Friday, April 15, 2011

Big News - Our Justice System Got It Right (for once)

No Jail Time For Obsessive-Compulsive women who left maggot infested mother to die on kitchen floor

Naturally, the press headlines are clear about the case but fortunately, and quite out of keeping with our normal run of the mill justice system, Justice Paul Coghlan has got it right.

Carers have it tough and in many cases they can be the victims of life-long manipulation and control and, yes, training, by those that they end up caring for.

It is not as simple as saying 'they should have done the right thing' because after a lifetime in a relationship that bonds far tighter and more restrictive than even marriage, the 'right thing' can be impossible.

Naturally, the mother should not have been left to die on the floor.
Naturally, she should not have been 'maggot infested'.

But things are rarely that simple.

Of all those surveyed recently, Carers have the lowest self-esteem, the highest levels of stress and the worst health. Many are chronically depressed, almost all are isolated.

And in 2003 there were 2.7 million carers but less than 300,000 received Centrelink benefits which means the rest (2.4 million!) were doing it the hard way.

So when these isolated, depressed and physically and emotionally exhausted people do not respond like you or I do, they do not need jail. They need support.

Do you work weekends? Carers do.
Are you on call 24 hours a day? Carers are.
Do you have annual leave? Carers don't.
Do you have long service leave? Carers don't.
Do you have Public Holidays? CARERS DON'T.

Carer's don't even have superannuation.

In this one case, justice has prevailed.

For another carer, Agnieszka Miller, justice has been denied. As has compassion. As has understanding.