by *everyone* who has had a tragedy. And they're called because they have put themselves in that situation professionally. Being a member of clergy is, after all, a profession.

      There was a post on reddit recently in the r/atheism subreddit, by a young woman who is a hospice nurse. She is also an atheist. She didn't know any other atheists in her immediate professional circle, and was curious to know if she was the only one. The number of atheist (or non-theist, etc.) hospice and other similar end-of-life professionals who spoke up in response was amazing.

      These people are loving, caring, professional and *keep their personal opinions personal.* They'll pray, or read holy books, or whatever the distressed patient/family need at the moment of their grief. The most important theme that seemed to run through the responses is that they take great care to NOT JUDGE either the family or the patient.

      Just giving an expanded view of the end-of-life professionals. =)

    42. The thought implied is that "not judging" is preferential to injecting your theological ideas with the people you are helping. I understand. That's true if you believe that nothingness awaits after death, but professionally negligent if you believe that either Heaven or Hell awaits after death. I fall in the second group, needless to say, and I've helped do nursing home and/or senior ministry as well. I liked it.

    43. Unless you're called in, it's none of your business, whether you like it or not.

    44. Agreed, but we're "called in" a lot.

    45. And even if you're called in, you have no business judging anyone who commits suicide..

    46. and i repeat -- stay out of her life; it's none of your business unless you're invited to the party. plus, any god that permits such suffering should be boycotted -- that is, if there WERE gods, which of course there aren't. faith doesn't give you the right to interfere; in fact, that's an arrogant assumption.

    47. Howdy Charles, what would be your first thought I wonder?

    48. Hi Mr. Razor. You know me--I'm opposed to suicide under all situations, and I have some serious concerns about the afterlife in such cases. I can't even say the "H" word, but it's a strong possibility in most if not all suicides I believe. It would devastate me horrendously to loose a loved one to suicide. But, God is the ultimate judge and not I. On a lighter note, I hope to be outside of China within the year. I miss church tremendously and just want to go back to the U.S.A. and get my kids enrolled in school and teach Royal Rangers in church, etc. I just have to find a way to make money there.

    49. that is the answer any of us that know you expected lol. i hope you get home and reach your goals. nice to see you still drop by on occasion. we have a shortage of rational religious posters as of late.

    50. Thanks. I enjoyed teaching science, English and business this year in China, but I can't hardly watch anything even with my VPN program on Topdocs that funnels through California. Seeing 1/10th of a documentary is just frustrating. I miss America. Blessings! Charles B.

    51. Hi Charles, nice to hear from you again, religion aside, you always are TDF's favorite religee.

      Hope y'all can make it back to your homeland. Watch the "super bugs" in China and don't bring any back home with you. Keep posting.

    52. Razer: Yes, I agree! I'm watching the H7N9 closely, as the outbreak is only half a province away, but ya know anything like that is highly filtered (if they can). I'm more concerned about Rabbis as I'm trying to take our Wuxi China Bengal Dog puppy back with us and just found out that 55,000 people a year die from Rabbis world-wide yearly (mostly in Africa and Asia)--according to Hong Kong regulations information where I'm trying to get our dog past.

    53. Is it rabies or are you antisemitic? Either way, what does this have to do with this documentary?

    54. It's off topic. Sorry. I haven't posted for about 6 months. Edited to make it shorter.

  26. "should the law take action against her, or not?"
    In general, as far as I know, none of the big players (countries) have clauses that allow killing or make it into anything other than murder. It is not a judge's job to make the best moral decision, but instead to blindly interpret the law.

    In my opinion this judge most likely broke the law and failed in his job, but simply hoped that no one would call him on it.

    It is the job of the jury to take current day cultural beliefs and morality into consideration. And, if I understand everything correctly, this should of played out like runaway slave trials in the states. The Jury should of found her guilty of murder (the only possibility with current laws), but gave her zero sentence (The jury, at least historically, has the ability to hand out any sentence, even if the judge tries to curtail that).

    1. Everyone knows the police brought the wrong charge against Kay. She assisted her daughter in suicide, it was not murder. Lyn made her own choice and we should all respect your need to have control of your own body.

    2. I am no expert on law, but I know a few things. And I would be extremely surprised if "assisted suicide" was a chargeable charge. It is just a sentence that you made up, they cannot and could not charge her with that. Murder was the only charge, by the definition that they use; And she was, almost certainly, guilty by their definition.

      Terry Pratchett (the Discworld Author) has been trying to change the laws about suicide for years in the UK, with his terminal and degenerate disease. And not really making all the much headway from my understanding.

    3. I find your comment appalling. How can you know. Who are you to judge. Were you in the shoes of a mother would you condone her suicide (if that's what happened)? Modern medicine is perpetuating artificially the lives of many people that would much rather be let to rest. I find it extremely bias and heartless of people like you comprising a jury on this. The best decision is what this judge concluded because this is a very special case and very special circumstances and this is not premeditated murder.

    4. I think you misunderstood his point. He's not talking about the moral right or wrong of this ruling from his viewpoint, but the established facts of written laws. I'm not educated in British law, but I also find it really hard to believe there was any legislative room for this ruling.
      Special circumstances may apply, but laws are not written with special circumstance in mind. That doesn't mean she deserved punishment. I think she did the right thing, and statistics clearly show she has public opinion on her side. However, one must always keep in mind that her case is an exception, and will be until this problem is dealt with at its core.

