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Not Guilty Verdict Negates Life Of Baby Daughter

A press release from Family Life International, New Zealand

Friday 19th November 2004

Not guilty verdict for Nelson man negates the life of his baby daughter

The decision to find the Richmond man not guilty of the death of his brain damaged baby daughter in the Nelson Court yesterday negates the value of the dead girl's life and her right to live.

While compassion and understanding must be extended to the man involved and to his family we must not forget or dismiss the tragic death of this baby girl.

A jury has decided that the father is not guilty of any wrong doing despite the fact that he has admitted to committing an act with the express intention of ending the life of his child. The baby girl involved has had her life taken from her yet it seems that her life was not important enough to warrant a guilty conviction for the minimum sentence of her manslaughter.

Manslaughter is the act where one human being takes the life of another human being by an unlawful act. In this case one human being, the father, has taken the life of another human being, his baby daughter, by the unlawful act of smothering; to suggest that this is not an act of manslaughter is a travesty of justice.

The simple reality is that if the child had not been diagnosed with brain damage then it is hard to believe that her father would have been found not guilty of her death.

The father has been exonerated by a jury because they have deemed his actions acceptable.

No human being has the right to end the life of another human being, no matter what the medical diagnosis involved.

Although doctors can diagnose illness they cannot do anything other then predict possible outcomes or quality of life for the patient involved. To allow someone to end the life of a child based on these possible outcomes or what someone else deems to be their quality of life is unjust and inhumane.

The baby girl in Nelson should have been given the chance to live but this right was taken from her by her father. The Nelson verdict proclaims to society that her life was not as important as the life of a child without disability and it has set a dangerous precedent that will jeopardise the lives of many disabled and special needs children in this country.

Family Life International is a registered charitable trust dedicated to educating on life issues from conception to death

Director: Colleen Bayer Press Liaison: Brendan Malone

Pregnant? Worried? - We can help - Phone 0800 623 4026

Family Life International


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