Jaine *
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The Shark Who Ate the World

okay my blog is not really about sharks, although Jaws was on the other night and I watched it and now, when I night swim , it plays on my mind DOH.   Its so dated and unrealistic but I guess that is the power of film.

My blog really should be entitled Ethics 101 as I have an interesting question to put to you all. 

  ... but before I ask it, I have to give a virtual chocolate fish to italiano for leaving my 1000th comment.  Chocolate fish are a NZ candy - about 10cm, long marshmallow coated in chocoate and shaped like a fish, often used as a prize for small adhoc competitions amoung friends and work colleagues. (this one is flasher than most)

okay now for my question.....   (drum roll please)

I was watching 60 minutes the other night on telly and the segment was about this family whose daughter had been stabbed to death by her ex partner - nothing out of the ordinary about that (UNFORTUNATELY) - her new boyfriend was also stabbed to death, her borther in law was stabbed but survived and of course this followed an abusive five year relationship that ended a few months prior with the killer.

Now I am not a supporter of the death penalty, in my view, a civilised society does not lower itself to the lowest common denominator when dealing with violent individuals, no matter how heinous their crime.  The cost of locking them away for life (which in NZ sometimes isn't very long) is the price we must pay.  

There was a line in LOTRs that sums it up for me ...  "...He deserves death." "Deserves, I daresay he does.  Many that live deserve death.   And some that die deserve life.  Can you give it them?  Then not be too eager to deal out death in judgement."

Now all that said, the killer of these two people is in jail where he should be.  He has been diagnosed with leukemia and it will cost a $1 million dollar bone marrow transplant to save him.  The family of the murdered girl are totally against him getting this treatment, and to some point I entirely understand, its one thing for the state to take his life but if god/fate/destiny/karma/whatever steps in well that is another matter.  Now I'm not advocating no treatment, they could give him pain relief what ever in the prison infirmary to make him comfortable.

But then I also have real issues about making value judgements on who deserves medical treatment and who doesn't, if we say no life saving treatment for violent killers, who decides how violent is violent, or what crime is serious enough - its a slipperly slope, if we start with holding medical treatment for killers will there be a section of society who clamours to bring in measures for the old/young, rich/poor etc.... 

Is denying someone medical treatment essentially the same as the death penalty?

Now it actually turns out his condition has improved and he has been taken off the waiting list for the treatment.  But I still don't know how I feel about this, what would you do?

Just so you know, I'm talking about real people, this is not hypothetical -  this is the father (of the girl)  and this is the person who killled her and who now has leukemia.

if you want to see the full story - http://www.tv3.co.nz/TVShows/NewsandCurrentAffairs/60Minutes/60MinutesVideo/tabid/132/articleID/32036/cat/46/Default.aspx

