20 March 2008

Know Somebody on the Toliet Too Long? Save them.

Okay, so some of you may have heard about that woman who had sat on the toliet of her boyfriend's home for 2 years and apparently had been rescued when things got bad (the degree of "bad" must have been pretty high for her boyfriend to finally call somebody after 2 FREAKIN' YEARS!). Well, controversy had been circulating around about who was at fault: the boyfriend, who apparently tried repeatedly to coax her out of the bathroom; or the woman who had a fear of leaving the bathroom. Ashley and I had discussed this before, and we both agree that they are both at fault since she did not desire to seek psychological help to rid her fear, and the boyfriend was also at fault for having left her there for such a long time. Even investigators said that they may have mental problems, to which I thoroughly believe that so.
Well, I ran across an article today mentioning what had happened to the boyfriend. Apparently, authorities have charged him with "mistreatment of a dependent adult." But, even that charge I have a problem with because it doesn't seem to fit very well. Even the attorney handling the case thought so, being quoted to have said "the mistreatment charge most closely fit the situation." So wait, you mean we can be charged for something that isn't exactly what a law mandates, but close enough? See, the problem I have with that is how can you classify the woman as a dependent when a) she had never seen a psychologist/psychiatrist and be clinically declared mentally incapable of self-care and thus labeled a dependent, and b) the boyfriend supposedly tried to help her by encouraging her to leave the bathroom (and I give him the benefit of the doubt in this case), and c) the boyfriend also ensured that she ate, clothed, and did anything else that any other normal human being did, and finally d) she was capable of leaving at any time she so desired since she was not restrained in any way - she was free to leave at any time. So, how does somebody else, who tried to help in some way or another, become responsible for you not relenquishing your vices? If this is the case, then why aren't those that work in mental asylums not held accountable for the patients there not being able to leave the compound, or even their rooms for fear of something irrational? If they don't leave their room on their own volition, then is forcing them in this case a viable option, or will you be charged for assult for having touched the person to encourage them to leave?
As you can see, I have a huge problem with the conclusion of this story because it poses too many ambiguities, and it is most certainly a precendent, for those who do care for dependents are at risk now for lawsuits by "victim's" families for having not provided adequate care. I can finally say that, yes, you can pretty much be sued for anything you do, whether it was trying to help somebody or not. Like in Disney's The Incredibles, how is it reasonable to conclude that somebody is at fault for having tried to save somebody's life when they didn't want to? Isn't being sued for having saved somebody counter intuitive to the idea that it is against the law to commit suicide? Its just ridiculous, and I hope that somewhere down the line some judge will have enough common sense to realize that things like this aren't logically reasonable.

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