View Full Version : R.I. mother to serve 20 years in daughter’s death (Article )


jace49
05-23-12, 09:01 AM
PROVIDENCE - A Rhode Island mother convicted of strangling her 8-year-old daughter in 2009 after the girl refused to take a bath and threw a two-hour tantrum was ordered Tuesday to serve 20 years in prison.

A judge in Providence ordered Kimberly Fry to serve 20 years of a 40-year sentence. The 38-year-old North Kingstown resident said at the hearing that she would forever hate herself and that she wished she were dead so she could be reunited with her daughter Camden in heaven.

Fry was convicted in October of second-degree murder. She did not react visibly to the sentence but was being comforted by her attorney.


Camden’s father, Timothy, said he is heartbroken by Camden’s death.

Prosecutors said Fry followed Camden into her bedroom after her bath on Aug. 09, 2009, and strangled her, then tucked her lifeless body into bed with her favorite stuffed animal.

Camden’s father found the girl dead in her bed the next morning at the family’s home in North Kingstown.

Fry was hospitalized later that day for overdosing on prescription medications she took the night before in a suicide attempt.

At trial, Fry’s lawyer called Camden’s death “a tragic accident’’ and said the girl was prone to tantrums and had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Prosecutors argued that Fry blamed her depression on Camden and told her husband, Timothy, 42, that she wished the girl “wasn’t around.’’

Dr. William Cox, the medical examiner, testified for the prosecution that Camden died of cardio and respiratory failure caused by the strangulation. He said she lost consciousness within 10 to 20 seconds and died four to six minutes later. Cox pegged her time of death at between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Dr. Elizabeth Laposata, a defense witness and the state’s former chief medical examiner, demonstrated on a mannequin the same size as Camden how Laposata believed the girl was straddled, her arm pinned down with a knee, her mouth covered with a hand, and pressure applied to the sides of her neck and collarbone.

Laposata said Camden died as a result of asphyxiation brought on by a combination of chest compressions, suffocation, and pressure being applied to the sides of her neck. She testified that Camden lost consciousness within two or three minutes of the restraint beginning. Laposata said Camden died in five to 10 minutes.

When Fry spoke to her husband on the phone later that night, Timothy Fry testified she told him Camden was “quiet now’’ after a “two-hour crying fit.’’

Her lawyer said Fry did not know that the restraint killed Camden and even turned on the girl’s night light.

Fry’s public defender said that the girl was thrashing, biting, kicking, and hitting her mother as she tried to get her to bathe and get ready for bed while Timothy Fry was at hockey practice.

To try to calm her down, attorney Sarah Wright said, Kimberly Fry sat on Camden, as she had done successfully three months prior while the girl was having a tantrum while her husband was on a business trip. Wright no longer represents Fry.

The defense portrayed Fry as a loving mother who sought medical treatment, academic help, and family counseling for Camden, who struggled in school, threw tantrums that lasted an hour or longer, and was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder two months before she died.

Fry herself struggled with insomnia, took medication for depression, and was suicidal in the two weeks before Camden died, according to the defense.

Hospital staff testified that Fry made incriminating statements about Camden’s death during her stay.

Authorities also say Fry left behind a note in which she wrote she felt “beaten down by an 8-year-old.’’


http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/05/22/rhode-island-mother-serve-years-death-daughter/wQQExqhrr6G2KGMbQgmmHP/story.html

Spacemaster
05-23-12, 10:22 AM
Wow, a terribly sad story. What I take from it, is that there ought to be more support for parents either with ADHD or with a child that has it. People treat ADHD as some mythical disorder, as though there is no such things, the parents just aren't disciplining their children enough. In reality, they have no idea just how difficult it is to manage an ADHD home. There must be more awareness and help!

I can't help but feel like this mother may have had ADHD also, or at least some sort of disorder. I can see how if you have ADHD, noise bothers many of us, and having to deal with a two hour rage fest from the child may well have sent her over the edge. I'm not excusing this behavior in any way. I just think it's sad, and it's too bad that there isn't more help for parents out there. Not self-help books, btw, there are many of those. I mean local support groups, or something like that.

beltoller
05-30-12, 10:58 AM
I couldn't agree with you more. Even within ADHD support groups, etc. there are vastly varying levels of the severity of the ADHD, moreso when you throw in comorbid disorders and its easy to feel isolated even within within networks that are supposed to be supportive.

It greatly behooves those of us who try to create such support groups - local, online or otherwise - to take the responsibility seriously and not let it sink to high-fiving cliques - no different than the schools, neihborhoods and uncaring churches that those desperate for help are trying to escape from.

Wonder if the woman in question ever happened to come here looking for help...

avjgirsijdhtjhs
05-30-12, 12:04 PM
Individuals' autonomy should be respected. That is, unless the individual violates someone else's rights. In that case, they give up their rights and should be made both incapable of ever violating anyone ever again, and to do whatever it takes to repay the debt(s) they've incurred to their victim(s), that is, to "make things right" with their victim(s).

Thomas Jefferson quote:

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."

The following red stuff is from this article (http://www.paulcooijmans.com/ethics/pacifist.html):

"Also, if Jack refrains from hitting back out of fear that John will hit again, he is giving in to terror, and this policy - refraining from a firm punishment out of fear that the criminal will commit new crimes after having been punished - effectively equates to letting the bad have their way with society. It means to hand society over to the bullies.

