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post #61 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsmama View Post
Umm...I think this crosses the line into the "big brother" mentality. I leave my kids buckled in their carseats in my driveway and leave all of the doors open so that they can finish sleeping after falling asleep on the way home from somewhere. The alarm thing would just be creepy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsmama View Post
Just when I think it's safe to post without being judged....... Don't want to get OT, so........I won't.
Truth: I kinda "judged" you. But in my defence, I just read this thread and knowing that there's people like that guy in the world, I wouldn't leave my kid in the car unattended. But then I thought about it. I don't know you. You could live in a home with a royal gate with guards at the front for all I know. So, judgement retracted. I'm sure you're a good mom. I'm sorry.
post #62 of 145
I don't think 'there but for the grace of God go I' and legal accountability are incompatible. I feel sorry for the parent but a LOT more sorry for the child who dies this way. It's the job of prosecutors to defend the rights of every member of society and I think that depending on the details of the situation, legal action can be society's way of saying 'even though he was a child, this person was a full member of society whose loss was a loss to us all, not just you personally as a parent, and you are accountable to us.' I think letting the loss of small children be treated as a purely private matter sets a dangerous precedent. Namely that it is up to the parents' discretion how hard they will work at keeping their kids alive, in a culture where there's not public accountability for the results. And from there how far is it to a situation where parents have discretion to voluntarily kill their children? There are proposals out there to the effect that parents of sick or SN children have a four week grace period after birth when they can opt to have the child euthanized. They already have a similar situation in the Netherlands, and there are credible reports of passive euthanasia (e.g. not fixing bowel obstructions in Down syndrome newborns) in the US.

Holding parents publicly accountable for their children is a major advance in civilization, over older civilizations where the father had the power of life and death and I don't want to see it reversed, even a little.

That doesn't mean I can't say 'there but for the grace of God', just as I do when I hear about other serious mistakes people make.
post #63 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
There are proposals out there to the effect that parents of sick or SN children have a four week grace period after birth when they can opt to have the child euthanized. They already have a similar situation in the Netherlands, and there are credible reports of passive euthanasia (e.g. not fixing bowel obstructions in Down syndrome newborns) in the US.
Holy. I've not heard of this before. What a can of worms (to put it mildly). Witholding medical treatment/DNR orders are very different than euthanasia...
post #64 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Which is the whole point of a trial by a jury of one's peers, surely?
And when your IQ is 70ish, is a jury of your peers composed of people with an IQ that is 70ish? Yes. Is that what you get? NO. When you're Post Partum, or mentally ill, or sleep deprived, is a jury of your peers composed of people with the same problem? Yes. Is that what you get? No.


I agree that there are instances where people should be punished, but there are also instances where compassion is called for. On the surface my first reaction is to think Oh my god, what is wrong with those people? But sometimes only the things that make them look the worst make the newspapers.

As someone who suffered from a sleep disorder and pretty much sleepwalked through several years before it was discovered, I know how easily you can be misjudged for something you can't control, even when you are trying to get help. Doctors told me I was exaggerating my symptoms and nothing was wrong with me. Or they gave me drugs that made me worse. It was dangerous for me to drive, or to be alone caring for a child, and nearly impossible to learn anything or try to work with any efficiency. I fell asleep at inopportune moments, and had trouble thinking clearly not because I was stupid, or lazy, or a bad mother, but because I was too exhausted for my brain to function properly for years on end. I'm just lucky I had help caring for my ds and nothing tragic happened to us, or you would all be judging me.

For many of these people, the loss of their child is the worst punishment of all and they really don't care what you do to them.
post #65 of 145
This thread is emblematic of everything I love and hate about MDC. Judgemental self-righteousness followed by articulate, compassionate replies.

GuildJenn: Amazing post, and I am so sorry for your loss.
post #66 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsmama View Post
Just when I think it's safe to post without being judged....... Don't want to get OT, so........I won't.
I'm not judging you -- I'm just trying to get some more information about your situation.

I have no idea where you live or what your house/driveway configuration are. I just know that where I live, that would be patently unsafe. It can get to 100+ degrees outside in the shade in the breeze here. . .so even with the doors open it could be dangerous. Plus, kidnapping is a very real threat and unless I was right there outside with them, I would not think it's safe.

