In blog, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide


Today’s post is exploring two cases relating to autism and euthanasia. Whilst the first strikes me as plain cruel and unaccepting, the second is a lot more complicated – it shows a lack of empathy and help for the family of the child, driving them to despair.

Cross-posted from – The family of an autistic boy is reeling after the child’s mother received an anonymous hate letter that suggested the family move or “euthanize” him.

Max Begley, 13“I was shaking when I was reading it,” said the boy’s grandmother Brenda Millson to CityNews. “It’s awful words…terrible. You don’t know why somebody would ever do such a thing.”

Neighbors rallied together to show support for 13-year-old Max, who was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two. (picture above)

Karla Begley, the boy’s mother, wept as she read portions of the hate mail to local news.

“I also live in this neighborhood and have a problem,” the writer stated in the one page letter that was received on Friday. “You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a [sic] nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling [sic] he constantly makes!!!”

“That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!” it says.

“When you feel your idiot kid needs fresh air, take him to our park you dope,” the letter reads.

Calling the boy a “hinderance to everyone” the letter writer states that “no employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever”.

“Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate them to science,” the letter said. “What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!”

“You had a retarded kid, deal with it…properly!!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!!”

The letter ends by asking the mother to move or have her child terminated.

“Do everyone in our community huge a [sic] favor and MOVE!!!!”

“Go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!”

“Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!”

The letter is signed: “One pissed off mother”.

Max’s father said he was scared for his son’s safety. “A person who is that crazy or demented who would fabricate something like that leads me to believe that they are very dangerous.”

Neighbors say they will discover the identity of the person behind the letter. The family is open to pressing charges.


Here is the second story.

Cross-posted from – A 14-year-old severely autistic boy has died after his mother and caregiver decided that his “emotional condition had deteriorated” and made him unfit to live.

After failing to kill the 200-pound boy with an overdose of sleeping pills, the women took a kitchen knife to him, stabbing him four times in the chest and twice in the heart.

They also slit one of his wrists, nearly severing his hand.

Alex Spourdalakis died on Sunday.

The women then killed the family cat, after which they attempted to commit suicide with sleeping pills.

In their suicide letter, the women said they did not want the cat to be sent to a shelter after their deaths.

But the women did not die. A suicide pact by the women included signed statements in which the women admitted their guilt in the murder.

The child’s mother, Dorothy Spourdalakis, 50, and the caregiver, Jolanta Agata Skrodzka, 44, were both charged with first-degree murder after the boy’s father found the women locked in a bedroom in a semi-conscious state, reported the Chicago Tribune.

“The murder was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Maureen O’Brien said to reporters.

The boy’s parents had previously separated.

Caregiver Skrodzka was the boy’s godmother.

After their arrest, the women told investigators that Alex’s needs were too much for them to meet and that they had wanted to put an end to Alex’s suffering themselves.

The boy’s mother had made a public appeal earlier this year through the YouTube Autism Media Channel to ask for help for her son after she said the medical profession failed him.

“He needs something simple, in the country, where he can run around, get the treatment that he needs so he can get better,” she said.

The Autism Media Channel stated in a press release, “We have tried to highlight the desperate plight of Alex and his family and bring to public attention the failings of the medical system when trying to deal with individuals like Alex.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Alex, a bright 14-year-old that had so much potential,” it said. “Alex just needed appropriate medical care and somewhere safe to live.”

“We are aware of many families in a similar state of crisis and our fear is that more cases like Alex will follow,” the group stated.

The women, who are on suicide watch, made an appearance inside a Cook County courthouse in Maywood yesterday.

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