[[My Word]]


"My Word" is your page.

 CHN has opened a page for you to express your opinion, and concerns.  Please include your first and last  name with your comment   If you want your e-mail address and last name included with your comment, please tell us, otherwise your last name and email address will not be posted with your letter.

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We appreciate hearing from you, even if you disagree with our stand, we thank you for writing.

"My Word"




Million Dollar Baby Unworthy of accolades 


I have no plans on seeing the movie


God goes down for the count


By the grace of God I found your website.


 thank you for the information about Tracy Latimer


your webpage absolutely fantastic and very informative




How can you be against this?


I highly support/enjoyed your article on Tracy Latimer case. - Letter from the Dean of University of Regina


I don't think you can really express your opinion from the "heart" unless you have a terminal illness


My Response ... The fact that I am not terminally ill does not mean I can not speak from my heart!


Movies about disabled keep myths alive

bulletTracy Latimer - "Having a disability should NOT have been her death sentence."
bullet"(Latimer) did not read his daughter's obvious desire to live despite her pain)" 
bulletChronic Fatigue: The debilitating disease - under-funded, and not seriously researched
bullet"I cannot think of a more bestial act than to take your own trusting child and murder her like she was a sick canary."
bullet". . . killing those who are disabled is only mercy to those who feel we are a burden"
bulletA love song from a wounded heart
bulletSeeds Of Our Own Destruction
bulletAppalled at petitions
bulletSome people think these children (with C.P.) have no awareness, no feelings and no potential... testing using MCTOS the children proved this assumption tragically wrong."
bulletMore Thank you notes to CHN
bullet "Those who do not learn the lessons of history will be forced to relive them."

bullet In 1985 Lynn Gura's son Bruce Robert was born with Edwards syndrome, which is a chromosome abnormality also known as Trisomy 18.  The doctors told Lynn her son would live perhaps a month.  Lynn read a post from The Compassionate Healthcare Network (CHN)  about Ms Winston-Jone's baby who also has Edwards syndrome.  See  Edwards syndrome is a chromosome abnormality also known as Trisomy 18 

Lynn wrote CHN  to tell us why that story touched her adding she hopes Ms. Winston-Jones will read her letter and hopes it will help her as she continues to fight for her son's life.

Here is Lynn's  letter to The Compassionate Healthcare Network (CHN)  

Dear Cheryl,



This message was especially important to me because I had a son, named Bruce Robert, who was born with Trisomy 18.  He would have been 19 years old this November 2nd.  I was 18 when I became pregnant with him and 19 by the time he was born.  I was married to his Daddy, but was divorced near the end of Bruce’s life.  

Bruce was a delightful, wonderful blessing to me.  My husband, at the time, had a hard time accepting Bruce’s afflictions.  I, however, embraced him with his afflictions and was so pleased and honored to be his Mommy.  I knew he wouldn’t be around for long, but wanted to treasure the time I had with him.  

Bruce was only given a month to live by the “specialist” who ran the tests to confirm he had Trisomy 18.  He far surpassed the doctor’s expectations by living to be almost 2 ½ years old.   Praise God!  

Bruce Robert had strawberry blond, soft hair, bright blue eyes, and fair skin.  He enjoyed listening to music and dancing with me. He made typical baby noises and sounds throughout his life which I was thrilled to hear.  He also got several teeth, a little later than usual, but nonetheless they were healthy teeth.

My son, like Ms. Winston-Jones’ son Luke, was a “little fighter."   Even though he easily became sick with colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia (3 times during his life—the final time took his life), he had a strong zest for life.  On good days and periods of good health, he was such a happy little boy.  His laughter and smile melted everyone he came in contact with—especially me, my parents, and family.

I fed Bruce for 11 months through gavages tube feeding and then I had the gastrostomy tube surgically placed which helped him gain weight better.  He grew slowly, however, and at 2 ½ years old, he looked more like 1 ½ years old—size wise.  He was able to learn how to roll around which he enjoyed tremendously and even tried his hardest at crawling (he would get frustrated when he couldn’t move anywhere).  I had him enrolled in physical therapy after he turned one and continued it till a few months before he died.  He was learning how to drink from a sippy cup and eat some baby food near the end of his life.  My hope was that he could eventually get enough nourishment by mouth that he could have the tube taken away permanently.  He also was learning to sit up on his own and hold toys (his fingers were tightly clenched when he was born, but through time and working with them, they relaxed).  He had fun at therapy even though it was work and tired him out (he would take long afternoon naps after his morning workout).  He loved being around people and those who came in contact with him were happy to be with him.  He spread happiness and sunshine around.  I think that is why God made him and why he became my son.

I learned a lot from him—inner strength, courage, endurance, and greater faith.  That is the true happiness of motherhood.  If I had to do it all over again, I would a million times.

I hope you will share this information with Ms. Winston-Jones.  I think it will help her.  Luke’s life is special and should not be taken away from him.  He should live out his short life surrounded by love and care from his Mommy and family.  One day, they will have a saint in heaven to intercede for them.  Just like my precious son, “St. Bruce”.  

I will keep her, Luke, and her family in my prayers.  Thanks so much.

 Lynn Gura   mailto:oakmac@rtl-lifespan.org

Troy , Michigan USA


Feb. 2, 2005


I admit I have not seen the film Million Dollar Baby. I have read the critic by Lennard J.Davis. What I glean from his analysis of the film, I believe the second half of the film when the boxer becomes  a quadriplegic it has only has one thing in mind, and that is to advance assisted suicide/ euthanasia for those that are viewed by some in our society as not having quality of life. It appears that the film does nothing to address the plight of the handicapped. The film does not accord them respect; it does not accept differences. It portrays the physically challenged as second class citizens.
Million Dollar Baby is not worthy of any acclamations.
Hilda Krieg

I have no plans on seeing the movie ... even to critique it because I do not support EUTHANASIA! I think of Terri S. now in Fl. who's husband has won his case to terminate the feeding tube!  Her poor self and parents ... can anything be done this late?
Jesus wants us all to bear our crosses and learn from our suffering!  He's always with us .. and will never leave us alone!  God Bless all those opposing this crime.