But I have no idea where you live. I just figured most people have homes where they can't be indoors while watching their children sleeping in the driveway. But one poster already said she has such a configuration, so it's all good.

No judgment, just curiosity. Your post didn't say, but can I assume that you're against the criminalization of parents whose children die in a hot car?
post #67 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitymama View Post
About 10 years ago, my 19 year-old cousin was babysitting my other cousin, who was 2 at the time (they were not sisters, just cousins). She and her husband put her down for a nap in their bedroom at the back of the house and then my cousin went to run to the store in her truck. She backed out of the driveway and suddenly heard a thud. My 2yo cousin had managed to unlatch the lock in their room and go out the side screen porch and was playing under the truck. It killed her almost instantly.

My cousin had to be taken to the police station and arrested and questioned while they waited for my aunt to arrive and be told what had happened. My cousin was on suicide watch because she kept threatening to kill herself and said she couldn't live with herself. My aunt refused to press charges and I guess the police decided to let it go. She might've received probation, I don't know as I wasn't really told what exactly came of it, but she didn't serve any jail time. But her life was almost destroyed by that incident as she beat herself up every single day and stopped attending family functions because she couldn't look my aunt in the eye. She thought we all looked at her as a murderer. She ended up getting divorced because she just completely changed as a person and her self-worth went through the floor. She also has never had children and vows she never will as it wouldn't be fair to our aunt for her to have a child when she took one of hers away.

I feel really, really sorry for my cousin and have seen how much she has punished herself. I doubt she'd be alive right now if she'd had to serve prison time for the accident as I'm pretty sure she would've committed suicide.

I'm not saying that no one should ever receive a jail sentence for neglect or manslaughter in these situations, but it shouldn't be automatic either. As with everything, each case varies and it depends on the circumstances and individiaul situations. I would'nt like to see a blanket law that doesn't account for these circumstances.

You see, it is incidents like this that hack me off to no end at the justice system. This was CLEARLY a total accident. They put the child to bed, and had no idea she could unlatch the window. This was not neglect.

I have a real problem with people being arrested for true accidents. And really, you can check mirrors all you want, but there are blind spots when you are driving and especially backing a vehicle out.

Your cousin should never have been arrested and I am just livid that she was. I am so sad for her and the rest of your family.
post #68 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
Truth: I kinda "judged" you. But in my defence, I just read this thread and knowing that there's people like that guy in the world, I wouldn't leave my kid in the car unattended. But then I thought about it. I don't know you. You could live in a home with a royal gate with guards at the front for all I know. So, judgement retracted. I'm sure you're a good mom. I'm sorry.
Wow, a royal gate with guards......that would be awesome! Don't have it, but I do live in a really small town in Vermont and feel totally safe where I live. I'm sure it isn't good enough for everyone on this board, but it is good enough for me. I AM a fantastic mother! I make intelligent judgments when it comes to the outside temperature when letting them slumber away in their seats. If it's too hot/cold, they come in the house no matter what. Apology accepted. I love it when people step up.

Everyone forgets, but to what extremes.......I'm not the one to judge. I feel for those children and pets that get left in hot cars.
post #69 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
Truth: I kinda "judged" you. But in my defence, I just read this thread and knowing that there's people like that guy in the world, I wouldn't leave my kid in the car unattended. But then I thought about it. I don't know you. You could live in a home with a royal gate with guards at the front for all I know. So, judgement retracted. I'm sure you're a good mom. I'm sorry.
Yeah, that guy was IN THE KIDS BEDROOM, he didn't take them from a car.

That is why we share a room with our son...I am really paranoid about someone breaking in. But I certainly would not judge someone for not sharing a room with their child, or imply that they are putting them in harms way.

We all have different things that we worry about.
post #70 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitymama View Post
About 10 years ago, my 19 year-old cousin was babysitting my other cousin, who was 2 at the time (they were not sisters, just cousins). She and her husband put her down for a nap in their bedroom at the back of the house and then my cousin went to run to the store in her truck. She backed out of the driveway and suddenly heard a thud. My 2yo cousin had managed to unlatch the lock in their room and go out the side screen porch and was playing under the truck. It killed her almost instantly.

