Murder or Assisted Suicide?

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

Post by abbiejoice » 04 Dec 2018, 21:48

In the legal perspective, I believe it would be murder.

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Post by Ekta Kumari » 08 Dec 2018, 10:26

Jeremy was a victim of mental illness due to his mother herself being unsure of how to handle her children. She was never given the care and love of a parent and so she had no understanding of how to take care of her own family. It was a murder by Hiram. I don't think Jeremy was in his senses when he did that to himself. He had suicidal tendencies, which is common for a child in that situation. Lack of parental attention plays an imperative role in acting as a motivation.
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Post by JordanKSmith » 08 Dec 2018, 20:12

I'm going to go with being tried for murder. These were special circumstances, and Jeremy obviously wanted to die...at least he did before the suicide attempt.

The problem for me is that there wasn't a documented agreement to being euthanized. I wouldn't want to live in a world where someone could make those kinds of decisions autonomously and not see a courtroom.
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Post by Mr Benji » 09 Dec 2018, 15:19

The fact is clear, assisted murder is still murder. I don't think the law can be bent in this case.
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Post by Jillpillbooknerd » 09 Dec 2018, 21:14

I believe it was more towards murder. Like others have said, while he did try to commit suicide he did ultimately survive. He may have changed his mind if he ever woke up. You never know what happens to people when they go through something like that.

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Post by MalMartin » 10 Dec 2018, 01:14

This is a hard one to answer. I have had many family members die by assisted suicide with physicians so I know a lot about this process. Usually, before this happens the person wanting to die has to state to the physician that they wanted to die. If they don't, then the physician was not given permission and cannot kill them. He has to have the patient agree and sign papers. Then they usually have to sign DNR papers and many more things. I would consider this murder from a legal standpoint. However, I personally feel he didn't really murder him, or at least believe he murdered him.

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Post by Shalu1707 » 10 Dec 2018, 10:46

I think murder. Jeremy was a troubled child but nothing which could not have been sorted with a good counselling. He was too young to know what actually is suicide to have attempted it. He could have been talked out of all the murders and suicide if only someone had taken proper actions on his previous misdeeds. no one actually said anything to him when he was violent that made him cross the line.

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Post by LV2R » 20 Dec 2018, 00:34

McDowell made the decision to end Jeremy's life without going through the proper and legal channels. He did not have the right to make that decision for Jeremy, so it was murder. It seems like as a doctor, he would have known how to get permission to end Jeremy's life.

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Post by KRay93 » 20 Dec 2018, 17:47

While Jeremy wanted to take his own life, it was most likely a decision of the moment as he was overwhelmed by his own actions and the fear of facing the consequences. Hiram made a decision on his own regardless of Jeremy's wishes, believing that with him dead moving on would be easier for everyone. Although assisted suicide is something that I agree with, this seemed more like a murder than anything else.

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Post by GPM » 20 Dec 2018, 21:18

I agree with everyone who says its murder. They explained well.
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Post by Highly Favoured One » 25 Dec 2018, 17:25

From the flow of events, sounds like Hiram had the intention to kill Jeremy - whether or not Jeremy himself wanted to die. He should be tried for murder.

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Post by Ehartl » 27 Dec 2018, 11:46

It's murder. Hiram wasn't trying to be helpful to Jeremy; he was trying to ease his own pain and that of his family. Hiram knew what he was doing was wrong, as evidenced by the moving of the camera. He is a selfish character and that is made clear in this event.

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Post by Blugrl175 » 29 Dec 2018, 23:10

In my opinion I believe it really was murder because even though Jeremy tried to commit suicide doesn't mean that after trying to kill himself that he still wanted to die. He could've wanted to continue living all over again Yes this is considered murder

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Post by Louanne Piccolo » 30 Dec 2018, 15:53

I'd say assisted suicide. I think it was quite clear that Jeremy wanted to die by shooting himself. If he was unhappy before that, I'm sure he would have been even more inclined to die seeing the state he was in afterwards.
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Post by Jessacardinal » 05 Jan 2019, 23:34

I am fairly sure the state Jeremy's death occurred in did not legally recognize assisted suicide roles in this book, therefore, Hiram would have to be tried for murder. Furthermore, even if the state did recognize assisted suicide, Hiram was not Jeremy's doctor, and never would have been given his immediate familial relationship to Jeremy. I honestly believe either way, Hiram would have to be tried for murder in this particular instance.
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