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Monday, March 25, 2013

Carol Carr and Huntington's Disease

On June 8th, 2002, Carol Carr walked into her son's nursing home and shot and killed them as they laid side by side in their room. Carol's sons, Andy and Randy Carr, were in the last agonizing stages of Huntington's disease. The same disease had already taken Carr's husband, daughter, oldest son (who killed himself when he learned that he had the disease) and was then taking two of her other sons. Eventually, Carr's youngest son was diagnosed, as well.

Carr did not try to elude police, waiting in the lobby of the nursing home until they came and got her. One police officer reported that Carr begged him to kill her once she was placed in the squad car. He said he felt nothing but sympathy for her. Carr's remaining son said that his mother did not act out of malice, but out of love. The overwhelming majority of people supported Carr. Even the lead detective in the case classified the deaths as "mercy killings". Carol Carr ended up pleading guilty to assisted suicide (which brings up a whole host of questions and discussions on it's own). She was sentenced to 5 years in prison, but only served 14 months before being released on parole. As part of her parole, Carol Carr is not allowed to be the primary caregiver to her remaining son when his HD starts to progress. Understandable.

With all the commotion that pro-lifers put out regarding late term abortions (for medical reasons, at that), how do you think they feel about this type of thing? What are your thoughts?


  1. Well, this "they" staunchly opposes all forms of assisted suicide. That doesn't mean I don't have sympathy for Carol Carr, at least insofar as she appeared on a security tape, weeping hysterically and begging the police to kill her. However, I continue to feel that this action was wrong. (I first became aware of the case via an MSNBC broadcast that I feel was very biased in favor of euthanasia, and in addition to thinking her actions were wrong, I don't buy that she wasn't planning to kill her sons-she said that she carried the gun around for protection and that she just snapped-I think that she was planning to do what she did.

    In any case, I often feel that people who support assisted suicide do not adequately consider its potential impact on the severely disabled or the intersection of disability identity with other oppressed identities, such as race, economics, etc. Assisted suicide is dangerous to the disenfranchised, who deserve all the services they need to *LIVE WITH DIGNITY.*

  2. Good to see you again, Safepres.

    I realize that this case was based around "assisted suicide", but I have a hard time calling it as such. I think I agree with the lead detective when he described these deaths as mercy killings.

    I didn't follow this case as it happened. In fact, I didn't hear about it until years later (and it happened in my own state), but I do not believe that Carol Carr did this with malicious intent. Whether she just snapped or she intended to go in that day to end the lives of her sons, I think she did it out of love.