My cousin had to be taken to the police station and arrested and questioned while they waited for my aunt to arrive and be told what had happened. My cousin was on suicide watch because she kept threatening to kill herself and said she couldn't live with herself. My aunt refused to press charges and I guess the police decided to let it go. She might've received probation, I don't know as I wasn't really told what exactly came of it, but she didn't serve any jail time. But her life was almost destroyed by that incident as she beat herself up every single day and stopped attending family functions because she couldn't look my aunt in the eye. She thought we all looked at her as a murderer. She ended up getting divorced because she just completely changed as a person and her self-worth went through the floor. She also has never had children and vows she never will as it wouldn't be fair to our aunt for her to have a child when she took one of hers away.

I feel really, really sorry for my cousin and have seen how much she has punished herself. I doubt she'd be alive right now if she'd had to serve prison time for the accident as I'm pretty sure she would've committed suicide.

I'm not saying that no one should ever receive a jail sentence for neglect or manslaughter in these situations, but it shouldn't be automatic either. As with everything, each case varies and it depends on the circumstances and individiaul situations. I would'nt like to see a blanket law that doesn't account for these circumstances.
This just breaks my heart. That poor girl.
post #71 of 145
i don't think it's that far fetched that any one of you (or your parter) could forget your child in a car. any time i go out without all of my children, a fe minutes after i reach my destination and realize i only have two (or one) child with me, for just a second, my heart starts racing and my brain screams "someone is missing!" because it is so ingrained in me that my children are always with me.

for two years, every day, my husband's routine was exactly the same. get up, shower, drive 40 minutes, go to the gym, go to work. work all day. go home. if for some strange reason he had been supposed to take one of our kids somewhere on his way to work, it could have happened. a really harried morning, just grabbed our son and went. baby fell asleep in the car, dh goes back to his routine and forgets. now, i doubt it would happen. buti don't think it's outside the realm of possibility.

so, for the op, no. i think it should be investigated, but accidentally leaving your child in the car is so totally different than purposefully leaving a child in a car. i don't think a child should be left in a car purposefully for any amount of time until they can and should get out of the car on their own.
post #72 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhf View Post
i don't think it's that far fetched that any one of you (or your parter) could forget your child in a car.
Well, with a few-weeks-old baby (or even an older baby), I think I'd be seriously engorged if she wasn't with me.

Plus, when my babies are that small they tend to hate cars and want to be latched on all the time. We therefore avoid car-travel as much as possible, and when it's necessary, dh is usually driving so I can sit in back with my breast hanging out. So, I'm very much conscious of my babes the whole time we're traveling in the car.

But I can see how I might not be engorged if my breasts were already used to several hours of separation each day. In my case, if I worked, I'd probably be thinking so much about my baby I'd get fired for not concentrating on the job at hand. I might do something criminally negligent and endanger those around me, because of my thoughts being so focused on my little one.

Which would be just as bad.

Quote:
so, for the op, no. i think it should be investigated, but accidentally leaving your child in the car is so totally different than purposefully leaving a child in a car. i don't think a child should be left in a car purposefully for any amount of time until they can and should get out of the car on their own.
I think the purpose of the investigation is to be as sure as possible that the death was accidental and not premeditated. Of course, I believe in "innocent until proven guilty" -- so it seems kindest to assume most parents would never willfully harm or kill their children.

But, to uphold the rights of the dead child, district attorneys should remember that a few parents do murder their children, and they should be alert for any indication that the death might have been intentional.
post #73 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
I don't think 'there but for the grace of God go I' and legal accountability are incompatible. I feel sorry for the parent but a LOT more sorry for the child who dies this way. It's the job of prosecutors to defend the rights of every member of society and I think that depending on the details of the situation, legal action can be society's way of saying 'even though he was a child, this person was a full member of society whose loss was a loss to us all, not just you personally as a parent, and you are accountable to us.' I think letting the loss of small children be treated as a purely private matter sets a dangerous precedent. Namely that it is up to the parents' discretion how hard they will work at keeping their kids alive, in a culture where there's not public accountability for the results. And from there how far is it to a situation where parents have discretion to voluntarily kill their children? There are proposals out there to the effect that parents of sick or SN children have a four week grace period after birth when they can opt to have the child euthanized. They already have a similar situation in the Netherlands, and there are credible reports of passive euthanasia (e.g. not fixing bowel obstructions in Down syndrome newborns) in the US.

