Killing Children with Disabilities is Murder, Not Mercy!
As someone born with severe disabilities, for which the highest expectation was to be institutionalized, I know that my parents could have quietly snuffed out my life, and in many circles, would have been seen as "heroes" for "ending my suffering".
I have read many heartbreaking stories of parents who took the lives of their children with disabilities and without fail, someone would make excuses for that parent, saying that they were under stress due to the "burden" of raising a child with a severe disability. Yet, had that parent murdered their non-disabled child, that person would most likely be seen as a monster, not as someone who "loved" their child, and was doing what was "best" for him or her.
I learned early in life that I was considered a "burden", and there were clear differences in treatment between me and my twin sister, who is non-disabled. Some of my parents' friends were cruel enough to speak their thoughts to them in my presence, saying, "Why bother with her? Put her away, and be done with it. You have another child to consider". When I was ill (and that was often), they were encouraged, in some cases by doctors, to "let me go". Fortunately, my parents did not listen to that advice.
The heart of the matter is that society in general sees little or no value in the lives of children with disabilities. It is assumed that their lives are miserable, and that they will grow up to be burdens on society, living at the public's expense. It is easy to put forth the excuse that the child is "suffering" and will be "better off dead".
As a child, my disabilities and their treatment involved lots of physical pain, but that was nothing compared to the psychological torture of knowing that there were people who wanted me to die because I was disabled or who thought that my sister was better than me because she was "normal". Even today, the pain of knowing that there are those who feel that I and others with disabilities do not deserve to be alive, sears my very soul - the pain is unimaginable!
With the advent of assistive and adaptive technology, attendant and support services, support groups, parenting classes, service organizations, and independent living centers, there is no excuse for any parent to harm their disabled child. Parents who do so must face the same punishment and societal repercussions as someone who has harmed a non-disabled child. The murder of a disabled child is just that - murder. It is not an act of mercy.