about 13 years ago 0 likes  19 comments  0 shares
Photo 25
I think karma is biting this guy in the ass. I don't think he deserves treatment.
about 13 years ago
Photo 11131
The Choco Fish looks Delicious..... I think no matter how cruel or evil ..... I feel that every living thing deserves medical treatment when required... Once he's well enough...he can serve his time.. As for me, Im a supporter of death penalty when it involves brutal murder... Though I may prefer a life sentence....
about 13 years ago
Photo 10733
I take neutral stand on capitol punishment. If the killer is sentenced to death, I would not protested. Is it morally right to deny anyone for medical treatment? I vote that he is entitled for medical treatment like any civilians.
about 13 years ago
Photo 43150
ha ha i won the chocolate fish.....thanks you dear jaine...
about 13 years ago
Photo 35923
That chocolate fish looks like it tastes so good. I do believe in the death penatly for pre-meditated murder or the murder of a child. Sometimes I think that maybe spending the rest of their natural life in prison would be a better punishment.
about 13 years ago
Photo 1967
I remember reading about that. I still sit on the fence with this one, although I think I'm more towards giving him treatment.
about 13 years ago
Photo 1967
Oh, and yes, that is a MUCH flasher fish than the more common design used by practically everyone else.
about 13 years ago
Default avatar
Thanks for sharing the chocolate fish story. I love learning things from you. 'Drum roll please'....lol, I like that! Great blog.You raise a really good question. I used to be for the death penalty, but as I went along in life and learnt about the people who were innocent and ones like Ruth ellis who should never of died, it made me think and besides a quick death lets someone of a lot more easily then allowing them to suffer in jail for a life sentence. In my opinion life should be life. In Britain it's an average of ten years, but to me if you have taken someones life you should serve the rest of your life behind bars....and not a cushy one at that! As for him deserving treatment...No, I bet there is many a good person that needs the treatment too..Will they get it? Here it is like a lottery and not everyone gets the life saving treatment. I feel he's getting his just desserts.
about 13 years ago
Photo 43499
Sounds not to good.I take the dictionary try to find words meaning.Haha~~
about 13 years ago
Photo 28042
You in NZ have a much more humane health care system I gather. Here people die from treatable illnesses even when when they're insured because the bean counters deny treatment. In this guy's situation, withholding treatment would be a death sentence and he was given a life sentence. That makes sense in NZ. Here in the USA, prison authorities are mandated to supply necessary medical treatment according to community standards. But since our community standards are so lethal I would be surprised if "experimental" or extraordinary treatment would be mandated. But it probably is. Here in the US it's probably a good rule to say that if your insurance turns you down, make sure you're imprisoned for a heinous crime and then put the burden on the state. Just make sure you get a life sentence not the death penalty. Ironic, huh? By the way, I perfectly understand the father of the girl's feelings but the father of the guy is right -- hating someone is just consuming. But it takes a really brave man to move on after a child is brutally murdered. I don't know that I'd be that brave.
about 13 years ago
Photo 23799
hmmm... heavy stuff... in canada, we don't have the death penalty. i think the death penalty has its pros and cons. hmmm. haven't given much thought but thanks for the interesting read... who's to say who deserves what...?
about 13 years ago
Photo 36411
Hi jaine, long time no see. this is such an interesting Blog. As you said, the death penalty is outdated. In the bilbe it states Life for a Life, yet later it states 'Forgive and Forget'. The latter stated because we all sin and should not pass judgement on others. Yet even in the bible it states we should protect the innocent. So my answer is 'NO' he should not receive treatment, what protection we can afford no matter how little should be given to those that deserve it most. When you look at the choices doctors have to make every day, if they should save a 90 year old or a 5 year old, they have to make the choice of the 5 year old, yet the 90 year old has much more right to live then such an evil being stipulated in your blog. If this man wants forgiveness then he must suffer the pain he has caused, and what he suffers is pitiful compared to that he caused, If he cannot face death now, he never will. For any repentance he has he would forfit his life, yet he would rather live. perhaps only now does he realise the gift of life, but the gift of life should be reserved to those that deserve it. This man must face his demons, only then will he know the pain he has caused, only then can he seek true forgivness. if not then his soul has already forfit. a bigger punishment then we can possibly give.
about 13 years ago
Photo 31984
Wooow... a 10 cm long Chocolate Fish! Lucky they don't have them here in Adelaide (I'd be a fat ball with chocolate swimming in my belly)! Re: The Killer Cancer Hmm... it's difficult to draw the line in determing who qualifies or doesn't qualify for treatment. When I was writing my proposal for pathological gamblers I came across prison figures, and the price of incarcerating prisoners is EXPONENTIALLY HIGH! Is the killer sentenced to a life in prison? I sure hope he is (but then again, that's gonna gobble up a substantial amount of tax payer's money). I think if his predicted life expectancy (with cancer) is longer than his imprisonment period than perhaps, he may be entitled to treatment, but then again.. personally, hmm... if I was a member of the victims' family, I'd would definitely PROTEST... this treatment is costing 1 million blings blings... YIKES... to save a criminal... hmm touchy topic...
about 13 years ago
Photo 41408
the choco is attractive to me~ but, i do be against DP, and i believe it will be abolished sooner or later, for that guy~being deprived of his life will not punish him exactly and also deter others who want to do so~so maybe without freedom or the torture in their hearts will let them know what they do is totally undesirable to the society and what he did do cause terror to others~ that's my view only ,Lol
about 13 years ago
Photo 43083
Here's a question ~ is it ethical for taxpayers to financially support (with their tax dollars) known violent criminals (convicted murderers) for however long said criminal is incarcerated?
about 13 years ago
Photo 43083
Oh ~ and btw ~ LOVE THE CHOCO FISH !!! ^^
about 13 years ago
Photo 35751
to answer the question below: in my view yes, it is not only ethical but necessary.
about 13 years ago
Photo 23902
i like the chocolate fish. in beijing we often saw those pastry like fish with chocolate inside being sold on the street. scary. murder stories have always given me chills but i guess i'm starting to understand it's not so uncommon in human life. there was a girl in my school who directed a short film starring a girl she'd known from college. some months later the girl was on the cover of the daily post b/c she was murdered by her boyfriend. the girl who made the film was pretty freaked out. anyway. hmm.... leukemia treatment. i think they should give him the treatment until there is a verdict on his sentence. hmm... now that i think about it, i can't say that i am for the death penalty, however... i really don't know what i think could make up for murder. i guess i would advocate spiritual rehabilitation right from the beginning, followed by labor. because what good would punishment do anyway, if a person was out of his mind. plus, that's dangerous for the people around him.
about 13 years ago
Photo 34078
The choco fish looks like it would be very gooey and sweet! This is a toughie Jaine. I've always vacillated in my feelings about the death penalty. When it's a particularly heinous crime involving children, I pretty much advocate it all the way. I would say no treatment in this case. It would be great if somehow the cost of his treatment could be used to fund the treatment of some deserving and law abiding individual.
about 13 years ago


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