Murder or Assisted Suicide?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Tiny_Turtle
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Murder or Assisted Suicide?

Post by Tiny_Turtle » 18 Oct 2018, 08:34

"Jeremy, in an outburst of insanity, had killed twelve people, including Penny, seriously wounded his mother when he shot her with a 22 rifle, and then sat on his bed, placed one of his father’s shotguns with the stock on the floor and barrel under his chin, and pushed down on the trigger. The blast blew most of his face off but he could breathe and lived to be placed on life support at the Louisville hospital." (location 1987).

"(Hiram) examined with the intensity of a skilled surgeon the partially-scarred, half-healed, motionless face damaged from the shotgun blasting up from under the jaw." (location 2120).

'“(Jeremy) doesn’t see, smell, taste, feel, or hear,”' (location 2127).

'“He doesn’t respond to stimuli," Hiram said testing again with pinches on Jeremy’s skin." (location 2129).

Considering that Jeremy had made his wishes known when he placed the shotgun barrel under his chin and pulled the trigger, should Hiram have been tried for murder or assisted suicide?

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a9436
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Post by a9436 » 18 Oct 2018, 12:16

Personally, I say murder, because for me assisted suicide means the two (or more) involved people discussing it in advance and agreeing upon the methods, timing etc. Jeremy might have wanted to take his own life, but he still did not consent explicitly to Hiram's actions.

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Georgia Lyonhyde
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Post by Georgia Lyonhyde » 19 Oct 2018, 02:17

I believe Hiram committed murder which is why he sent Sophie out of the room so as not to find her culpable. He made it quite clear that he thought Jeremy wasn't right and that he had committed a great evil. He also thought him being alive was trapping Ann to have to see him after all he had put her through. The moving of the camera to hide what he was do I g would also suggest murder rather than assisted suicide in my eyes.

Truth be told, Jeremy murdered many, but the Apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Hiram had his own murderous streak within him that conflicted woth his desire to save others.
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Post by ianfrb77 » 19 Oct 2018, 19:45

It's very likely it would've been an assisted suicide had he been awake. But in cold view, it was a murder

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Post by P Reefer » 19 Oct 2018, 20:27

Assisted suicide, as his grandson by deliberately shooting at his head after committing multiple murders, was certainly hoping to die and due to his severe disfigurement and dependent state, if only he could communicate, I think his greatest wish would be for euthanasia.

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Post by Caylie_Cat » 20 Oct 2018, 02:25

In reality, assisted suicide is generally considered murder in most places, but I feel Hiram had no right to make that decision for Jeremy. I was also perturbed that Hiram apparently dispatched his own grandson with less emotion and regret than he might spend on putting a sick animal to sleep.

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Post by Bavithra M » 22 Oct 2018, 03:34

I don't think Hiram McDowell purposely murdered his grandson Jeremy. I think it is an assisted suicide.
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Post by Life In Books » 22 Oct 2018, 07:22

This was not a murder but an assisted suicide or rather a physician-assisted euthanasia. Jeremy was in such a condition that if this euthanasia did not happen, there would have been a worse consequence in Jeremy's life.

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Post by Rosebella » 22 Oct 2018, 13:08

He should have been charged with assisted suicide not murder because Jeremy made his choice known by attempting suicide. His grandfather was just fulfilling his grandson wishes.

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Post by Ijeoma Kikelomo » 22 Oct 2018, 14:14

Yeah. Assisted suicide mainly not nurder. Jeremy already made it clear he wanted to. die

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Post by Ijeoma Kikelomo » 22 Oct 2018, 14:15

Yeah. Assisted suicide mainly not murder. Jeremy already made it clear he wanted to die.

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Post by Keevan » 23 Oct 2018, 12:07

Rosebella wrote: ↑
22 Oct 2018, 13:08
He should have been charged with assisted suicide not murder because Jeremy made his choice known by attempting suicide. His grandfather was just fulfilling his grandson wishes.
I absolutely agree with you. Jeremy made his choice and his grandfather was fulfilling his wishes.

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Post by dtb » 23 Oct 2018, 13:05

I can understand why he would have wanted to end his grandson's suffering.

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Post by amandathebibliophile » 23 Oct 2018, 13:24

Even if Jeremy wanted to take his own life when he pulled the trigger, we have no way of knowing for sure that he wouldn’t have changed his mind. Though it seems like Hiram was “easing his suffering” (and maybe he was), what he did is still murder. He sent Sophie out of the room because he knew it, too.

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Post by Kishor Rao » 24 Oct 2018, 01:26

I definitely think Hiram is inncent in this situation. Jeremy was tearing apart many lives even after killing 12 people including his sister. Keeping him alive would not bring anyone happiness provided the way Ann was reacting to the situation (She hated herself and Jeremy). So I think what Hiram did was apt.
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