Patsy O in Mass. USA (:



bulletGod goes down for the count

Feb.12, 2005

If you haven't seen the movie "Million Dollar Baby" and you don't want to know the plot, stop reading now. The critically acclaimed film, a contender for Best Picture in this year's Academy Awards, is advertised as a boxing film. That tells only part of the story. "Million Dollar Baby" is a tribute to euthanasia.

The plot revolves around the growing relationship between a grizzled fight trainer and a young female boxer. Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) owns a gritty gym, has a penchant for Yeats and doesn't want to train a "girlie" fighter. Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) plays the young fighter who is big on spunk and small on training. Maggie is a natural in the ring. She wins fight after fight, and she and Frankie become like daughter and father.

Maggie gets her "million dollar" title shot. During the fight, she takes a severe body blow and crashes against a stool, snapping her spine. She is left a paraplegic, and the film descends into a spiritual abyss.

Euthanasia is not a new subject for film or theater. Years ago there was an extraordinary play - "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" - that explored this topic. A once-vibrant man wants to be removed from the machinery keeping him alive. His appeal to be removed is the subject of extensive debate. But in "Million Dollar Baby," there is no exploration of why assisted suicide is wrong. By the film's conclusion, the audience is expected to share Frankie's pain as he agrees to Maggie's request: She wants Frankie to kill her.

The film's marketing campaign says nothing about euthanasia. Audiences are manipulated to accept suicide as the best option for the severely handicapped. More problematic for me is the depiction of Frankie's Catholic pastor. The priest is unhelpful and inarticulate. He tells Frankie that he will be lost forever if he helps Maggie die, but he does not explain why.

Hospitals have ethics committees that grapple with these issues. A patient can petition a hospital to cease extraordinary care. The scenario in "Million Dollar Baby" is false.

The Rev. Martin Rooney, chaplain at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, and a member of the hospital's ethics committee, said Catholic teaching does allow for a patient to stop extraordinary care; this includes ventilators. A patient wanting to be disconnected from a ventilator first would be given a psychiatric evaluation by a team of doctors. Other options would be discussed. If the patient still wanted the machine turned off and the ethics committee agreed the patient was capable of making the decision, the ventilator would be disconnected. What happens next is unknown. "You let God take over," Rooney said.

There really is no God in "Million Dollar Baby." There are broken people - literally and spiritually. Filmmakers make the movies they want, and director Clint Eastwood has said in interviews he does not see his film as a euthanasia manifesto. Eastwood has to remain true to the film's source material, but the film remains dangerous because it does not explore the other side of the argument. It never acknowledges there is another side.

Christopher Reeve said there were times he contemplated suicide after his accident. Reeve did not just subsist on life support. He lived life to the fullest, defying preconceived notions that a spinal-cord injury was a living death sentence. His belief that he would walk again gave hope to thousands of handicapped people. His advocacy for stem cell research gave weight to a burgeoning science at risk from conservatives and religious zealots.

Frankie does not just pull the plug on Maggie; he injects her with a massive dose of adrenaline to ensure that once the machines stop, Maggie will die. There is no dignity in this act. There is no victory for Maggie. Only death.

I don't have to agree with the ending of "Million Dollar Baby," but I should be able to respect it, and I cannot. It brings a false nobility to assisted suicide. "Million Dollar Baby" should win the Kevorkian, not the Oscar.

Alfred P. Doblin is the editorial page editor of the Herald News. Reach him at doblin@northjersey.com


Dear Cheryl,

By the grace of God I found your website.  It evokes feelings in me, that are so strong, so deep, so comforting, so many, so wonderful, so overpowering and so empowering, I am mentally mute from their noise.

Hawley J Y., USA



My name is Brian Loose and I am a staff trainer for a nonprofit organization that provides services for children with special needs in Des Moines, IA.  I  thank you for the information about Tracy Latimer.  I am going to use this information in new employee orientation.  Thanks so much!

Brian Loose

Childserve Staff Trainer 

515.727.0263 EXT.363


Hello Everybody   My name is Kerrie Grice and I am writing to you from Australia.  I am currently study at Griffith University and one of my subjects is Ethics and Disability.  I have found your webpage absolutely fantastic and very informative.  I have been involved with people with disabilities for approximately 10 years in the areas of sport and recreation, education and at present employment.  I would love to be included on your databases for any newsletters or any other literature you may issue.  Do you have any people I may be able to exchange ideas and information with?   Looking forward to hearing from you


Kerrie Grice






So How can you be against this?

Don't people have an inherent right to do as they please as long as they are not harming anyone else against their wishes.
How can you tell someone that they have to endure a pain that to them is unbearable.
How can I tell someone that they MUST live even thought the quality of their life to them is unmanagable.
Suicide/euthanasia is the right of the person, not me.  What else do we do in this society to impose our morals on someone else.
At what point do you interfere with a persons given right to handle THEIR lives and mortality in a way they see fit?

I highly support/enjoyed your article on Tracy Latimer case.  


University Regina


I was recently reading the web page you and your organization are hosting. In particular on the page http://www.chninternational.com/cheryl_e_dossier.htm, I see that you express your opinion "from the heart" due to the chronic pain you suffer. Well In this case I don't think you can really express your opinion from the "heart" unless you have a terminal illness and can actually speak for the rest of these terminally ill people. If not, then who says you, or in that case even Mr. John Hofsess has the right to speak for these people. The decision must be left to the one it effects, not some third party standing and watching by. Although aiding suicide is in fact illegal and breaks the law, laws were written in a certain time. Times change and therefore laws must change too. I believe that if euthanasia was made legal, the government would have more control over who was to be euthanized. That overly depressed teenager could be helped, and hopefully their outlook on life changed. However that terminally ill man or lady. Who spends everyday in absolute pain. Wishing for their final day to come, could be helped along that path. I am directly opposed to both the  CHN and the Right to Die movement. I believe these 'patients' must first be evaluated by a team of psychiatrists, then doctors. After this evaluation these teams can come up with the proper solution.