    5. The law isn't the same thing as what's ethically right. There are times when breaking the law is ethically correct. Some people confuse the law for ethics, but it is not and it doesn't even have the same purpose.

      When breaking the law is ethically correct, but illegal according to how the law is written, then there should be legal guilt (perhaps with no actual sentence). Because the whole idea of the rule of law rests on the idea that the law rules, not any person or public opinion or any of that, but the law itself is the supreme authority. No one should be able to override it on the spur of the moment, for a single case.

    6. Men make laws . Man is above the law. The Law is man's way of organizing a collective sense of justice. There is no set of laws that can contemplate every case, every situation. e spirit of the law is the principles behind the law. These principles are to be used when judging just as much as the written code. TO kill is not good or legal - says the government. The same government sends soldiers to kill others and many times innocent lives perish blindly as the episode of the drones in Yemen.

    7. If you say man is above the law, then you don't believe in the rule of law. The essence of the rule of law is that the supreme authority above all others is the law, and it is a government of laws above men. Laws are rules, and if even one man is above the rules ... then they may as well not exist.

      You see it as ethical guidelines, sort of like taboos in a religion, that's not really what the law is. It's not guidelines for being a good person and it isn't a set of taboos.

      They call the statutes "code" (eg the Criminal Code) and they operate like a computer program, more than like some vague notion of principles, which leaves far too much room for arbitrary judgement. Do you think people should be treated equally under the law? This is never totally possible, but to get even part way there, you must eliminate as much of the arbitrary nature of judgement as possible, and the only way to do that is to create the law as a set of specific instructions that must be followed ... not relying on a judge's whims, moods, and opinions.

      Your example of killing is a poor one. The law doesn't define all killing as illegal or "not good". It defines what unlawful killing is. Just as there is a lawful way to drive and an unlawful way to drive, but driving itself is not illegal or "not good" ... and neither is killing. The law allows for all sorts of killing: by accident (so long as it wasn't negligent), in war, in self-defence, capital punishment, etc

    8. In countries where the rule of law prevails, no man is above the law. The law rules all men. There is little point to having rules, if people are above them, and can just make things up as they go along and do what they feel like. We don't need a system to "organize a collective sense of justice," such a thing would be useless blather.

      In a barbaric environment such as a failed state, your system of law prevails. Everyone goes by what "feels right", judgements depend on opinions and whims of the moment, equal treatment before the law doesn't exist because there is no consistent system.

      In a rule of law system, the laws form a system which no one is above, and they are applied not according to whim but according to the system as it is designed. In this way there is consistency and a measure of equality and rationality to the system. A man goes before a judge and knows that the judge must follow the law as it is written, and cannot just make it up according to his personal opinions. It is a system, and operates like a computer program, carrying out its instructions faithfully and without deviation (ideally, but there is much slippage back to the savage method of law you prefer in these times)

      Rule of law does give up some flexibility in order to be a consistent system. But when you see where that flexibility it loses bends to when the rule of law is not present, you come to understand that the loss of flexibility is infinitely preferable to the alternative.

    9. Holland has embraced euthanasia, but it is a very small country.

    10. Yes they are a rather unimportant country on the global scale. and I believe they have a minimum age where it is technically illegal to have one performed before. But they get around this by having an accepted method that it is just agreed that no one is going to press charges if you do it.

    11. No one "embraces" euthanasia and certainly an entire country wouldn't "embrace" anything. It may be legal but I wouldn't consider it something to be "embraced".

      Embrace is a nothing word. Boring and oblique and lazy.

    12. I don't really think we need to get into a discussion of semantics. The word decently portrays the situation in my mind.

  27. this dear beloved woman did the correct thing. Her daughter suffered enough and the mother did as asked due to her love for her. I feel her heart , but I also see courage.

    1. I happen to have the same viewpoint and I am utterly this blind interpretation of the law. That is the kind of interpretation that has sent dozens of innocent people to capital punishment. This highly statistically based, factoid based handling of human destiny by jury and court here in this country needs to be denounced.

    2. And just which interpretation or type of interpretation is this and which "innocent" people are you talking about?
      Now, just what would you put in its place?

    3. somoene's case before can only give a baseline of precedent that can be used in cout. Each case has to be analyzed comprehensively. Circumstances are different. Motives are involved. The desire of that mother was not to kill her daughter . This is not a homicide case. American juries are filled with unidimensional black and while mentality that do contemplate the spirit of the law and just know the letter of it.

    4. The interpretation of the law is supposed to be "blind". That is a cornerstone of the whole legal system.

    5. Blind in the legal sense just mans to not favor someone over another because of a someone's attributes or traits? I agree. blind in the sense of not considering or analyzing each case and situation on its own merits and relying only on legal precedent to me is a tragedy. Medicine now has created much artificiality to life. We can perpetuate suffering in the most scientifically justifiable yet pathetic ways. The case is not just about justice but it touches on the very validity of science to serve or diservice human life. That was also the case of the boy David in the bubble. A kid that was allow to experience life when 'naturally' he would have not have. Tragically biology could not keep validating an existence that was artificially provided by high tech NASA equipment.

    6. Blind yes, deaf and dumb will cost you extra and void your warranty. That's the cornerstone of our political system.