Finally, it must be understood that Jack's hitting back should ideally be dosed so that John can and will not hit again; John must be put out of action in one blow. Jack's response must not be "proportional", as current law sadly dictates, but supreme, leaving John no chance. John does not deserve a chance (to hit again) as he is the aggressor, the attacker, and the guilty, and one could even argue that it is unethical to leave the aggressor able to commit a new evil deed, to hit again, as that would only add more suffering and injustice to the world."

ginniebean
05-30-12, 12:42 PM
Some of that support for parents needs to bring home the truth that even with good will they end up abusing their children.

The continued skepticism about what we can do and the constant suspicion of malingering needs to be countered. People need to be told to look for a baseline of performance. It's there, it can be measured, and it would do away with another of emotional abuse.

avjgirsijdhtjhs
05-30-12, 05:24 PM
Individuals' autonomy should be respected. That is, unless the individual violates someone else's rights. In that case, they give up their rights and should be made both incapable of ever violating anyone ever again, and to do whatever it takes to repay the debt(s) they've incurred to their victim(s), that is, to "make things right" with their victim(s).

Thomas Jefferson quote:

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."

The following red stuff is from this article (http://www.paulcooijmans.com/ethics/pacifist.html):

"Also, if Jack refrains from hitting back out of fear that John will hit again, he is giving in to terror, and this policy - refraining from a firm punishment out of fear that the criminal will commit new crimes after having been punished - effectively equates to letting the bad have their way with society. It means to hand society over to the bullies.

Finally, it must be understood that Jack's hitting back should ideally be dosed so that John can and will not hit again; John must be put out of action in one blow. Jack's response must not be "proportional", as current law sadly dictates, but supreme, leaving John no chance. John does not deserve a chance (to hit again) as he is the aggressor, the attacker, and the guilty, and one could even argue that it is unethical to leave the aggressor able to commit a new evil deed, to hit again, as that would only add more suffering and injustice to the world."

I just now realized the possibility that some could mistake this post for me having the opinion that the mother should be allowed to get away with murder, which isn't what I think at all.

The mother has no right to govern the daughter and shouldn't have tried to make her take a bath in the first place. It's unfortunate how insanely ridiculously often people's rights are violated and how accepted it is.

ginniebean
05-30-12, 09:32 PM
What bothers me most is this being called a 'tragic accident' it's not an accident. I also don't think it's fair to speculate that the mother also has adhd. People with out disabilities abuse people with disabilities with alarming frequency.

Fortune
05-30-12, 09:48 PM
What I find sad is whenever a parent murders a disabled child, people start fussing about how the parents need support and the parents have all the difficulties.

I think that it's pretty important to send the message that children are not disposable, not someone you murder if you find them inconvenient or stressful.

As Ginniebean says, this was no accident. This was murder. It might not have been premeditated, but it was still murder. ADHD or depression or whatever is not an excuse to kill another human being, and the immediate leap to find excuses for the murderer in these situations is something I personally find quite disturbing.

Lunacie
05-30-12, 09:53 PM
I just now realized the possibility that some could mistake this post for me having the opinion that the mother should be allowed to get away with murder, which isn't what I think at all.

The mother has no right to govern the daughter and shouldn't have tried to make her take a bath in the first place. It's unfortunate how insanely ridiculously often people's rights are violated and how accepted it is.

Baths and sleeping and eating are part of responsible child care and yes, indeed,
a parent can govern a child into doing those things. I had to force my grand-
daughter to take a bath this evening, had to wash her hair for her. She would
not be welcome at camp tomorrow without a bath as she's on her period.

That can be exactly what it takes to manage basic child care for a child with
Autism or really severe ADHD (perhaps with some cormorbid issues).


What the mother should not have done was to sit on her child, putting her
hands around the child's neck, or a pillow over the child's face, for as long as
it took for the child to stop breathing. The mother clearly needed some help and
the father wasn't aware as he was off playing his games. :(

avjgirsijdhtjhs
05-30-12, 10:07 PM
yes, indeed,
a parent can govern a child into doing those things.

And it's wrong. The parent doesn't have the right to force the child to take a bath.

What the mother should not have done was to sit on her child, putting her
hands around the child's neck, or a pillow over the child's face, for as long as
it took for the child to stop breathing.

That, and try to force her to take a bath.

Blueranne
05-30-12, 10:11 PM
Soup, is your hang up on the word "force"?

Do you have kids?

What would you do if your kid refused to take a bath? just curious.

I AM NOT CONDONING ANYTHING just curious what you are getting at.

avjgirsijdhtjhs
05-30-12, 10:15 PM
Soup, is your hang up on the word "force"?

What do you mean? I'll search the article real quick. My head's losing power bigtime. I'm definitely down a few cylinders. I think I need to stick to the chit chat and fun + games sections for the rest of the night, and not reply to the other forums until tomorrow.

Using coercive tactics to get the child into taking a bath when they don't take a bath is wrong, if that helps you any.

Do you have kids?

No.

What would you do if your kid refused to take a bath? just curious.

I wouldn't try to make them take a bath in the first place.

what you are getting at.

People need to respect other people's rights.

I think I need to bow out for the night. I told Lunacie "I'll remember this next time I'm feeling as careless as I felt when I posted that." earlier today. I'll be back tomorrow though. Probably.

Lunacie
05-30-12, 10:22 PM
And it's wrong. The parent doesn't have the right to force the child to take a bath.



That, and try to force her to take a bath.

As a parent, it's our responsibility to force our child to take a bath, or take
needed meds, or handle other things that are needed for health.

Kids who already struggle with social issues can not go to school or camp
or play with kids down the street if they are filthy and stinky, and expect
other kids to want to be friends with them.

beltoller
05-30-12, 11:18 PM
I just now realized the possibility that some could mistake this post for me having the opinion that the mother should be allowed to get away with murder, which isn't what I think at all.

...