I was also hoping you could tell me what your major was during your years at University of Calgary and Trinity University. If possible I would also like to hear which disabling condition you were diagnosed with in order to understand fully where you are coming from on this subject.
Thank you for hearing my opinions expressed.


The fact that I am not terminally ill does not mean I can not speak from my heart!

My Response

I admit I find your letter a bit confusing, especially the part where you state you are "opposed to both CHN and the Right to Die movement." CHN believes in the sanctity of human life, the RTD does not. Either you do or do not believe in the sanctity of human life, or you sincerely do not know what you believe. . . .. If you know anything about the pro-euthanasia movement you would certainly know that a great number of people who want assisted suicide or euthanasia are not terminally ill. You don't have to be a victim of child pornography to oppose it- nor a victim of any crime in order to oppose it. The fact that I am not terminally ill does not mean I can not speak from my heart! I have had to live with chronic pain and suffering for almost a decade. There are some who are so-called terminally ill for only a few weeks or months and then they die. There are cancers that do not cause physical pain. But does that mean they can't speak from their heart to tell you about suffering?

As a matter of fact, I was extremely healthy when I first founded CHN. I believed then as I do now, that euthanasia and assisted suicide is the absolute rejection of human dignity and respect. Both are acts of abandoning the person who suffers. I also believe that compassion means to speak for those who can not speak for themselves - like the unborn (abortion, I believe is euthanasia in the womb) and children born with disabilities.

You wrote "I believe these 'patients' must first be evaluated by a team of psychiatrists, then doctors. After this evaluation these teams can come up with the proper solution." 

Do you know the true case about a Dutch psychiatrist who helped a very depressed woman to commit suicide? It is well documented. Depression is not terminal. Depression is curable.

You seem to be very confused by some of these issues.

It is not important for you to know my condition or my education in order to as you say "understand fully where you are coming from on this subject."

Before I became a anti-euthanasia activist, I was a concert pianist and teacher with absolutely no interest in politics or social issues .. that was until I read in the news that a member of Parliament wanted to pass a euthanasia bill. That small piece of news changed my life and career .. from then on, my life would take me down a completely new path. So you see, I made a choice. I knew I could not sit and do nothing - I do not believe this is something one can remain neutral about. As I mentioned earlier, one either is for or against, or sincerely has yet to make up their mind. Those who have yet to make up their minds are probably those who have rejected God's commandments, especially "Thou shalt not kill."

I am adding a snip of The Compassionate Healthcare Network's statement of faith - please note the absence of the term, "terminal."

CHN's purpose is to teach that all persons are made in the image of God and that we are thereby morally prohibited from terminating the life of another person or asking another person to terminate our life for us; however, death is a part of life and therefore death is accepted when it occurs naturally. We oppose all efforts made in support of euthanasia and assisted suicide and promote palliative care as an active alternative thereto. We oppose all programs, policies and perspectives which may threaten or weaken the physical existence of any person who is sick, disabled, infirm, dying or otherwise medically at risk.



Movies about disabled keep myths alive
February 12, 2005


Clint Eastwood's ''Million Dollar Baby'' has scored seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Alejandro Amenabar's ''The Sea Inside'' has come away with two, including Best Foreign Language Film. What links both movies? The message that it's kind to help a paralyzed person die.

To our knowledge, few critics have picked up on the films' shared ''right-to-die'' message. Had the plot been racial or homophobic killing, however, we'd be hearing an outcry (if the movie ever got made at all). Why the silence? We think it's because much of society believes it's the right thing to do, to grant the wish of any severely disabled person who asks us to help them die.

To us this exhibits an appalling lack of knowledge of severely disabled people, and an even more appalling lack of interest in questioning why films with this message are winning awards.

Amenabar's film is at least clear about things: It's the story of Ramon Sampedro, ''who fought for his right to end his life with dignity and respect.'' In Eastwood's film, it comes at us like a sucker-punch: Boxing sensation Maggie, paralyzed in a match  gone horridly wrong, asks for and gets Frankie's (Eastwood) help ending her life.

Without going into detail -- we know by now how much critics hate that -- be forewarned that the ''peaceful death'' Frankie gives Maggie would be anything but. In reality, that sequence is a recipe for an agonizing death: You suffocate, while your heart feels ready to explode.

This is Frankie's act of love.

In real life, Maggie wouldn't need Frankie's clandestine aid. Courts have ruled since the 1990s that a person on a ventilator can simply ask, and a nursing staffer will administer a sedative and then turn off the vent as consciousness ebbs. Eastwood got the sequence wrong.

It's the 21st century, and the only place Maggie can live is a glorified nursing home? Even with the best of care, she gets a pressure sore so severe it requires amputation? Literary license aside, had the boxing moves been wrong, critics and boxing buffs would think less of the film. Details of Maggie's life after injury, though, evidently seem too unimportant to check for accuracy, merely scenes to imprint on us the horror of the paralyzed life.

Even had Eastwood bothered to get his facts straight, it's hard for us to sit in a theater looking up at the man who continues to fight disabled people in his backyard along California's Central Coast, vowing to get the state -- and Congress -- to pass a law forbidding people paralyzed like Maggie to sue businesses over access violations
under the 14-year-old Americans With Disabilities Act without first waiting yet another 90 days, even if he is a truly great movie actor and director.

''Baby's'' corny, melodramatic plot is engineered to feed a romantic fantasy, giving emotional life to the ''better dead than disabled'' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) moviegoer.

That mind-set explains why ''The Sea Inside'' has been such a hit with critics. These are the stories about disability that society wants to believe. The killings are always acts of love, selfless and heroic, fueled by the myth that ''nothing can be done about the undignified lives of people with disabilities except to help them die,'' as Chapman University's Art Blaser puts it.

They don't reflect the typical disability experience, which, for most of us, is just the experience of living our lives.

As efforts to gain acceptance for assisted suicide (which is really legalized medical killing) move from the courts into the mass entertainment media, the vehicle they are driving in on is the vehicle of severe disability. In these films, it's paralysis. Earlier this year, it was the ''United States of Leland,'' in which the stabbing death of an autistic teen was portrayed as an act of kindness.

