New tonight: 16×9 – “Taking Mercy”

image01216×9, Global – “Taking Mercy”
16×9 airs an in-depth and emotional look at euthanasia. Health Correspondent Jennifer Tryon speaks with a mother of two who wants to end the lives of her children, who have degenerated into a vegetative state. Jennifer also speaks with Robert Latimer, whose second-degree murder charge for the killing of his disabled daughter challenged the Canadian legal system and polarized the country.

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Diane Wild

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7 thoughts on “New tonight: 16×9 – “Taking Mercy””

  1. Perhaps I missed it but your 16:9 segment feature “Taking Mercy”, did not appear to make any reference to the subject of disability, which I would suggest by implication would have been very much part of the viewer’s perceptions in watching the program. Nor did you allow the side of disability to be part of the discussion.
    I am a professional person, affected by the disabling circumstances arising from cerebral palsy, and aging. Persons with a disability frequently find themselves being targets of discriminating and even sometimes dysfunctional behavior toward them by others. As such, they are repeatedly prone to becoming relegated to being seen as an undesirable depiction of human life, and reduced to being a medical condition that needs to be either fixed or eradicated, through to the extent suggested in the segement. In this vein, I would suggest that the depictions you presented in the segment had a very serious adverse connotation to the societal perception of persons with a disability, and the message as presented unfortunately served to further reduce and sanction circumstances of disability in society to the level of public perception and preferred disposition presented in the segment. Might I suggest too, that there were also very serious adverse connotations to those facing circumstances of natural aging in life which in many respects has often been referred to as slow onset of disability.
    Perhaps 16:9 might redeem itself if it were to turn the tables so to speak in a segment that would look at this issue from the side of disability. Otherwise, with all due respect, the choices made by 16:9 in putting the segment together, of themselves, whether by intention or default, served to demonstrate and crystalize the many aspects of the discriminatory behavior that is faced by persons living with circumstances of disability on a daily basis in their lives.

  2. Julian, we met long ago when we were invited to participate in the “Shirley” show. If you recall my daughter Tania was like Tracy. My daughter passed away two years ago. I took care of her for 31 y.
    What you do not understand that your disability is very mild. There are no books written about the Severely

    Disabled. The reason is because no one have the expertise. Living with my daughter 24/7 for 31 y I must say that keeping my daughter alive was little less than Cruel. I have challenged some prof in the US who have written the “how” to teach these individuals. I was compelled to challenge them because their teaching were doing more damage than helping. I contacted them and asked these experts how do they know what they know. Their answer was:”We have slept, eaten with them, etc” A research of a year or so cannot i’ll not make anyone an expert on the Severely Disabled. Julian,with all my respect – you are NOT severely disabled.

    What make you think and for that matter to others as well who are NOT Severely Disabled to belittle parents who want to help their suffering children?

    The severely disabled changes continuously through out their lives. Only by being with them 24/7 for their entire live will have the knowledge necessary to know what and how their lives can be enhanced. Most of them are left with others. They have a continuos changing of caregivers. Sir,these individuals FEEL PAIN and DISCOMFORT. In addition as an example they are unable to use their hands to brush off a mosquito in their body who is hurting them, and they
    cannot call for help. Most parents understand this. I often wonder how many in the disabled community are parents?
    It seems to me that the problem reside in that some people have made the disabled community think that if euthanasia is allowed, then all the disabled will be affected. Just look at the countries where euthanasia is allowed. How many disabled people are being killed?
    It is time for the Disabled Community to be compassionate toward those who cannot find relief. My e book “COULD THIS HAPPEN TO YOU?” is a MUST to read for anyone interested in the faith of people such as my daughter.

    Mr Robert Latimer should have never been sentence. It is shameful and I am not proud to be a canadian.

    REspectfull, Lavinia Rojas

  3. I am the brother of the severely handicapped girl with cerebral palsy that is the subject of the ebook mentioned above (“Could this happen to you”). My sister suffered to the point of not just crying, but SCREAMING, and some of the time it was unclear what exactly the problem was, for she had no speech. In fact, she had no control of neither her voluntary muscles nor her INVOLUNTARY muscles (e.g. intestine, esophagus).

    It was evident, however, that she suffered from canker sores. Despite the treatability of this seemingly simple problem, she would repeatedly bite on the sores because of her lack of muscle control. As my sister’s life began to turn for the worse, her stomach would reject all food and eventually even liquid; x-rays revealed continual gas as the source of her continual pain. Medication was of little help; the best solution was to continually remove her gas from her stomach with the use of a suction syringe that we inserted into her feeding tube. Fortunately, my mother devoted countless hours physically removing my sister’s gas, although the slow process did not alleviate the pain until some time after engaging in this procedure.
    The point I would like to make here is that it is erroneous to claim that a severely disabled child’s pain is always resolvable or even made tolerable by medication. We know that medication cannot be a cure-all, even in non-disabled individuals who undergo chronic pain. These individuals at least have been able to turn to meditative practices and training that allow for the pain to become more tolerable; the severely disabled, needless to say, are bereft of any such option.

  4. Hello Lavina:
    Thank you for your response. I do not mean any disrespect. And I would never for a moment pretend to understand your situation. But to my mind disability is like a spectrum with many points and variations along it. So where would you draw the line between accepted disabled and severely disabled? In other words to whom would you suggest that your approach to dealing with disabilities should apply along that spectrum? And for whose convenience is that line usually draw in society?

  5. I think that what you are worry about is “opening the gates”? I would like you if you dont mind to confirm what I think you are implying here before answering your question. Thanks

  6. I support Annette and her suggestion of a “legal mechanism” where a RElative who finds himself or herself in a situation such as Mr Latimer, Annette or myself could have a “full and objective hearing”. It is a way of searching for answers for specific individuals. It is a beginning.It is a way of avoiding people having to take the law into their own hands out of sheer desperation. It is no different to cases where people who are dying in pain and they request to their families to be helped. The different is that they are verbal.

  7. I am a friend of Lavimia and was witnes to much of waht Tania went through and the traumas inflicted upon Lavinia by “The System”

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