I don't think your post comes off that way, but mine, unfortunately, seems to after rereading. :o Not a good idea to post when overly tired. Amasing how statements read 180 degrees from what one actually intended.

beltoller
05-30-12, 11:32 PM
As far as a child goes; respect for their individual personhood, yes; respect for autonomy - in the politico/self-governance sense - no way. That just can't happen - for a myrid of reasons.

There is a difference between the two. I think maybe its personhood - the term you're shooting for, rather than autonomy. A child isn't capable of self-governance.

crystal8080
05-30-12, 11:46 PM
Such a terrible terrible story. Yes, support was needed. Maybe with the right support this could have been avoided.

And although I know this will probably turn into a **** slinging contest, but I agree that you cannot physically force someone to take a bath or take meds.

And before you ask I worked with a youth with many behavioural/mental issues, and if he did not want to have a shower we did not go out. Or he would lose other privileges. If he didn't want to take his meds he risked going back to the hospital, if he ran away he knew the cops would come for him. There are ways to handle this stuff without forcing his or her hand.

Sandy4957
05-31-12, 02:04 AM
Ginnie, I suspect the mother's attorney (who is a public defender according to the article) was trying to claim that the mother didn't intend to kill the child, and that the mother sat on her and covered her mouth to "quiet" her. That could take the case out of the "murder" realm and put it into the "manslaughter" realm, which would likely reduce the sentence.

As untenable as that defense may have been, it's probably all that the attorney had to work with (and it's likely, in my experience anyway, that that's what the mother told the attorney). I've never defended a homicide case like this, but I've defended women who did some pretty awful stuff to their own children, and it's not uncommon to hear some pretty major rationalizations like that. :(

I wonder if the mother realized that she could conceivably stop the kid from breathing just with her own weight on the kid's chest. :(

Pretty awful stuff...

Joker_Girl
06-02-12, 02:00 AM
If she was at such a bad place she should have asked for help. Ive been at bad places, i didnt ever want to hurt my kids, but i have been so depressed and at the verge of a nervous breakdown that i couldnt stop crying, throwing up, and have been suicidal. I attempted it once.

Here about 6 months ago, i visited that ugly place again. Our son was moved back in with us, wouldnt go to school or work, got in a wreck, drunk all the time, disrespectful, trashing the house. Alot of bad stuff happened. I was feeling dangerous and unsafe to be alone. My husband chose to go to cards that night and leave me alone. Another of my friends chose to go out drinking. So my other friend took me home. She said she saw the look in my eyes, dead and out to lunch. It scared her. I stayed there three days, slept on the couch, cried, did drugs (yes i know its wrong), and didnt eat anything, losing 10 lbs. I wanted to die, i didnt know what i wanted, but i wanted the pain to stop. If i had been left alone i would have likely tried to kill myself. I wasnt thinking right. But my friend saw it.

How come no one saw this mom was losing it and stepped in?

How come she didnt know she was losing it and reach out for help?

And i hate to say it, but sometimes, you have to darn near force kids to do stuff like eat, take a bath, brush their teeth, comb their hair, and not wear the same clothes all week. Im not saying hold them down and beat their *** (although ive beat some *** myself), but you have to make it where not doing what you want them to has such unpleasant consequences that they will learn to obey. I used to yell at the kids to clean their room and pick up their wash. They would throw all the dirty and clean clothes on the floor and walk on them. So we had a consequence. Both of them had three shirts, three pairs of jeans, three underwear, and three pairs of socks. Til they could earn the right to have a wardrobe. They lost their toys for the same kind of crap. I just put clothes/toys/whatever in a tote and put it in the garage. Our daughter refused to eat anything that was meat or a vegetable, choosing only easy mac and hot dogs. She lost the right to have any sweets. You have to make sure you have the upper hand without being mean. That is how they learn to be respectful (not that it worked well whatever i did!), pick up their clothes, eat their food, and listen when you tell them, "hey! running in the street is dangerous! There was a semi on the street! i guess you lose your ball if you cant keep it out of the street."

And i was a softie compared to a lot of people! I rarely smacked my kids butts. I screwed up one time and we had a mural in the front room and i decided we needed one in the kitchen. So i made one. I was like 4. I thought it was beautiful. I got my butt BEAT. With a hairbrush. Freaking HURTS.

Fortune
06-02-12, 02:10 AM
Such a terrible terrible story. Yes, support was needed. Maybe with the right support this could have been avoided.

I've looked into a lot of similar cases in the past. While people are quick to grant the "not enough support" rationalization, it is often simply not true. Tracy Latimer (http://www.chninternational.com/tracybod.htm) and her parents had tons of support, and Tracy's father had just turned down an offer to put Tracy in an even better facility than she was in at the time, and he murdered her anyway. Because sympathy always seems to go straight to the parents in these cases, the Canadian press characterized Robert Latimer as having committed a mercy killing because he lacked support, etc.

In short, you really don't know how much support this woman had, and such a reason doesn't begin to explain her actions in killing her own daughter.

Truth is, something similar could have happened with a neurotypical child (and has) and people are not quick to make excuses for them. If anything, people really hate parents who harm their own children. Except when the children are disabled, and then parents almost become suffering martyrs who ran out of options.

Fortune
06-02-12, 02:12 AM
I wonder if the mother realized that she could conceivably stop the kid from breathing just with her own weight on the kid's chest. :(

Pretty awful stuff...

Imagine what it must have been like for the child: Her own mother, someone who is supposed to care for her, protect her, and keep her safe, violently turning on her. She must have been terrified.