Stephen Drake is research analyst for Not Dead Yet, a Chicago-based advocacy group for people with disabilities.
Mary Johnson's latest book is Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve and the Case Against
Disability Rights. She edits www.ragged edgemagazine.com


bulletTracy Latimer - "Having a disability should NOT have been her death sentence."

Dear CHN,

Heaven help us all if we are still in a place where people with disabilities are not worthy of life... I find it impossible to comprehend how anyone could support what Tracy's father did to her. As the mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy, I know how difficult it can get to deal with the medical and emotional issues involved in raising a child with special needs, but I can't imagine life without my wonderful little boy. It shocks me when I hear people talking as if they believe that he did his daughter a favour - A little girl is DEAD and they think that he did the right thing!

If her parents could no longer cope with her disability and all that it entails, they should have made arrangements for someone else to care for her. Having a disability should NOT have been her death sentence.

Sherry-Lynn J.   Friday, 03 May 2002

bullet"(Latimer) did not read his daughter's obvious desire to live despite her pain)"

. Dear CHN,

 People in the disabilities movement are not trying to judge Latimer.  That has been done by the highest court in the land.  We are also not saying there was no pain; rather the pain was controllable, and more importantly Tracy enjoyed many aspects of her life even during the weeks before her murder.  The court evidence is very clear on this.  We also believe that the decision of  how much pain one is willing to put up with is the decision of the person, not another person, even parents.  Just because a person is disabled does not mean they do not have the capacity to make that decision!  That is the tragedy of Tracy Latimer.  No one listened to her !  And that does scare me.  That the general public thinks R. Latimer  should receive leniency even though he did not read his daughter's obvious desire to live despite her pain.  Harry Pott


Chronic Fatigue: The debilitating disease - under-funded, and not seriously researched ~  "there is nothing worse then being homebound and feeling like you live in a desert wasteland."

Dear CHN,

I have enjoyed your website very much. The articles and letters about chronic fatigue affected me deeply since I have had severe chronic fatigue from the age of 9 until the present 45. I also have drug induced Lupus and central nervous system Lupus, Epilepsy: complex partial seizures and severe allergies to the environment, multiple chemicals and foods.

As a Christian I have to tell the support I have received has been mostly prayer, not much if any personal involvement except for a few friends who were willing to take the risk of being my friend. And people wonder why we want assisted suicide? The diseases themselves are overwhelming but when you can't get help from the state or Christians you become hopeless and fed up with it all including yourself.

People informed me that the word disease itself makes them uncomfortable. The state informed me that I was not disabled enough to have full coverage. I think they are nuts! The media will not recognize Lupus as a serious disease anymore then they do chronic fatigue syndrome because no one famous or important has it like a rock star or actress. Lupus got a lot of attention when Bush's dog Millie was diagnosed with it, reporters etc. But they do recognize Epilepsy Thank God!

In closing I would like to see this website show the good side of what happened thanks to our input. Christians and families need to unite and work together to change this situation because there is nothing worse then being homebound and feeling like you live in a desert wasteland.

Your brother in Christ, Dave Spaulding dspauld1@rochester.rr.com

Note from Editor: David would appreciate reader's who want to respond to his letter, to write him directly .  I am sure there are others out there who can relate to these debilitating conditions, and the loneliness that often follows such loss of energy and stamina, I know I can, as I have had CFIDS for a decade. I encourage those who read this take the time to send him an encouraging note, God Bless, Cheryl, CHN


"I cannot think of a more bestial act than to take your own trusting child and murder her like she was a sick canary."


 I have visited your website and I just did again. It is quite wonderful  - of course, I would be honored to participate in what you are doing in anyway possible. My daughter is 12 and she is upstairs right now with another little girl who is 11, both with 'disabilities' and both giggling their silly heads off....if I didn't know better I would think they are happy, well adjusted young women. Hasta La Victoria Siempre, Michael Bailey Portland, Oregon

Mr. Bailey attached the following note that he sent anne.mclellan@justice.gc.ca

I will tell you how I feel....I have a daughter just like Tracy Latimer....she is wonderful, loves life, loves her home and loves me, her father.
I cannot think of a more bestial act than to take your own trusting child and murder her like she was a sick canary. This guy is a criminal and nothing but.
I hope you do not commute one minute off of this sick homicidal menace to society.
Michael Bailey, Portland OR

bulletWhy is support for Latimer growing?

On Feb. 9 you had another article printed stating support for Latimer is growing. What's wrong this these people? He killed his daughter, and obviously thought it out before he committed the act.  If she had not been disabled he would probably be convicted of first-degree murder.

This country is saying because she was disabled it is OK. My son has cerebral palsy and also cannot walk, talk or feed himself. Last May he had a spinal instrumentation for scoliosis and unfortunately still has not recovered. We have shed many tears, and hurt every time he cries in pain. His doctors are still at a loss as to what can be wrong. This is a child who has always enjoyed life, loved being around people, but whose personality has completely changed in the last nine months.

 We will continue to fight for him and hopefully find what is causing him such pain so we can again see his happy smiling face. We would never consider taking his life. Sheila Terry, Edmonton

bullet"Perhaps the handicapped need the protection of the law more than others."

I just can't help but be totally flabbergasted when I hear people trying to justify the act of murder, under any circumstances. The fact is: the law is for everyone. Perhaps the handicapped need the protection of the law more than others. Mr. Latimer murdered his daughter and he should pay the price for doing it as sure as if he killed a stranger on the street. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION!   Wayne Lariviere   mannie@ican.net


bullet". . . killing those who are disabled is only mercy to those who feel we are a burden"

Dear CHN,

I have been following the Latimer case with interest for quite some time. I am thoroughly disgusted at the way the media portrays this man and at the adjectives his supporters use to describe him --  He is "honest," "the salt of the earth," "courageous" and a "leader of men".

Please excuse me while I go to the bathroom to throw up. I have cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia to be exact, and while my life may not be wonderful at the moment (I have clinical depression), I am not ready for the Grim Reaper just yet. I have a home, three cats and a good brain. Most importantly, I am free from physical pain.