Holding parents publicly accountable for their children is a major advance in civilization, over older civilizations where the father had the power of life and death and I don't want to see it reversed, even a little.

That doesn't mean I can't say 'there but for the grace of God', just as I do when I hear about other serious mistakes people make.
GalateaD~ I really respect your opinions, but I think there are exceptions to every rule.

For instance, I don't think every death should have a criminal investigation, or a trial, or a punnishment. I'm speaking from experience here. My mother was killed by an innattentive driver three years ago. At first, I wanted her (the driver) jailed, punished, and criminalized as much as possible. BUT, after time, I realized the importance of forgiveness, and I worked *very hard* at putting myself in her shoes. I am sure, completely sure, that the guilt she lives with is punishment enough. No one is perfect. There are accidents. Just because my dear mother's life was lost, and she was taken from the children and grandchildren that loved her dearly, doesn't mean that this other grandmother should lose what she loves as well. An eye for and eye makes everyone blind, you know? The specifics of each case, or each tragedy, are very important, in my opinion.

(ETA): In the case of my mom, there was a criminal investigation. But because we as a family decided to treat it as an accident, the prosecutor took that tone as well. It was because of our feelings that she wasn't given a more severe punishment. In the end, I believe she was given community service and her license was suspended for a period of time. I recognize that deaths need to be investigated, and that there needs to be some consequence (usually) for a death, but I really think the type of death (accidental, neglectful, puposeful, etc.) and the circumstances of the accident need to be weighed.

And also, I do believe that parents of some newly-born SN kids should have the choice to euthanize. Again, I'm speaking from experience. I have two severely special needs children. Would I have euthanized them? No. But I know other parents, watching their newborns in the NICU, who saw that nothing could be done to save them. Nothing. And instead of having an painless, short way to stop their suffering, these parents had to end their child's suffering the only way legally available to them: starvation and liquid deprivation. I know of two parents who watched their newborn suffer without food or nourishment for 10 days before she died. Now tell me--how is that the outcome of a higher civilization? If we can choose to end the suffering of a pet who has nothing left but pain and death in its future, why can't we extend the same loving mercy to a baby?

I understand it's a slippery slope, and that nobody wants to touch this mess of ethics etc.. But I also wish we could understand the agony of the parents that watch their babies starve to death, and give them a merciful option. To me, our collective distain and hesitation to address the subject (as a society) is inhumane. Because we can't agree what's right, and what's fair, and get it down to specifics, parents and babies suffer horribly in these rare, horrible, tragic situations.

A little OT, but the talking in absolutes on this thread is getting to me. I've lost someone I loved very much in an accident. I've also experienced the pain of having severely handicapped children, and watched friends suffer the inevitable loss of a baby in a very gruesome way (starvation).

There is tremendous truth in the "walk a mile in someone else's shoes" proverb. You can't know until you've been there.
post #74 of 145
I also think the district attorney should show the same compassion to a day-care provider who committed a similar kind of oversight that resulted in the death of a child in her care, as should be shown when the parent was the one who made the error.

I wonder if some of the people criticizing others for being judgmental, might be just a wee bit judgmental if their own child died, and the death was caused by someone else and not them.

I agree that we're all human, we all make mistakes, and we're all deserving of compassion. I know I'd suffer intensely if I caused the death of a child, whether the child was my own or someone else's. At the same time, I believe that when a human being of any age dies, that loss is worthy of an investigation.

That doesn't mean everyone should be prosecuted, just that the death should be taken seriously.
post #75 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I wonder if some of the people criticizing others for being judgmental, might be just a wee bit judgmental if their own child died, and the death was caused by someone else and not them.
Ok, well that is a no-brainer. OF COURSE I would judge someone who killed my child....wouldn't anyone on the planet?
post #76 of 145
I did not read all the replys to this thread.

