Fracas has been away for a bit, and as I would normally do, I began by checking out what’s been going on in the outside world while I’ve been so absorbed in my own little one. I came across this story:
A 78-year-old woman sat in a feces-covered chair for months in an apartment she shared with her daughter, her legs blackened with rot and her body covered in sores so gruesome they exposed bone in some places.
The horrific details of the elderly woman’s condition were related in court yesterday as her daughter, Margaret Grant, was sentenced to four years in prison for neglect.
Grant, 48, of Moncton had earlier pleaded guilty to endangering the life of Kathleen Grant by failing to care for the elderly woman, who later died in hospital.
“She left her sick mother sitting in a dirty chair rotting to death for at least three to four months with no proper water and food while she was going on with her day-to-day activities,” said Judge Brigitte Sivret in Court was told the woman’s legs were permanently bent from sitting in the chair for months without leaving it, and her buttocks were covered in two large sores.
When she was brought to hospital, doctors determined nothing that could be done because her body was shutting down. They gave her morphine and she died four days later.
… continue reading
I’m a compassionate person. My first reaction then, to this story, is that the daughter must be mentally ill herself. Perhaps, as heinous an injustice done to this elderly woman it seems, the daughter requires our compassion? Surely anyone who can allow an elderly person in their care and control, to live such a horrible existence, must be mentally ill?
It didn’t take but a moment though, to remember that I live in Canada, and this crime occurred in a Canadian province. Canada is not a country known as the place where we lock ‘em up and throw away the key, no, Canada is known for being the country where even people like Karla Homolka spend only a pittance of time behind bars, able to resume a happy life again later, despite how horrid their crimes were.
Canada is also a country where a crime committed by someone with a mental illness is recognized and, to the dismay of those who would like to seek a different form of punishment, the guilty party is confined for their crime as a mental health patient rather than a common criminal.
In other words, she must have been deemed to be criminally responsible for her despicable actions. Had she not, she, like Vince Weiguang Li, would be facing a different type of confinement. Li, despite having murdered, beheaded and eaten the flesh of his victim, is currently receiving treatment, does not have a criminal record, and will undergo a yearly review to determine if he is well enough to be released back into the public.
So I considered those factors, and realized that if she were considered to have been suffering from a mental illness, it is likely that she would have been sentenced to treatment in a facility for mental health patients who have committed a crime, rather than sent to a prison.
Margaret Grant, was originally charged with criminal negligence causing death and homicide by criminal negligence. Those charges were withdrawn when she pleaded guilty to the new charge of endangering the life of Kathleen Grant by failure to care for her… in other words, neglect.
Doesn’t sound like much, does it? It is however, a charge that carries potential criminal charges:
Failing to provide the necessities of life to a spouse, or to someone under another’s charge, where that person is unable to provide him- or herself with the necessities of life or cannot provide the necessities of life because of detention, age, illness, mental disorder, or another reason.
There isn’t really another way to see it. Either you don’t know what you’re doing, or you do.
Some people just make me sick.
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