Why am I free from physical pain? Because when my hip became dislocated in my early twenties, my parents had me undergo surgery to alleviate the problem. It was hellish. I have memories of that surgery that will haunt me until the day I die. But I am free to lead my life as I will, and at the dawning of my thirtieth year, life is still full of potential for me.

Coincidentally, the hip operation I had was the same one that Robert Latimer chose to kill his daughter over. There were complications of course. The loss of part of my leg has meant a loss of some independence. I can no longer dress myself in my chair because I cannot bear weight through that leg any more. Also, my parents and I were not prepared for the massive postoperative pain that occurred the year after the operation. My pain was multiplied by tenfold and just sitting up hurt. The stress this caused eventually saw me move 800 km away from home to Ottawa where I have lived ever since. Not a pleasant story, I grant you. But where is it written that life should be pleasant? My parents and I took the only options we saw open to us at the time. Part of my leg was removed to spare me further dislocations and in my case, this was a blessing because that particular surgery was certainly not the first one for me. Given that the mere smell of ether freaks me out, "mutilation" was the most humane thing they could have done. As for me, I am in a comfortable two-bedroom apartment near the Hill. While life on welfare isn't paradise, at least it's not a nursing home.

What makes me so upset about this case is that Mr. Latimer is not honest, courageous or fit to be leading anyone. He lied to the cops, told everyone that she had died in her sleep and then tried to cover up the crime by requesting Tracy be cremated. It sure takes a lot of courage to pick up a defenseless 45-pound quadriplegic girl who can't even beg for her life, and kill her.

I wonder what the public reaction to the case would have been if her partially burned body, with the head blown off, had been found behind the barn by a farmhand. That was how he originally planned to end his daughter's life.

This is not a man I want to be leading my army or the country for that matter. I hope all you "understanding people" will understand me and realize that killing those who are disabled is only mercy to those who feel we are a burden. You are welcome to him. Just don't expect me to show up at the ticker tape parade they'll be holding for him when he gets out.

Lisa Wells  mailto:warchild12@webtv.net(HamsterGirl) March 26, 2001

Note from the editor:  Lisa Wells has a new web page which she has dedicated to Tracy Latimer.  Her web page reads like a personal diary, recording the events of her day and life.  Visit it often as you will learn a lot about perseverance ~ It's called The Hamster's Hutch.  How terrible it is that Tracy's parents never met Lisa.  I can't help but think that if she had met people like Lisa, Angie and other young survivors she would be alive today. You can write Lisa at her email above or visit her web site at http://community-2.webtv.net/warchild12/TheHamstersHutch/

bulletA love song from a wounded heart

I'm very grateful that my parents didn't choose the 'Latimer option'
 A love song from a wounded heart, July 13, 2002

    When I read articles extolling the virtues of Robert Latimer murdering his 12-year-old
daughter, Tracy, I take it personally.
    I have cerebral palsy, as did Tracy. I do not subscribe to the " better dead that disabled"
philosophy that seems to permeate much of the media discussion of disability issues.
    People with disabilities do not have lives less worthy simply because we move, talk or
think differently.
    As a society we have yet to develop a comfort level around difference and pain. Often,
individuals project their own fears and apprehension onto those perceived as "victims". Many
of those attitudes are born out of fear and ignorance.
    What is at issue here is the lack of care, support, service and information for parents of
children with disabilities. Weaknesses or gaps in support services, or lack of information,
should not serve as an excuse for murder. Sympathy and pity do nothing to enhance life.
    People with disabilities want dignity and respect and the means to participate to the fullest.
There is value in diversity and society is strengthened by it.
    I have just completed my PhD at the University of Glasgow and I am very grateful that
my parents did not choose the "Latimer option."

Nancy E. Hansen, Ottawa

NOTE from CHN: This letter appeared in the Ottawa Citizen,
Friday, July 26, 2002,  page  A13

bulletSeeds Of Our Own Destruction  by Jon Sloan

Dear CHN

The news lately have carried the many stories regarding a number of people concerned for the welfare of Robert Latimer. Candle light vigils have been held in various communities to bring attention to his situation. His situation being he is serving a ten year sentence for the murder of his disabled daughter Tracy. Even his wife is supporting him, Tracy's own mother.

Unfortunately these people have never considered the implications of their actions or the real meaning that underlies their request to have Robert Latimer set free. The very notion that we as a society can find a means to justify the murder of selected individuals in our society flies in the face of the very principles our society is based on and for what we as a country have fought for. The motive that initiates the action is not the question, rather it is the principle of the right to life for every Canadian citizen. We no longer even attempt to justify the execution of convicted murders let alone selective elimination of individuals by other individuals based on their perception of the need to eliminate one or more of the rest of us for whatever reason.

Genocide does not begin with the extermination of thousands or millions of people, it begins with the first. Once a society has accepted the premise that indeed it is permissible to kill other members of our social group for any prescribed rationale we have only to expand the list. The genocidal mentality has already been established and will grow from there. This morning a mother of a disabled child in Quebec has been charged with murder. It seems obvious who the initial target group is and one can only wonder which "group" will be added to the list if this mentality is not addressed soon and definitively by our legislators and courts.

Of course in places like Kosivo the list of acceptable victims grew to the point of including anyone and everyone based on their ethnicity. The same horrors have been witnessed in the last century in Cambodia, Germany, Rwanda and the list goes on. Not one of these situations occurred overnight and mass extermination began the next day. In every case it was an insidious process where first the disabled and insane were deemed expendable or out right liabilities and the acceptable target groups grew from there. Next November 11 many Canadians will gather to remember but maybe it is time to remember and think. The freedoms we so value are rooted in principles and to forego our principles is to concede our freedom. People like Robert Latimer had alternatives but chose not to use them. It would seem the longing for attention and the ensuing infamy were stronger than his willingness to allow others with more care giving skills than he possessed to look after his daughter. Unfortunately children in Canadian society are still viewed as property much as women were a century ago. Just as a man was entitled to beat his wife if he saw fit and did not use too big of a stick, we now have a group of Canadians who would not only condone those practices of the past, they would expand it to the physical elimination of children as THEY saw fit. It is indeed a fearful concept.

