Toddler Drowns After Parents Ask About Killing Her


child deathIt was August 2007 when a 2-year-old girl drowned in an inflatable pool at her home in Sydney, Australia. While it may have been chalked up to another tragic accidental death, the parents' actions before the incident leave many heart-wrenching questions that are being brought to light during a current investigation. 

The unnamed girl suffered from Rett Syndrome, a developmental disorder that can be severe. It's unclear how severely this particular toddler was affected, but clearly it was too much for the parents to handle, and they started looking into ways to euthanize the girl, or more plainly put -- to kill her.

After the mother raised the issue with a pediatrician, the Department of Community Services was notified and began investigating the family, who made no secret of their selfish wishes.

''Can you help me?'' the mother asked a social worker. ''I want to get an injection to put her to sleep.''

A recount  from one of the investigators in the case is chilling:

"[The father] said that [the girl] was dragging us down. [He asked during a meeting with DOCS workers] why do they keep disabled children alive?"

The father also told a social worker: "What do we do with it? It's like a sentence, like we're dead.''

Only they aren't, and this little girl is.

I don't purport to know how difficult it is to raise a child with special needs, but based on the experience of friends and family, I know it can be excruciating and isolating and desperate. But they are still children, still lives that need caring for and love. If these parents weren't prepared or equipped to handle it, then there were options like support services and foster care, which social workers discussed with them.

But to decide that on your own, that your child's life is too hard for them to handle -- or worse for you to handle -- is heartbreaking ... and wrong. I hope it's not the case, and that it was a horrible coincidence. Until they're proven guilty we have to give them the benefit of the doubt, but there certainly are a lot of doubts.

Do you think euthanasia is ever okay in the case of a child?


Image via Cliff1066/Flickr

crime, toddler health, developmental delays


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jacki... jackiewal10

I hope those parent are forced to get sterilized.  That is SO beyond wrong.  I can not understand some people.  If they didn't want her, they should have given her up for adoption instead of letting her live (and die) the was she did.  Just horrible.

I don't think euthanasia is ever ok for a child.  I can understand the want for it though, if parents are watching their babies suffer from incurable cancer or something of the like.  The want to be able to take the pain away.  I just don't know if euthanasia is the right answer.

Robin Weiss


Bree Miller

Such a sad story for the little girl. She had a hard enough life already, then for her parents to end her life so abruptly and pure selfishness. I pray for the little girl's soul to have peace.

Heather Swagga

This is absolutely horrible. Yes, it can be difficult to have a child with a disability but there are so many programs available to help parents and to kill their child is completely inexcusable. Disability or not, this poor little girl was still able to have a relatively happy life, provided she didn't have heartless people for parents. This is just so heartbreaking.
I can understand parents wanting euthanasia if their children are suffering horribly from something incurable. No one wants to watch their children be in pain. But to even consider euthanasia as an option for children who are disabled is just deplorable. Having a disability does not make you less of a person, or a person of lesser importance.

aiden... aidensmomma508

Never would even think about it. If someone was having that rough of a time with their child, they could've gave it up for adoption or foster care as the article says.... wow.

ethan... ethans_momma06

The child should definitely been placed in child services at that point (an action I do not normally agree with). It is apparent that they were unable to handle that child and whether they are the direct result of that's child death... they may have been in the future had this not happened. It needs to be investigated thoroughly as there is clearly motive.

I don't believe in abortion, so I definintly do not believe in Euthanasia of a minor.

Denis... Denise2000

No! That's just plain wrong. That child was on this earth to teach them a lesson that the universe wanted them to learn. They obviously didn't learn the lesson that was being taught and they will continue to experience similar situations (in one form or another) until they get it.

So sad.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

How was that child left with parents who were seeking a way to kill her???????

I'm a stay at home mom to a special needs 4 year old child.  It's hard, and frustrating, and sometimes overwhelming - there are days that my husband comes home from work and I just go upstairs to the bedroom, shut the door, and have a good cry.  But even on our very worst days, there wasn't a single second that I wished him dead or gone.  I just can't even wrap my head around that.

nonmember avatar Anon

Where I live, that whole family would have been referred for mental health services. And perhaps respite services that could allow them to take a step back. It seems pretty clear that a parent who is looking for an injection to kill his child needs help. I don't know what they do in Australia for people like that. ... As for whether it's ever OK to euthanize a kid, I can't think of a case where it would be - but I'd need to know more about the child before convicting. I mean, was the child constantly puking, hurting herself, screaming in pain? Did she have any cognizance of the world around her (or within her)? Was she going to die soon anyway?

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