(I'm not calling you out on anything here, Sandy, just to be clear. I wanted to mention the child's perspective, because that practically never comes up when this kind of thing happens)

eclectic beagle
07-06-12, 11:06 PM
.....

Marspider
07-08-12, 09:00 AM
Like Fortune, I too am concerned about the not enough support rationalisation. Committing murder is difficult for most people and taking that step is quite drastic. Mental issues are not an excuse for murder especially in this case. It's one thing to lash out and hit too hard, and another thing to deliberately strangle them. Strangulation is more deliberate. I feel this is adding to the stigma of mental health. With cases like these, people continue believing that all people with mental disorders are unstable and could flip out at any time. Even most people with schizophrenia (the really media unfriendly one) are not violent and are more likely to have people be violent towards them than be violent.
And then all murders are then rationalised away as that person had a mental problem, that's why they killed someone.

I've looked into a lot of similar cases in the past. While people are quick to grant the "not enough support" rationalization, it is often simply not true. Tracy Latimer (http://www.chninternational.com/tracybod.htm) and her parents had tons of support, and Tracy's father had just turned down an offer to put Tracy in an even better facility than she was in at the time, and he murdered her anyway. Because sympathy always seems to go straight to the parents in these cases, the Canadian press characterized Robert Latimer as having committed a mercy killing because he lacked support, etc.

In short, you really don't know how much support this woman had, and such a reason doesn't begin to explain her actions in killing her own daughter.

Truth is, something similar could have happened with a neurotypical child (and has) and people are not quick to make excuses for them. If anything, people really hate parents who harm their own children. Except when the children are disabled, and then parents almost become suffering martyrs who ran out of options.

Fuzzy12
07-08-12, 11:52 AM
there are no excuses for killing a child but there might be reasons. It's the reasons that have to be looked at to prevent these killings. Anyway the mother has got the rest of her life to live in this hell she has created for herself. I feel sorry for everyone involved. Especially the dead girl.

Fortune
07-08-12, 04:15 PM
I suspect one of the major reasons that it happens is because coverage of such murders is often about establishing sympathy and excuses for the parents - sympathy and excuses that a lot of people are quick to not only accept, but repeat about those cases and any further cases that come up.

After Tracy Latimer's father was in the news for murdering her, and characterized as having committed a "mercy killing" despite being in direct contradiction to all of the facts about Tracy Latimer's life, such murders have increased in Canada while homicide statistics in general have gone down.

I don't feel sorry for the mother at all. No compassion, no sympathy. I can't understand why anyone would.

Also, this article on Psychology Today about something called "a wolf pack mentality" toward disabled people (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/disturbed/201206/killing-the-disabled).

Fuzzy12
07-08-12, 04:42 PM
I suspect one of the major reasons that it happens is because coverage of such murders is often about establishing sympathy and excuses for the parents - sympathy and excuses that a lot of people are quick to not only accept, but repeat about those cases and any further cases that come up.

After Tracy Latimer's father was in the news for murdering her, and characterized as having committed a "mercy killing" despite being in direct contradiction to all of the facts about Tracy Latimer's life, such murders have increased in Canada while homicide statistics in general have gone down.

I don't feel sorry for the mother at all. No compassion, no sympathy. I can't understand why anyone would.

Also, this article on Psychology Today about something called "a wolf pack mentality" toward disabled people (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/disturbed/201206/killing-the-disabled).

I don't think that not publizising these kinds of stories wouldn't bring the murder rate down (though it would help if the media could be more objective and less sensationalist). There are crimes for which there is very little public sympathy and those crimes haven't really reduced in number either. What does seem to prevent crimes and reduce the murder rate is support and understanding.

I feel sorry for the mother because I can empathize with her. I don't know exactly what she must be feeling and thinking but I can't imagine that she is in a very happy place right now. It seems that she hasn't been in a happy place for a long time.

She knows she killed her daughter. She knows that because of her someone is not alive anymore. That's not something that is easy to live with. Not only does she have to deal with the consequences of her actions, but more importantly she has to deal with the loss of her daughter and that she is responsible for this loss.

Of course, this is all just conjecture. I don't know what she is thinking and feeling. Most of us were brought up to believe that taking another human's life is wrong. Most people don't kill easily and when it happens in an outburst of emotion rather than being premeditated, I think that most people regret it or at least feel very strongly about it. Guilt is a horrible emotion. It can drive you insane.

I don't condone what she did or any murder for that matter. I'm not talking about blame or responsibility but just emotions. I don't like the idea of anyone hurting. I feel for the victims but I feel for the perpetrators too.

Fortune
07-08-12, 05:21 PM
I don't think that not publizising these kinds of stories wouldn't bring the murder rate down (though it would help if the media could be more objective and less sensationalist). There are crimes for which there is very little public sympathy and those crimes haven't really reduced in number either. What does seem to prevent crimes and reduce the murder rate is support and understanding.

How did you get from "publicizing this one story as a mercy killing preceded an overall increase in caretakers murdering the disabled people they were responsible for" to "not publicizing these stories would bring the murder rate down?"

It has nothing to do with publicizing them. It has everything to do with how they're presented. The stories offer excuses for caretakers, many of which tend to have nothing at all to do with reality.

Here is a blog post that discusses the specific situation I posted about (http://www.phen.ab.ca/materials/het/het12-01c.asp). As I stated, while the overall homicide rate in Canada declined, the murder of disabled children increased after the Tracy Latimer story was presented in a particular way - that is, to promote sympathy for her father's decision to commit premeditated murder. This is in direct contradiction to your statement that other crimes haven't really reduced in number. I was not arguing from feeling or emotion, but rather from facts I have studied because this particular topic is fairly important to me.