Canada is no different than any other country or society. If we are to continue to be the number one place to live on the face of this earth we must cling to the very cornerstones that make our country so great; the right to life for EVERY citizen. Please do not open the floodgates to our own destruction and do not give support to those who would try to undermine our society. If we stray from our basic principles we will surely follow those societies that have preceded us.

Ignorance maybe bliss but it is no excuse for supporting the killing of our greatest gift, our children. We must keep Canada a safe place for children regardless if they are lame, deaf ,blind, mentally challenged or completely healthy individuals. It has not always been so but we have come a long way. No longer do we lock Downs Syndrome children in basement closets or herd them into neat homogenous groups with limited life expectancies. Let us not throw away the civilization we have become so proud of. I for one do not wish to be a member of a society that is known to condone the murder of children under Any circumstances. March 21, 2001. Jon Sloan mailto:planter48@hotmail.com

bulletAppalled at petitions  by  Dorothy and Laurie Kitchen

Dear Cheryl,

We are the parents of a beautiful daughter (38 years old) who is severely disabled because of cerebral palsy. She too like Tracy doesn't walk, talk, or even sit up unaided. But unlike Latimer we value everything about her life. Because of this she leads a full and productive life.

We are appalled at the way people are getting petitions to release this man, who to us is a first degree murderer. We live in Nova Scotia far away from Saskatchewan but find the media here very biased in favor of Latimer. Friends in BC mentioned to us that Latimer has been charged with sexual assault is there anyway we can find out about this and bring it to the publics notice? I am sure this would change the perception that he is a "kind and loving father and husband" as the media portray him.  Sincerely Laurie and Dorothy Kitchen, Halifax NS mailto:prissy@ns.sympatico.ca March 24, 2001
Ed. note: Dorothy, the article regarding Robert Latimer being charged with rape can be found CHN Digest Online: Vol. 1 No.3 January 11, 1996 titled: COMMENTARY ON THE TRACY LATIMER MURDER - "Who is the real Robert Latimer"? It appeared in "The British Columbia Report, September 4, 1995: p.16.  The Report News magazine URL is: http://report.ca/

bullet"Some people think these children (with C.P.) have no awareness, no feelings and no potential. During a week of video taped testing using MCTOS the children proved this assumption tragically wrong."

Dear CHN,

We have a daughter with cerebral palsy.  We are sick of all the media hype Robert Latimer is getting.  Our daughter is a gift.  She is just as precious to us, as our other children, who adore her.  (Tracey's siblings must miss her ... what fear they must feel!  Our daughter doesn't know about this murder, and pray she never learns of it, but our other children said they can't believe he can call himself a loving dad.)

A friend sent me this, but as it was given to her in an email, she said her friend didn't know where it came from, as it wasn't signed!.  We have tried to find out more about the MCTOS test, what it means, or what agency sponsored the test, but to no avail.  Could you - or your readers, tell us where we could get this information. Also could you please post whatever you find out on your page and not disclose our email address. Given the information in the letter I am attaching, I can only wonder what Tracey could have told her family!  Thank you.  Jane R., Alberta.  ps I hope I am not stepping on any ones toes here.

(The following is the letter Jane attached to her email to CHN)

I was recently in Las Vegas testing CP kids with a switch that can be operated by the mind. It requires no movement. What I experienced was stunning. These kids demonstrated great intelligence and mental control. It was as if they were given a device that allowed them to reach out from beyond the damaged brain circuitry from where they are perfect.

We tested children at a school for the lowest functioning students from the entire district. Most had CP. At one point as I watched a 3 year old operate a remote controlled fire engine, I was so overwhelmed that I could only sit down on the floor and cry.

Below is a report of this testing.

MCTOS evaluation with Cerebral Palsy and related physical challenges “You’ve given us back our son.”

We sat around the table watching in tears as Jason demonstrated his ability to use a mind-controlled switch. “It’s a miracle.” His grandmother whispered. We celebrated when he was able to sound a chime to answer questions without any movement. We watched in awe as Jason drove a remote controlled fire engine around the house using only his mind to stop and go when asked. His mother said, “You’ve given us back our son.”

Jason has been unable to communicate or interact with the outside world for 5 years. He was left locked-in as the result of a drug reaction during minor surgery. Some thought he was no longer there, no longer able to feel and understand. With new technology, MCTOS - Mind Controlled Tool Operating Switch, Jason can demonstrate his awareness and intelligence. He can bypass the damaged brain circuitry to interact with the world from the part of him that is still perfect.

With practice Jason will be able to “speak” again using computer technology. He will be able to tell his parents he loves them and thank them for their dedication to his care. He will be able to turn on his own music and operate lights, computers and other devices.

At a school in a middle-sized city, buses arrive daily to unload 130 students in their wheelchairs. These beautiful, delightful children are sent here branded as having the lowest potential of all students in the district. They come from all over the metropolitan area to be greeted and nurtured by inspiringly dedicated teachers, therapists and volunteers. 

These children are locked-in their bodies by devastating diseases like Cerebral Palsy. Some people think these children have no awareness, no feelings and no potential. During a week of video taped testing using MCTOS the children proved this assumption tragically wrong. They gave new hope and joy to all who watched.

Children at the school, from ages 3 to 20, demonstrated the ability to use their minds to control toys and other devices. They demonstrated control of their minds that teachers and other adults struggled to match. They demonstrated potential and intelligence that at times was thrilling: In some cases, it was the first time the child controlled anything outside of their own bodies. These children’s’ performances elicited tears of amazement and elation.

A three-year-old boy with CP gave a stellar demonstration. With little instruction he operated a remote controlled fire engine. He easily started and stopped the fire engine when asked.

The effort of concentration left this little boy tired. His head bowed toward his lap. As he was wheeled away he turned his head up and whispered, “Thank you.” He could speak only a few words yet expressed thanks. Perhaps he was just thankful for the opportunity to play with a toy himself for the first time in his life. Perhaps his thanks were for something more subtle and profound.

