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Value of Human Life

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The beliefs and views of modern society are hypocritical and unjust. By the time an individual matures from a young child to an adult, they have been taught an uncountable number of life lessons. One of the outstanding lessons that each and every person has learned is that killing another human being is wrong. This is perhaps the first recognizable lesson on the value of human life. Most children know that killing is against the law and learn religiously that it goes against all religious morals and beliefs, yet society is bombarded by violence everyday in the media and in real life. Today, the value of human life can be questioned, especially that of the young. Through numerous examples of child murder and abortion it is rather obvious that the lives of the unborn or newly born are not valued to the degree that they should be. In most cases, the young are not recognized as "people" and are robbed of their human rights and freedoms. Young lives, both born and unborn, are seen as more of a commodity these days, than as precious, magical miracles.

In the media today there are ridiculous numbers of reports pertaining to accidents, shootings and robberies-these are just a few examples of unjust acts that are occurring everyday. There is also a shocking amount of coverage about parents accidentally, or on the other hand, brutally murdering their kids. Parents are supposed to be loving and supporting caregivers, they have a great influence over everything a child can possibly say or do. It is hard to believe that some parents would actually take their children's lives into their hands. Recently in the news there have been accounts of a mother poisoning her son to a father taking a knife and slashing his son's throat. These are all cases where the parent in charge has taken advantage of their control. Each helpless child is defenseless in these situations. In many cases, children have become victims of a parent's mental instability. In one case a mother claims to have been "suffering form delusions about hell when she took the life of her twenty month old child." In the end this woman was found not criminally responsible because "she had apparently been suffering from psychosis the day of the drowning." She was then committed to a psychiatric hospital. This seems to be common place today, and there is no justice done for the young slain victims. Another account of a mother murdering her children is that of Diana Yano who "has only a patchy memory of the afternoon she ran the bath water and drowned her two children" to "send them to a watery grave". She too was found "not criminally responsible...because of a mental illness-triggered by a serious bout with breast cancer-that made hr believe her children were better off dead". The father that slit his son's throat suffered from a "manic depressive illness...Mr. Meehan was legally insane". He also had four breakdowns which his ex-wife was aware of before she left her children with him that horrible night. She also recalls "...the evil look that came into his eyes when he went off his medication". Were any of the relatives of the deceased; that knew of these mental states, at all concerned with the safety of these children? This could be thought of as a disregard for the children and their well being or as just a lack of respect. Any individual old enough to have a kid understands that babies are helpless, totally without control of their surroundings because they do not have the mental capability or life experience to understand most things.

In a different situation, a single, young mother; still attending high school is charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence after her ten month old son died of a drug overdose. An autopsy revealed that " the codeine level was sufficient to kill...morphine was also in the baby's blood, but the amount fell within therapeutic range". There had been testifies stating that the mother " was prescribed a bottle of liquid codeine weeks before her son's death". Her charges were dropped from second-degree murder because she had taken good care of her son, he was well-groomed and well-nourished before his death. Does this justify her reasoning for having her son ingest her prescribed medication? If she had taken such good care of her son before his death and she accidentally had given him her medication she would have taken him to the hospital or called a doctor had she been concerned with his health. She willingly gave enough codeine to her son to kill him and for some reason, given him morphine too. The life of this baby was cut short, knowingly by his own mother. This does not display value of young human life.

Along with cases of young children, there have also been those involving disabled children who are not valued as people. A mother in Kitchener, Ontario was "charged with stabbing to death her mentally handicapped daughter". In this case, the parent has no 'excuses' to help bail her out of the consequences. Rather disturbing was the headline that accompanied this article; "Mother accused of killing child called a great parent" because she was "supportive, actively involved in the school". The principle of the small school that eleven year old Ashley attended was quoted as saying "Ashley was tremendously well-liked. Everyone wanted to be Ashley's buddy, they gravitated toward her." Why couldn't her mother have given her that same attention? Ashley had down syndrome, an inherited genetic condition that can produce mental handicaps along with facial, speech and other defects. At the time of this article, investigation was still taking place "to figure out a motive". Ashley, despite her age and handicap, was still a person. An article of different nature clarified.

This article dealt with the way children are treated. "Children in Canada with disabilities are not guaranteed basic educational and social services". This article also stated that "Canadian legislation does not specifically recognize the rights of children. Sadly, this means "adults can place arbitrary limits of children's fundamental freedoms". Children are not seen as equal individuals. Senator Landon Pearson, founding chairwoman of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) does not agree with these views. She thinks that "putting children in legislation matters because it makes people understand that were talking about human beings with rights". If children aren't seen by law as human beings with rights, how can they be treated otherwise. If children are murdered, they don't really matter because they are not seen as real people. The article brings up interesting information regarding the repeal of



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