Researchers on violence have widely accepted the notion that cultural attitudes and beliefs are powerful influences on the frequency and nature of violence (e.g., Belsky, 1980; Sobsey, 1994; Petersilia, Foote, & Crowell, 2001). The effects of public opinion and expert statements that altruistic filicides are sometimes justified would be expected to have the greatest effect on parents in most similar circumstances.



It could be expected to influence homicides of children with disabilities more than other children, filicides more than other homicides, fathers more than mothers, and Canadians more than Americans. If widespread public approval for altruistic filicide does produce negative consequences for children in Canada, we might expect to see four trends since 1994 when the first Latimer trial occurred: (1) the occurrence of one or more "copycat homicides," (2) an increase in filicides relative to the national homicide rate, (3) an increase in filicides by fathers relative to filicides by mothers, and (4) these effects occurring in Canada but not in the United States. All four have occurred since Latimer was killed in 1993 and massive publicity was given to the case in 1994.


Three days after the first Latimer trial, Gloria Christianson alerted Ontario Social Services that her friend Cathy Wilkieson was distraught and talking about killing her 16-year-old son. Ryan Wilkieson also had multiple disabilities, though less severe than Tracy Latimer's. According to Christianson, the media coverage of the case had a profound effect on this depressed mother. Less than two weeks later, Cathy Wilkieson killed her son and herself in their car with carbon monoxide (Sobsey, 1995).


Although the Canadian homicide rate in general has declined to its lowest level in 30 years, there has been significant increase in filicides (Fedorowycz, 2000) that coincide with the positive publicity for justifying filicides provided by the Latimer trial. Between 1994 and 1998, the number of children under the age of 12 murdered by their parents increased by 45% to 7.1% of all homicides in Canada (compared to 4.9% for 1974-1983).



This sharp increase followed a decreasing trend from 1974 through 1993. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police report provides similar but slightly different data. They report the number of Canadian children killed by parents or guardians for each year from 1990 to 1998. From 1990 to 1993, the average number was 31.75 per year (range: 33-37). From 1994 to 1998, the average number jumped to 49.0 (range: 45 to 62/ year).



This represents an increase in filicides of 54.3% during a time when the overall homicide rate in Canada dropped 14.5%. If we expected the murders of children by their parents to drop along with the general homicide rate rather than stay at the 1990-1993 rate, the effective increase would be more than 69%. This translates to between 18 and 22 more murdered children each year between 1994 and 1998.I feel sorry for the mother because I can empathize with her. I don't know exactly what she must be feeling and thinking but I can't imagine that she is in a very happy place right now. It seems that she hasn't been in a happy place for a long time.

She knows she killed her daughter. She knows that because of her someone is not alive anymore. That's not something that is easy to live with. Not only does she have to deal with the consequences of her actions, but more importantly she has to deal with the loss of her daughter and that she is responsible for this loss.She paid her money and took her chances, as a friend of mine likes to say. She could have made a very easy choice and not murdered her daughter over a frakking bath.

Of course, this is all just conjecture. I don't know what she is thinking and feeling. Most of us were brought up to believe that taking another human's life is wrong. Most people don't kill easily and when it happens in an outburst of emotion rather than being premeditated, I think that most people regret it or at least feel very strongly about it. Guilt is a horrible emotion. It can drive you insane. Then that's guilt she'll have to live with, assuming she actually feels guilty.

I don't condone what she did or any murder for that matter. I'm not talking about blame or responsibility but just emotions. I don't like the idea of anyone hurting. I feel for the victims but I feel for the perpetrators too.I don't like the idea of anyone hurting, either, but I find it rather disturbing to go on at length how terrible a murderer must feel. When I think of the girl's murder, I think of the people who actually knew her and cared about her and how they are dealing with their loss, and I think about what it was possibly like for the girl to have her own mother smothering her to death. I don't care enough about the person who is responsible for her death to spare any sympathy.

It's like a script almost. If a mother murders her presumed healthy and neurotypical children - or in some cases, inadvertently causes their deaths - people have no sympathy and want her blood. If a mother murders her disabled children, people rush to make excuses for her, to find ways to mitigate her responsibility for the crime, and talk about how awful things must be for her. Actually, the same is true of fathers who kill.

qanda
07-08-12, 11:12 PM
Many kids with bipolar refuse to takes baths, brush teeth, etc. I wonder if this girl had a mood disorder. When my daughter felt really bad emotionally I did not make her take a bath. There's always swimming, or baby wipes, spray to freshen the hair. A 2 hour tantrum over a bath is not a battle I am willing to fight. I really wonder if there was more than Adhd. So sad for this little girl that she did not have a stable mom.

Fuzzy12
07-16-12, 07:02 AM
How did you get from "publicizing this one story as a mercy killing preceded an overall increase in caretakers murdering the disabled people they were responsible for" to "not publicizing these stories would bring the murder rate down?"

It has nothing to do with publicizing them. It has everything to do with how they're presented. The stories offer excuses for caretakers, many of which tend to have nothing at all to do with reality. .

Apologies, I misunderstood you. I haven't heard of the Tracy Latimer story and I thought we were discussing parents murdering their children and crime in general.

I agree that the media has a huge effect on the consequences of stories like that. People are easily influenced. It's horrible that the murder rate of disabled children has increased. :(


She paid her money and took her chances, as a friend of mine likes to say. She could have made a very easy choice and not murdered her daughter over a frakking bath.

Then that's guilt she'll have to live with, assuming she actually feels guilty.


