25 October 2007

Kate McCann Cries — What Do You Expect? Glee?

Kate McCann is in the paper today because she broke down in a television interview. I’m not sure I see what the news is except that she’s upset about the loss of her daughter, Madeleine. Well, of course she is. Not even the Portuguese police think she’s happy about her daughter being dead or missing.

On Monday it was headline news in one of the free London papers that Kate wants to go into childcare and quit being a GP. I think most people can agree that going into childcare is preferable to 10 years in a Portuguese jail. But I fail to see the news value. Whether her daughter was kidnapped or Kate and Gerry McCann accidentally killed their daughter, it has got to be a fairly traumatic event. My only question is would you trust her with your children? You’d have two-thirds chance of getting them back.

My big question is why is Kate in the news so much? Is it because she is a yummy mummy? Gerry, her husband, is not in the news nearly as much, despite the fact that he is an anaesthesiologist, which makes him a more likely suspect in an accidental overdosing of Madeleine, and he was the one who found Maddy missing.

This news about Kate looking to change jobs and crying seems to be a way of saying that she’s innocent of killing her kid. But it doesn’t. What probably happened was that Kate, a GP, and Gerry, an anaesthesiologist, got in the habit of dosing their kids so that they’ll sleep through the night. Probably they accidentally doubled the dose, by each of them giving Madeleine a dose, or they gave her more than usual to sleep through the night, or she reacted to the drug differently than in the past. Then, when Gerry went to check on the kids during dinner, he found Madeleine dead and panicked and hid the body. Indeed, he might even have disposed of the body and told Kate that Madeleine was missing. The point is that the focus should really be on him. But he’s just a bloke. She’s a hottie in grief. That makes better news somehow, especially in the Sun and Daily Mail.

This all raises an interesting question about what should be done if they are guilty of accidentally killing Madeleine. If they are convicted they will lose their medical licences, go to jail, and their twins will go into foster care. If they are not convicted, they will continue to practice medicine, probably much more carefully than in the past, and really cherish their twins and raise them well. I would hazard that they have learned their lesson about drugging their children and won’t do it again, so they don’t pose a threat to society.

Legally, if they are found guilty, their and their children’s lives will be ruined without preventing future crimes. It will deprive the community of their hard-learned skills and two children of their parents. On the whole, I hope they are found innocent, although I don’t think they are.

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