The Dr. Phil show is the subject of controversy over a recent episode that interviewed a mother advocating for the right to essentially euthanize her adult children. Bloggers are incensed that Dr. Phil appeared almost entirely sympathetic with the mother, rather than attempting a more balanced perspective.
The mother, Annette Corriveau, has two adult children, Jeffrey and Janet, who suffer from Sanfilippo syndrome and as a result they cannot walk, talk, eat, see or hear. They have been institutionalized since childhood, and their mother visits them every few months. They are both fed through feeding tubes.
Ms. Corriveau has become the center of the controversy, because she is allegedly seeking the right to obtain a "mercy killing" for her children. The arguments are essentially parallel to those of assisted suicide, except that in this case, the children cannot seek the euthanasia themselves.
Many people are incredibly offended by the notion that a parent should be able to kill a child solely because they are difficult to take care of. Ms. Corriveau argues that she believes her children would not want to live this way, and that killing them would relieve them of whatever suffering they are enduring.
As a legal matter, assisted suicide laws, ala Dr. Kevorkian, are not the same thing as mercy killings. Therefore, even if assisted suicide laws were in place to protect the doctors who help individuals end their lives, the laws would not cover situations like this one, in which a third individual is attempting to have the doctor commit what would legally amount to homicide.
Here is a link to some of the dialogue from the show.
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