Did she have a choice? I guess, she did to the same extent that all of us have a choice about everything we do. But was it a conscious, well thought out choice? It doesn't sound like that. I can relate because there are things that I know I am supposed to do (or not do) but I can't help myself. Thankfully, the consequences of my impulsive actions aren't that dire but I think that the difference lies in the degree of self control that we have rather than her being fundamentally different or evil.

Again, I can't be sure but I suspect if the mother had a choice now she would not choose to kill her child.


I don't like the idea of anyone hurting, either, but I find it rather disturbing to go on at length how terrible a murderer must feel. When I think of the girl's murder, I think of the people who actually knew her and cared about her and how they are dealing with their loss, and I think about what it was possibly like for the girl to have her own mother smothering her to death. I don't care enough about the person who is responsible for her death to spare any sympathy.


I don't think that empathising with the murderer detracts from feeling sympathy for the victim. The injury to the victim is always constant and it is unrelated to the motivation, reason or emotion behind the crime. Whatever judgement is pronounced on the mother, it won't bring the little girl back. Her loss is absolute. That her mother is to blame is absolute as well.

But this isn't just about blame. The only thing that society can do at this stage really is to investigate why the murder happened and try to ensure that it won't happen again. For that it's important to understand what might have motivated her mother to take such a drastic step and what could have been done to avoid it.

I'm not making excuses for what her mother did but still, I feel for her. I feel for the little girl and everyone who cared for her as well but that includes her mother. I would have felt the same if her child hadn't been disabled.

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 07:12 AM
As a parent, it's our responsibility to force our child to take a bath, or take
needed meds, or handle other things that are needed for health.

Kids who already struggle with social issues can not go to school or camp
or play with kids down the street if they are filthy and stinky, and expect
other kids to want to be friends with them.

You should never "force" any child to take medication.

Adults are far too quick to give their children medication these days without actually being fully aware of what they are actually giving them.

Adults don't always know best.

Fuzzy12
07-16-12, 07:18 AM
You should never "force" any child to take medication.

Adults are far too quick to give their children medication these days without actually being fully aware of what they are actually giving them.

Adults don't always know best.

No, adults don't always know best. No one does. We can all just try to inform ourselves as much as possible, make decisions based on the information we have and trust that they are in the best interest of the child.

If a child's life or long-term welfare depended on it, then I think you can and should force a child to take medication especially if the child isn't capable yet of understanding the consequences of not taking medication. Similarly, if parents are (knowingly or unknowingly) mistreating their children, the state should interfere if it's in the best interest of the child.

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 07:34 AM
No, adults don't always know best. No one does. We can all just try to inform ourselves as much as possible, make decisions based on the information we have and trust that they are in the best interest of the child.

If a child's life or long-term welfare depended on it, then I think you can and should force a child to take medication especially if the child isn't capable yet of understanding the consequences of not taking medication. Similarly, if parents are (knowingly or unknowingly) mistreating their children, the state should interfere if it's in the best interest of the child.

Forced medication is mistreatment of the child.

You know.... there was once a time when giving herion to your child was considered safe and normal.

When adults give their children medication, they do so by instruction of their GP. But what does their GP truly know? All they're doing is taking instructions from somebody else, who is taking instructions from somebody else.... and so on.

Adults don't really know themselves what they are putting into their childs body. They just believe that its safe, because somebody else told them it was safe, because they believe its safe because they've been told to believe that its safe..... and so the cycle goes on.

A child will know how their mind and body is reacting to a drug far better than somebody who isn't them!

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 07:40 AM
Medications are supposed to "help" people. If a child doesn't want to take a certain medication, then its the adults responsibility to find out why they don't want to take it, instead of "forcing" them to take it.

If the medication was of benefit to the child, then the child would have no problem taking it.

Fuzzy12
07-16-12, 07:43 AM
Forced medication is mistreatment of the child.

You know.... there was once a time when giving herion to your child was considered safe and normal.

When adults give their children medication, they do so by instruction of their GP. But what does their GP truly know? All they're doing is taking instructions from somebody else, who is taking instructions from somebody else.... and so on.

Adults don't really know themselves what they are putting into their childs body. They just believe that its safe, because somebody else told them it was safe, because they believe its safe because they've been told to believe that its safe..... and so the cycle goes on.

A child will know how their mind and body is reacting to a drug far better than somebody who isn't them!

I think most adults are aware of the fact that every medication has side effects. I don't think they give their kids meds because they think they are completely safe or without consequences. I think they make the decision to medicate based on a trade-off between possible risks/side effects and treatment benefits.

I don't think that knowledge is absolute but in the absence of absolute knowledge all you can really do is to inform yourself as much as possible (as GPs are supposed to do) and hope that it's enough to make the right decisions.

That's not to say that parents (or doctors) shouldn't listen to their child or consider their concerns but once they have, it's up to the parents (or a doctor, or the state) to make the final decision.

In that chain of people you mentioned (child -> parent -> GP -> etc.) the child is usually the worst informed. It's a different matter if the parents or GP are ignorant but children (especially very young ones) usually just don't have the capacity, knowledge or maturity required to make long term, trade-off decisions. The child might refuse meds if they taste or look bad. There is a reason why children are dependent on their care takers.

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 07:46 AM
I think most adults are aware of the fact that every medication has side effects. I don't think they give their kids meds because they think they are completely safe or without consequences. I think they make the decision to medicate based on a trade-off between possible risks/side effects and treatment benefits.

I don't think that knowledge is absolute but in the absence of absolute knowledge all you can really do is to inform yourself as much as possible (as GPs are supposed to do) and hope that it's enough to make the right decisions.

That's not to say that parents (or doctors) shouldn't listen to their child or consider their concerns but once they have, it's up to the parents (or a doctor, or the state) to make the final decision.

