So Robert Latimer is to be released from jail. That makes me angry. I understand that he’s no danger to society, and that he’s unlikely to re-offend. But that’s not the point, and never was. It is illegal – and wrong – to take the life of disabled people no matter what the reason. It bothers me that we live in a society that fully sanctions it when the disabled person is still in the womb, and tolerates it once the person is out.
Andrea adds: More disturbing than what Latimer did–kill his daughter–has been some of the sanctimonious pontificating from the media, which has ranged from full on sympathy, to understanding tolerance. This article is no different:
Born with a severe form of cerebral palsy, Latimer’s daughter Tracy was 12 years old, weighed barely 40 pounds, had no mobility, suffered unrelenting pain and endured five to six epileptic seizures a day, when Latimer ended her life… She had little more than a newborn’s consciousness and could communicate only through expressions, laughing and crying.
This is false, but even if it were true, so what? They claim suffering, suffering, suffering on Tracy’s part, but always neglect to discuss her and who she was: Her personality, her preferences, her schedule, her day. Tracy Latimer was a sister and a daughter, who had favourite colours and foods, and was a part of a family just the same as me. And I mean that. Tracy Latimer was no less a person than I.
Véronique adds: About the likelihood of re-offending. When I was listening to excerpts of the parole board proceedings, the Board asked Latimer a question along the lines of: “What if one of your family members was disabled following a car accident? Would you take it upon yourself to end their life?” If my memory serves me well, Latimer never answered the question directly. It was a valid question that deserved an answer. While we are led to believe that disability is congenital and can be avoided by advocates of prenatal genetic testing, disability is often accidental. Latimer may never have to end the life of another daughter with cerebral palsy, granted. But it doesn’t mean that he will never be faced again with the disability of a loved one.by