Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dr. Drew on Call: London McCabe

"A desperation that this mom had in terms of the overwhelming responsibility of caring for two disabled people in her family." - Dr. Judy Ho, psychologist

"I think this was, actually, a kind, devoted mother who was trying her best to deal with these mounting stressors between her husband and her son.  She was reaching out." - Erica America, psychotherapist.

"The stress of what she was going through could have made her so desperate to get rid of something she could no longer take care of...and that's her son." - Dr. Judy Ho, psychologist

I only managed to catch the last four minutes of the segment of Dr. Drew on Call.  I did not know it was possible to feel so offended in so short a time.  Long story short?  From what I could gather, the segment centered around the mother (who killed her autistic son by throwing him off a bridge Monday) and how we should all feel sympathy for her.  I didn't hear London's name mentioned in the final minutes of the program.  In fact, there was very little reference to him at all.

Except in extremely dehumanizing and damaging ways.  He was identified as "an overwhelming responsibility," "a stressor" and, most disturbing "something she could no longer take care of."  London McCabe, was a six year old little boy, a kindergartener,  London McCabe was a human being.

He was not an object to get rid of.  London was a human being.  His mother was not the victim here.  Whatever her problems, she was the adult.  London was a child.  And I beg to differ with the sentiment expressed on the segment that this mother was "doing her best."  A mother's best does not include killing her own child.

Dr. Drew urged the audience that one of the takeaways from this situation should be that "stigma [around mental illness] kills" but I would challenge him on that as well.  Based on everything the panel had to say, and how the mother sought help for herself, the issue was not stigma.

Stigma does not kill.  Ableism kills.