In that chain of people you mentioned (child -> parent -> GP -> etc.) the child is usually the worst informed. It's a different matter if the parents or GP are ignorant but children (especially very young ones) usually just don't have the capacity, knowledge or maturity required to make long term, trade-off decisions. The child might refuse meds if they taste or look bad. There is a reason why children are dependent on their care takers.

What gives another person the right to "risk" a life that doesn't belong to them?

Adults treat their children like "possessions". Children are not possessions, they are human beings.

If they feel like they are under threat from taking a certain drug, then they should not be made to take it.

Its their life that you're toying with.

Fuzzy12
07-16-12, 07:58 AM
What gives another person the right to "risk" a life that doesn't belong to them?

Adults treat their children like "possessions". Children are not possessions, they are human beings.

If they feel like they are under threat from taking a certain drug, then they should not be made to take it.

Its their life that you're toying with.

Yes, exactly. It's their life that you are toying with. By giving in to their unreasonable demands of not wanting to take medication you are possibly risking their life or at least their health.

If a child has reason to believe that it is under threat from a certain drug, then yes of course, that has to be seriously considered. But usually children neither have the information nor the maturity to make the best long term decision.

Children are children. They are not adults. They think differently, they have different priorities and much like ADHDers, they aren't good at making long-term, balanced decisions. A lot of adults aren't great at it either but the likelihood of an adult making better decisions is just higher.

Children are not possessions but they are individual human beings that are in the care of their parents (or other care takers), whose responsibility it is to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child till the child is capable of making its own decisions (and carrying the responsibility for their decisions and deal with the consequences).

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 08:04 AM
Yes, exactly. It's their life that you are toying with. By giving in to their unreasonable demands of not wanting to take medication you are possibly risking their life or at least their health.

If a child has reason to believe that it is under threat from a certain drug, then yes of course, that has to be seriously considered. But usually children neither have the information nor the maturity to make the best long term decision.

Children are children. They are not adults. They think differently, they have different priorities and much like ADHDers, they aren't good at making long-term, balanced decisions. A lot of adults aren't great at it either but the likelihood of an adult making better decisions is just higher.

Children are not possessions but they are individual human beings that are in the care of their parents (or other care takers), whose responsibility it is to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child till the child is capable of making its own decisions (and carrying the responsibility for their decisions and deal with the consequences).

But is it always in the best interests of the child? Or could it be put down to adults being selfish and wanting things a little easier for themselves?

A lot of adults don't care how the medication effects their child on the inside, as long as it gives them a break.

If you ask most adults that give their children these medications how they work biologically in the mind and body, they wouldn't be able to give you an answer, because they honestly don't know.

Fuzzy12
07-16-12, 08:11 AM
But is it always in the best interests of the child? Or could it be put down to adults being selfish and wanting things a little easier for themselves?

A lot of adults don't care how the medication effects their child on the inside, as long as it gives them a break.

If you ask most adults that give their children these medications how they work biologically in the mind and body, they wouldn't be able to give you an answer, because they honestly don't know.

Well, that's the big question. I don't have any sources to prove this but I can't imagine that the majority of parents feeds their kids medication just to keep them quiet. I don't think it's an easy decision and I would like to think that parents really have their children's best interests in mind.

Ideally, they would inform themselves on how the meds work, but if they aren't capable of that, the next best stop is the expert, ie. GP or psychiatrist in conjunction with the child's opinion. I still think that in this matter you can't just go by the child's opinion.

sarahsweets
07-16-12, 08:18 AM
You should never "force" any child to take medication.

Adults are far too quick to give their children medication these days without actually being fully aware of what they are actually giving them.

Adults don't always know best.

If by force you mean holding a kids down and shoving it in their mouth then I would say youre right. However when children are very young and diagnosed it can be difficult to get them to take medication because they dont have the power to completely understand the benefits it may bring. A child may here the word adhd and associate it with their problems but not understand the devestation that can occur with untreated adhd. They dont understand executive function or impulsiveness..they dont always understand that a hot stove will burn them they just so badly want to touch the dials on it. If a childs welfare depends on proper treatment then it is wrong not to offer medication and in a non physical violent way force them or coerce them to take it. If they are a danger to themselves it is a parents duty to medicate if it helps. When they get older is another story.

My son was on medication for 12 years . At the age of 15, with full understanding of his diorder he said he didnt want to take it. He said he didnt like the way it made him feel. He acknowledges the benefits but refuses to take it. We chat about it often. I dont hound him about it I just have an open conversation with him. I suspect when hes older he will reconsider but part of growing up means letting him decide things for himself.

RE: murder, there is no excuse under any circumstances.

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 08:18 AM
Well, that's the big question. I don't have any sources to prove this but I can't imagine that the majority of parents feeds their kids medication just to keep them quiet. I don't think it's an easy decision and I would like to think that parents really have their children's best interests in mind.

Ideally, they would inform themselves on how the meds work, but if they aren't capable of that, the next best stop is the expert, ie. GP or psychiatrist in conjunction with the child's opinion. I still think that in this matter you can't just go by the child's opinion.

There are no "experts". An "expert" is a label that people give to themselves when they wan't to inforce their own opinions onto others.

"Hey, listen to what I say, i'm an expert".

An "experts" opinion is no more valid than a childs opinion.

As I stated earlier, everybody knows their body better than anybody else, that encludes people with the title "expert".

People have natural defence mechanisms. If I child feels that a certain substance entering thier body is not good for their long term health, their defence mechanism kicks in and rebels against taking that substance.

So what may appear as a "child with little knowledge" on the surface. It's actually their own bodies defence mechanism warning you that the substance is not beneficial to their long term health.

