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Did you notice, as I did, that in the paper today there were too many stories of mothers murdering their children? It was hard to miss. My reaction might not be yours but please stay with me for a moment: I understand how it happened. This is just my usual “if it happened, it should have happened.” There is more to it.

Prevention science is based on the assumption that to control something we must understand it. Look at the cases that were in the Boston Globe today. These women were isolated and stressed and probably hopeless. Many were facing impossible challenges. One mother is accused of murder for not administering chemotherapy to her autistic, non-verbal, developmentally delayed school-age child. Don’t get me wrong, I support laws requiring that parents deliver medical care. Still, going through chemotherapy is grueling and awful. It is a lot to ask a poorly functioning single mother do alone. How many of us are on the list of respite and foster care homes to take over this lifesaving role? So, I don’t think that it is okay that she did not find a way. I don’t think that it had to end the way it did. I do think that I can understand how it went so wrong and I don’t think that what she did is the same thing as murder.