How the heck does one "forget" that their child is in the car???? How CAN it be an accident to leave your child in the car?

In my opinion, if the parent leaves the child in the car and the child dies, yes they should be charged. No if's but's and and's about it.
post #77 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother_star View Post
I did not read all the replys to this thread.

How the heck does one "forget" that their child is in the car???? How CAN it be an accident to leave your child in the car?

In my opinion, if the parent leaves the child in the car and the child dies, yes they should be charged. No if's but's and and's about it.
We had a run of backing over deaths here. I mean it was on the news every night for several days! Toddlers in the driveway and distraught relatives.

Then I saw a tv show where they demonstrated how many kids they could hide in the blind spot of an SUV...it was an unbelievable number, and I thought it would be permanently embedded in my brain, but it isn't.

Suffice it to say, always walk around your car and take a peek whenever you are going to back it out of any place.

You always see the story and the first thought is 'how on earth could they?'
But when you get right down to it, nearly every bad thing that has ever happened to anyone could have been prevented if we were all 100% infallible, perfect, unrushed, completely rested, never angry or distracted, or sadly, in some cases, neglectful or drugged.

But until it's you... you can't know. I just know I have been sleep deprived for literally years before the problem was found and diagnosed, and my mind was not functioning properly for a long time. I know how I was treated by other people and I never made a deadly error. I can imagine being in that situation because there were times when I was afraid I would fall asleep and cause an accident, or something would just happen because I was too tired and foggy to think straight. I can imagine the guilt I would have felt on top of a tragedy if one had happened. It's easy for me to see people throwing stones.

And I'm thankful nothing too awful ever happened before I finally was able to get help. Lack of sleep will literally make you crazy.
post #78 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsmama View Post
Ok, well that is a no-brainer. OF COURSE I would judge someone who killed my child....wouldn't anyone on the planet?
Okay, I'm not sure if you're one of the posters who was saying "don't judge" or not. I'd judge someone who killed my child, too, even if the "killed" was really more like "caused the death accidentally." And I'd judge myself even more harshly if I were the one whose negligence caused my child's death.

I'm just saying I don't think there should be any differentiation between the death caused by negligence of a parent, and the death caused by negligence of a child care provider. Let's remember that many child care providers are parents, too.

And from my understanding, when a parent (or child-care provider) is under investigation for murder or manslaughter, CPS now takes that parent's other children and places them (or even imprisons them against their will) in foster care. Sometimes the investigation is completed, the parent is charged with absolutely nothing, and the children are not returned immediately home.

What's that all about?

It's crazy, and it's wrong that the children don't have any choice in the matter of who they get to live with. And I don't see why it should take more than a day or so for a district attorney to review such a case and decide whether there's any indication that the death might not have been accidental.

And the protocol should be the same, whether the person under investigation is the parent or the child-care provider.
post #79 of 145
how the heck do you starve an infant for ten days? i'm physically cringing at the thought...
post #80 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

I wonder if some of the people criticizing others for being judgmental, might be just a wee bit judgmental if their own child died, and the death was caused by someone else and not them.
Well, actually my daughter did die because of the incompetence of an inexperienced nurse, and a problem with staffing the hospital (once the distress was clear, an ob was not available for a c-section quickly enough). The chart was clear: the nurse should have caught the heart decels, and did not.

So I have been on that side, and it is from that position from which I am speaking.

We did work with the hospital and the staff to ensure that it would not happen again. And we consulted a lawyer, but in the end did not pursue legal action. Our focus was on making sure it didn't happen again.

There was no justice or compensation for the loss of our daughter; it's not something you can quantify in an "eye for an eye" kind of way. Sure, emotionally, at times I wanted that nurse to "pay" but my higher self was aware that she made a terrible, terrible mistake - and people do make mistakes. She did not get up in the morning and decide to kill a baby that day. I am personally convinced that she will not make that one again, and that is enough for me, where "enough" is reasonably at peace.

ETA: Of course I think any death should be investigated. But prosecution is something else. I am not convinced that throwing parents who leave their kids in cars in jail is a good way to prevent that from happening. Having those parents out in the community speaking - maybe. But I think the shame of it probably prevents them from doing so.
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