Other children, in various stages of functioning, did very well testing with MCTOS. All except one demonstrated the ability to understand instructions for quieting and exciting their minds. All who understood, demonstrated the ability to associate the mental activity required to activate MCTOS with a response, such as, operating a remote controlled toy, or turning on a lamp, radio or chime.

MCTOS may provide these children with a voice in the world. No one knows what they might say. "

bulletResponse March 28, 2001

Dear Jane,

I  searched Google, entered"MCTOS TEST FOR CEREBRAL PALSY"" and came up with a number of sites on MCTOS.  MCTOS is the acronym for "Mind Control Tool Operating System."  I believe the quote you sent came from Carl Brahe. Along with more information on MCTOS, Brahe's email address is included on this page  http://members.aol.com/grpals3/page/MCTOS.htm

Apparently, the cost of this devise  is $2,800 (US), and is used by patients with ALS, Rett Syndrome and other brain injuries. More information about MCTOS and other links  can be found on that site. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please feel free to contact us again. C.E., CHN


The following letters from Ms Montes has not been edited for content or spell errors.  My response follows her letter. C.E.

To CHN  Thu Mar 29 23:30:00 2001

["Who is the real Robert Latimer?", Joe Woodard, "The British Columbia Report, September 4, 1995: 16] "http://www.chninternational.com/chn1-3.htm



Response from CHN


As far as I understand, freedom of press still prevails in our great country of Canada. What other side are you searching for? A twelve year old child was premeditatedly murdered, by her own father. A father who refused to obtain the best medical treatment available; refused help, refused to allow her to have surgery to relieve her pain and refused to allow her to live. She had no voice in the matter what so ever. Robert Latimer propped her up with "filthy rags" taken from his storage shed, pumped carbon monoxide into the cab of his pick-up and sat on the back wheel of his truck for one half hour watching her die.

Before Tracy Lynn Latimer's death, she was not experiencing any life threatening diseases. I have received letters from adults who had as many and even more surgeries than Tracy, who did in fact suffer with the aftermath of surgery who now live independently, with some receiving in home care help. Some are authors, some are teachers, and some are basking in the love of their loving and devoted parents and family.

I rather doubt you would have written me, if I had posted a Susan Smith type story, where Susan drowned her healthy sons, and claimed they had been abducted. Justice Bayda called him the "salt of the earth" - hardly. I hope you read and understood the reason why he wasn't convicted

By remarkable coincidence, the presiding judge at Latimer's rape trial was none other than Mr. Justice Bayda. Thus, 21 years later, he would have been acutely aware of Latimer's clean criminal record, because the rape conviction was overturned on appeal when the trial judge was found to have erred in his handling of the case. The appeal court ruled that Mr. Justice Bayda hadn't permitted sufficient examination of the girl's previous sexual history, and that he'd hurried the jury's deliberations. The case was sent back to Battleford for retrial, but the Crown declined to prosecute anew. CHN Digest Online: Vol. 1 No.3 January 11, 1996

I will never understand how people like yourself, can write such angry letters, when a child was murdered by her own father.

I suspect you are one of the 'worried well' who perhaps doesn't even know someone with a disability. Perhaps you are like some others who fear even talking to someone with a disability, or uses a wheelchair. Or, you have only read stories in the media, that dehumanize and devalue Tracy as a human being, who I repeat, had a right to life.

As one young woman with CP wrote "I wonder what the public reaction to the case would have been if her partially burned body, with the head blown off, had been found behind the barn by a farmhand. That was how he originally planned to end his daughter's life." This same young woman also wrote to tell us, "I am free from physical pain." because she had the surgery "alleviate the problem" -- you can read her letter in its entirety at MY WORD

Her statement bears truth, as her information comes from the Court Transcripts.

Again, I ask, what "other side" are you seeking?

The rags Robert propped her up with were "dirty" .. but I do not feel the least bit dirty as you wrote -  "YOU SEEM AS DIRTY AS POLITICAL REPRESENTAIVES IN THE US OF A."

If you are seeking factual information, then why don't you go the whole nine yards and become better educated? Learn about how other families whose children have Cerebral Palsy care for their children. By the way, CP is just a term used to describe brain injury. Anyone can go out and be struck down by a car, and develop the same condition... the only difference will be in terminology.  You add:


Elena, if you ever attempt to seek the truth, you will surely discover who is doing the actual polluting. And by the way, the young woman Latimer raped also suffered at the hands of Latimer, and no doubt will ever forget the pain and suffering he put her through.

Cheryl Eckstein

Fri, 30 Mar 2001 Elena Montes wrote again:

I refuse to read your email. That is the scope of the level I ve given your attempts to character degradation.I m literally discusted. Elena Montes mailto:e_montes@hotmail.com

bulletRobert Latimer - The Royal Prerogative of Mercy

On January 18th Robert Latimer became able to apply to the National Parole Board to be considered by the Federal Cabinet for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. The Cabinet may exercise the Royal Prerogative of Mercy based on the recommendations of the Parole Board and the advice of the Solicitor General Lawrence MacAuley and the Department of Justice.

The struggle to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities continues. We know that any clemency for Robert Latimer will result in less respect for the lives of people with disabilities. This struggle is ongoing. The power to provide clemency for Robert Latimer rests in the hands of a small group of individuals — The Parole Board, the Cabinet, but particularly the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice.

Letter Writing Campaign.

Please write a short letter to the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice stating that You are opposed to Robert Latimer being awarded the Royal Prerogative of Mercy for killing his daughter Tracy. Granting an early release for Robert Latimer sends a clear message to elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable Canadians that it is a lesser crime to kill them.

Send your letters to:

The Hon Lawrence MacAuley
Solicitor General
340 Laurier Ave W, 13th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0P8
Tel: (613) 991 - 2924
Fax: (613) 952-2240
Email: MacAuley.L@parl.gc.ca
The Hon Martin Cauchon
Department of Justice
284 Wellington St., 4th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8
Tel: (613) 992-4621
Fax: (613) 990-7255 Email: Cauchon.M@parl.gc.ca


thanks Cheryl,  interesting ..I have followed the Dutch on euthanasia , for years I appreciate CHN .. you keep us well informed ..thanks again  alida

You are doing such wonderful work. I  applaud and totally support you.