Fraser_0762
07-16-12, 08:23 AM
If by force you mean holding a kids down and shoving it in their mouth then I would say youre right. However when children are very young and diagnosed it can be difficult to get them to take medication because they dont have the power to completely understand the benefits it may bring. A child may here the word adhd and associate it with their problems but not understand the devestation that can occur with untreated adhd. They dont understand executive function or impulsiveness..they dont always understand that a hot stove will burn them they just so badly want to touch the dials on it. If a childs welfare depends on proper treatment then it is wrong not to offer medication and in a non physical violent way force them or coerce them to take it. If they are a danger to themselves it is a parents duty to medicate if it helps. When they get older is another story.

My son was on medication for 12 years . At the age of 15, with full understanding of his diorder he said he didnt want to take it. He said he didnt like the way it made him feel. He acknowledges the benefits but refuses to take it. We chat about it often. I dont hound him about it I just have an open conversation with him. I suspect when hes older he will reconsider but part of growing up means letting him decide things for himself.

RE: murder, there is no excuse under any circumstances.

I'm 21 and I don't understand executive function or impulsiveness either.

When I see somebody who stands out from the crowd, I don't see them as "broken" or "disordered". I see them exactly for "who they are".

People are the way they are supposed to be. Nobody is broken or disordered. You are just "you".

Fuzzy12
07-16-12, 08:57 AM
There are no "experts". An "expert" is a label that people give to themselves when they wan't to inforce their own opinions onto others.

"Hey, listen to what I say, i'm an expert".

An "experts" opinion is no more valid than a childs opinion.

As I stated earlier, everybody knows their body better than anybody else, that encludes people with the title "expert".

People have natural defence mechanisms. If I child feels that a certain substance entering thier body is not good for their long term health, their defence mechanism kicks in and rebels against taking that substance.

So what may appear as a "child with little knowledge" on the surface. It's actually their own bodies defence mechanism warning you that the substance is not beneficial to their long term health.

There are people that know more than others about a particular subject. If I need to get my boiler at home fixed, I'd rather call a plumber than a vet.

People have natural defense mechanisms but our instincts aren't always reliable, especially if you've got ADHD. Right now my body is telling me that I need to starve myself at any cost. It's been saying that for most of my life. When I was younger I thought that starving myself was a legitimate and healthy way to lose weight. Now I know better but my instincts haven't caught up. If I continue starving myself, at some point I might have to be force fed (if anyone notices) and I'm pretty sure that even then my body will tell me to fight it even if my life depended on it. Right now, I prefer that when (and if) that time comes that I will be force fed rather than left to die but I don't trust my body to cooperate.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should ignore your child's concerns, wishes and opinions. On the contrary. You have to take them into consideration but parents also have to know that sometimes their children can be wrong and that they tend to be more impulsive and aren't sufficiently equipped to make important long term decisions.

Like Sarah said, once the child is old and mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions then parents have to respect their wishes.

I'm 21 and I don't understand executive function or impulsiveness either.

When I see somebody who stands out from the crowd, I don't see them as "broken" or "disordered". I see them exactly for "who they are".

People are the way they are supposed to be. Nobody is broken or disordered. You are just "you".

People are different. I feel different and I feel broken and disordered. Not just in comparison with others (though that drives home the point even more). Even if I lived on my own on a deserted island, I still wouldn't be happy. Maybe this is the way I was intended to be but I don't want to be this way. I don't want to be me, whatever me is.

I agree that you shouldn't judge or stereo type people but if you can help them to be more functional and happier in the long term, then it isn't wrong to try.

Very few kids like to brush their teeth but as a parent does that mean you should allow that since they know best and risk them losing their teeth at an early age? Similarly, I don't think that kids necessarily understand the implications and consequences of living with untreated ADHD. They don't know yet how it can impact your life and how unhappy and miserable that impact can make you. I'd want to protect my child from that, even if it means going against their immediate wishes.

Lunacie
07-16-12, 09:20 AM
Many kids with bipolar refuse to takes baths, brush teeth, etc. I wonder if this girl had a mood disorder. When my daughter felt really bad emotionally I did not make her take a bath. There's always swimming, or baby wipes, spray to freshen the hair. A 2 hour tantrum over a bath is not a battle I am willing to fight. I really wonder if there was more than Adhd. So sad for this little girl that she did not have a stable mom.

Your daughter sounds different than my granddaughter. She would also
refuse to be wiped down or to have her hair sprayed and then brushed.
And since she would ALWAYS refuse to bathe and wash her hair, there
were times when it was necessary to make her do it against her wishes.

We don't, enjoy the battle, but we don't punish her for it like the mom
in this story did.


What gives another person the right to "risk" a life that doesn't belong to them?

Adults treat their children like "possessions". Children are not possessions, they are human beings.

If they feel like they are under threat from taking a certain drug, then they should not be made to take it.

Its their life that you're toying with.

You have to weigh the risks of giving the child medication they may not
want to take versus what can happen if they don't take the medication.

When my oldest granddaughter got strep throat there was no question
that she would take an antibiotic, because the risks of not treating the
infection was just too high. When my youngest granddaughter needed to
have cavities drilled and filled, that's what we had to do. We arranged for
sedation to reduce the trauma for her, but the treatment was unavoidable
as the risks of not treating were too great.

Not every kiddo with ADHD is more at risk by their behavior than the risk
of side effects from medication ... but some are. This is a decision that
parents need to make with the doctor, taking into account the feelings of
the child. Kids may not want to do something like taking meds or taking a
bath, but we ALL have to do things we don't want to do. We can try to
reduce the trauma, but some things just need to be done.