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Suffer Little Children

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Suffer Little Children

Post  Guest on Sat 15 Nov - 9:48

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Suffer Little Children

It has been a pretty grim week in the news as far as children are concerned. Firstly, the case of baby P is about as shocking as it gets, even for hard boiled reporters and social workers. The scenes in Parliament this afternoon at Question Time have been denounced as disrespectful to the dead child, but really the politicians could be forgiven for this; it was quite obvious that they, like us, are in shock.

The second case this week was that of Shannon Matthews, who was kidnapped, drugged and tethered to a roof beam, so that her mother could claim money from the Madeleine McCann fund to find her. She was kept at her uncle's house for three weeks,until the police tracked her down.

The third case this week,(please bear with me, because it will become clear why I'm including this), is the case of Hannah Jones who has refused heart transplant treatment, so that she can spend her remaining days at home. The local Primary Care Trust were going to raise a High Court action to force the operation, but they dropped it.

What has struck me about all these cases, is the immediate pinning of blame onto professionals and the reluctance of the media to consider the role of the parents in these cases.

In the case of baby P, the blame has been put squarely on social workers and doctors. Now, something has gone seriously wrong here and it needs to be sorted, but let's be clear about this; it was baby P's parents who killed her. No one else. We are having a discussion about the failings of the system; we are not discussing the fact that her parents killed her. Compare that with the Vicky Hamilton case, where Peter Tobin, who is a stranger, has had the blame of Vicky's murder laid squarely at his door (and rightly so.)

Next is the case of Shannon Matthews. When this case first occured and the police did what they always do; that is they checked family, relatives and friends for clues as to what had happened, they were denounced in the press for this. They were told that they should be looking further afield, that the case was not getting the publicity that the McCanns got and in some sections of the press, it was alleged that there was snobbery involved; because Shannon Matthews' parents were working class, they were not taking it so seriously. When Shannon Matthews was found, all the critisism disappeared like snow off a dyke.

The third case, which is different, is that of Hannah Jones. Now, I think the decision that this girl has taken is reasonable. The operation she would have had, would have perhaps prolonged her life, but that was the best outcome. There was a risk that the leukaemia that she had had, would come back, and she would have been on heavy medication to prevent transplant rejection. She also would have been in and out of hospital at a time when she wanted to be with family. But I do not agree with the pasting that the Trust has taken over this. This girl is twelve years old. She is very sick and looking after someone sick is very wearing. It is entirely possible, (although I don't think it has happened here) that her parents might have encouraged her in this decision, because they are worn out caring for her. It happens, as I said in this post. But the media have panned the trust for being 'interfering.' As if that isn't bad enough, some are using this as an argument for assisted suicide, whereas this is a very clear cut case of refusal of futile medical treatment.

The common thread running through all of this, is our reluctance to accept a very grim fact of life; parents hurt their children. We have not learned to accept and deal with this as a society, and so whenever a case of child abuse comes up, it's always someone else who is responsible. So we profoundly resent 'interfering' when the health care trust goes through all the proper checks as to the actual wishes of the child and her set up at home, but we bay for blood and sackings when a case of child abuse is missed as in the case of baby P. We are perfectly comfortable with a stranger like Peter Tobin being caught and convicted; we accuse the police of harassment, when they go through the proper procedure of search for someone like Shannon Matthews. We are reverting to the primal instinct of blaming the stranger.

Parents hurting their children is the ultimate nightmare. Who do you trust, if you cannot trust your parents? But we cannot turn away from it. We can't pretend that it doesn't exist. And it is not right that professionals doing their job, should become a media punchbag because we are unable to face this very ugly reality.Let us be grateful instead that they deal with child abuse day in, day out, so that we don't have to.

http://juliemcanulty.blogspot.com/2008/11/suffer-little-children.html


How can anyone disagree with that?
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Re: Suffer Little Children

Post  Guest on Sat 15 Nov - 10:45

I agree that the professionals shouldnt become the punchbag but if those so called professionals are not doing the job they are assigned to do then they shouldnt be in that career.
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Re: Suffer Little Children

Post  Guest on Sat 15 Nov - 19:36

MsTaken wrote:I agree that the professionals shouldnt become the punchbag but if those so called professionals are not doing the job they are assigned to do then they shouldnt be in that career.

I agree 100%
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