I so respect what you do.  Bless your heart Cheryl E.,   Cynthia


Thank you for your compassionate care! Blessings, Stacey


Dear Cheryl,
What a great website you and Bryan have! So much information available by a click with a finger 
May the Risen Lord be your strength.
Love  Hilda

Thank you for your important work.    Sean

Dear Cheryl,
You have no idea how appreciative I am for your gracious email.  This week I have encountered a series of events that left me feeling as though we are facing an insurmountable uphill battle.  I am new to the PAS/euthanasia debate, and reluctant to impose on those of you who have been in the battle so long to help me get up to speed. I'll write this one long letter, then let you return to your good work, because I know your time is at a premium.  ...My chief source of information during that whole nightmare trying to save Terri was email -- Nancy, you, and Cheryl Ford really did a yeoman's job during that crisis. ...Again, many thanks for taking the time to write.  And needless to say, continued thanks for your tremendous work all these years in defense of life.


Hi, Cheryl 

It is wonderful to hear from you, to get all the informative emails you send and to know that you are up and at ‘em, as they say!  All our love!



Thank you, Cheryl.    I appreciate the quotes from Dr. Byrnes book.   As a nurse, I've been witness to persons with irreversible brain trauma.   Families are encouraged to consider organ transplant.  It is not an aggressive program, but does come up.   I need to read more.  
Thank you for your help.
God bless you in your work today.

It is wonderful to hear from you, to get all the informative emails you send and to know that you are up and at ‘em, as they say!  All our love!


Dear Cheryl,
Wow! You ARE a true miracle! ... Thank you for all the emails. God Bless!


    You are absolutely a gift from the Almighty.   Your emails are so warm and friendly and, believe me, we are not used to this.   I'm on my way to First Friday Mass and will offer it for your intentions.   Betty


Thank you for your work. You continue to be in my prayers. Lynn Smith, RN Laus Deo, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

* * *

Dear Cheryl,

I must tell you . you are an exceptional woman I have been up since 5 30 am this morning rereading all my e-mail from you and I said to my self if we would have more people on this earth with such a warm heart we would have been already in the redemption. . . .best regards and thanks again love Nathalie Reboah, Florida, USA

* * *


 Thanks again for you interview. Your detailed answers helped make my paper really solid because of the opinions and more educated outlook that you gave me. Thanks for taking the time to help me out. Sincerely, Nicole Adams 

* * *


Dear CHN,

I am a mum from England and have been reading with horror about the very real situation you have in your country. It makes me very afraid for the future of my own daughter who has Cerebral Palsy. We often refer to her as our part time angel, she is a delight. But as I look at what people are trying to do in your country and others in Europe and across the world I am deeply saddened and concerned. But I am encouraged by the fight of many people in your country. I am just concerned that as it draws much nearer to my door that there are not enough people here to fight the wrong. Sandra Pratt, U.K.


Dear Cheryl,
    You are doing such important and needed work......I respect and admire you and wish you all the very very best.

* * *

bullet "Those who do not learn the lessons of history will be forced to relive them."


Dear CHN, 

I agree with you that the greatest violence is murder, especially of children, from the womb and beyond. Legally in most countries though, the crime of pre-meditated murder is greater than a death caused in the heat of anger. So abortion and euthanasia should actually be greater crimes than a death or injury of a child caused by the anger of a caregiver. First of all both abortion and euthanasia are pre-meditated. Second, both are usually the result of a conspiracy of two or more people who decide to do the killing. These two elements are very important and serious when murder has been committed and affect the sentencing of the perpetrators to a great extent.

  Unfortunately, there have always been people who are designated as sub-human and not worthy of the protection of the laws that are created to protect most members of society. This is still true in almost every society on earth. The lack of protection by law may exist because of race, culture, religion, gender (usually female), age, disability, poverty, or any combination of the above.

I recently viewed a PBS documented series about Auschwitz (Inside the Nazi State).  Even though I have studied the history of the Nazis and their death camps, and genocide in other societies - this particular documentary was  hard to watch. There were so many photos of the people who were murdered, many taken between the time they were unloaded from the trains and  before they were taken to the showers. The pictures of the children were so tragic.  Hardly any children survived the death camps, except a few that were saved for medical experiments, and most of them were killed by the experiments.

It is a well-known fact that governments, and societies knew what was going on in the death camps, but chose to ignore it. Some even chose to profit from it.  Tragically, so many of the survivors were treated badly after their release from the camps. Most of them who had families and owned homes and bank accounts before the Nazis came to power were never compensated for their loss. Many of the women who were released were raped by Russian soldiers who came to release the camps. Ironically, most of the captured Russian soldiers who had been held by the Nazis were arrested by Stalin's government and charged with being spies. Many of them died or were imprisoned for years. On the other hand, the Nazis for the most part were allowed to be released and integrate back into society and have their families, property, and lives as before. Only a small percentage of Nazies were ever put on trial or convicted of war crimes. Some of the worst actually had help from political officials to escape to other countries and live normal lives.

Why were the innocent treated so unjustly by non-Nazis? Why were so many of the worst of the Nazi mass-murderers allowed to get off scott-free? Did many of the non-Nazis feel a greater affinity with the Nazis than with their victims? Is it because the continuous hate-filled propaganda of the Nazis worked so well for so long that the victims of the Nazis didn't really seem like victims? There are many layers here. The belief in the "science" of eugenics had become very popular in the first part of the 20th century. This "science" taught that some people were inferior and caused many governments of "advanced" societies to develop policies of abortion and sterilization for "inferior" people. "Inferior" people in "advanced" countries were also used without their consent for various medical experiments. These experiments often took place in orphanages and mental institutions. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was a racist, a firm believer in eugenics, and had ties to the Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan. 

Sadly, so many people don't know history, or even what's going on in the society in which they live. If they were more aware, they would remember the phrase:   "Those who do not learn the lessons of history will be forced to relive them."
  Alyce Blue



E-MAIL: chn@intergate.ca
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