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#458302 - 01/09/14 06:44 AM I Saved a Pedophile's Life
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
This has been a harrowing week for me. One of the patient's I work with is a twice convicted sex offender. Both victims were children under 13. One in 1991 and one in 2003. He is catagorized as a high risk to reoffend. He became very sick and likely would have died if I hadn't quickly assessed his condition and got him to a doctor. I did my job, but I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don't feel good at all about extending his life. How many more children will be at risk because he will still be walking the streets? How many will be scarred for life because I didn't just let him die? I could have easily done so. If he reoffends it will be on my head and I can't bear that.



#458303 - 01/09/14 07:09 AM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2866
It is called being a professional. You did the job you are tasked to do. The alternatives? Well, you could NOT be a professional, in which case you will lose more good lives than bad. The math would not add up. Or you could be selectively professional, choosing who will live and who will die - which is frighteningly psychopathic. So you did what you had to do. And everyone along the way - from you to the doctor to the nursing staff - are all "guilty" in that sense.

Consider this - the doctor talks to you and reveals that he feels awful for the possible ramifications of saving this person's life. What would you tell HIM? Would you in any sense find justification to berate him for not doing less than his job? Or consider this - how many of us are here because some other professionals, be it in law enforcement, therapy, or corrections, did NOT do their job?

Maybe a good exercise is to write your feelings in a letter to this man you saved. I don't know the ethics of delivering such a letter, nor am I suggesting you deliver it. Just write to him - sees what spills out on the paper. Then deal with it where you can really see it. Perhaps you can even share it here.

#458314 - 01/09/14 11:19 AM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
i did not participate in the beating of my rapist,
while others were hitting him with clubs.
i had a weapon in my hand, and yet
i did nothing to prevent his escape when he ran past me.
i could not bring myself to violence.
nor i did not report him immediately to the police.

i held myself responsible for the dozen plus children he later murdered, and the hundreds he raped.
i was physically ill with guilt for years over that.
i had to put the blame where it belongs.
the perpetrator is responsible for his own perpetrations.
the criminal is responsible for his own crimes.
the sinner is responsible for his own sins.

i know these situations are really different,
but i hope you get my message.

please do not blame yourself.
you did the right thing.

i think eirik's letter idea is brilliant.


#458319 - 01/09/14 01:20 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1146
Loc: michigan
no Jude
it will not be on your head. you did the good and right thing and only that which was in your power to do. remember that life and death should not be in your hands. Regardless of belief systems we must admit that people live and die daily despite the best of care.To take a life more or less deliberately is no small task. his guilt is his alone. we only try to do the things that we can live with from moment to moment. you bear no responsibility for what he does or has done. though I am sure for a time it may not feel that way.(( Jude)) it is a difficult place to be in.
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

#458322 - 01/09/14 02:10 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
Castle Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758

Edited by Castle (05/17/15 01:05 AM)

#458324 - 01/09/14 02:42 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2866
Originally Posted By: Castle
Don't dishonor yourself by questioning your professionalism.

Precisely. Well phrased, worth repeating.

#458333 - 01/09/14 03:49 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
Rich1967 Offline

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 642
Loc: PA

Hope you are able to hear what everyone is saying. I know what it's like to be in a situation where you just can't see the light even though you know it's close by. Having friends on the outside to help lead your way is a great thing. Not always easy to listen I know that one too.

This is one of those decisions that you have to make and no matter what way you go you won't feel good. I think you made the right call too and I'm sorry you had to make it. You treated him like a human being. There are good ones and bad ones, but it's a better world when we can treat each other with some respect.
"Me too"-I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.
My Story

#458334 - 01/09/14 04:43 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 732
Loc: United States

You did your job professionally and ethically and that's what we all strive to do every day. Your responsibility for this person was to care for them and you met that responsibility in challenging circumstances.

It is the responsibility of others working to contain his actions and to protect children.

Don't let your empathy and understanding lead you to take on responsibilities which are not yours. I'll glad you didn't let this situation lead you into being responsible for this person's injury or death.

Taking the high road is the right choice here.


Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

#458340 - 01/09/14 07:00 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
PhoenixRising Offline

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 131

I cried after reading what you wrote.
What a powerful testimony to the strength of your compassion and your amazing humanity. It is just that humanity that needs to survive in this world, and would have been lost if you had knowingly allowed him to die. By helping him stay alive, you also kept alive hope, that indeed this can be a good world, and one day maybe even a better one. Nothing would have been gained had you allowed him to die.
If he re-offends, it is his responsibility, and his to carry, and on any who allow it. You, nor I, nor any of us can stop the horrible acts that occur every day, we can stand in the way of those we are aware of, and we can name how we believe the world should be. Indeed, I believe, our one most important task, and it is a huge challenge that you went through in this situation, is to, even without the outside proof, hold onto our own humanity and compassion, even in the face of the world that would perhaps try to wrestle them from our grasp.
I am so grateful that there are human beings such as you in this world.

Edited by PhoenixRising (01/09/14 07:16 PM)
Alone, we are isolated, open to persecution, abuse, violence and our own pain. Together, we are a powerful force of men, who have, despite any reason to tell us otherwise, remained with some particle of hope, some seed of a compassionate world..together we are undeniably strong..and they know that.

#458344 - 01/09/14 07:49 PM Re: I Saved a Pedophile's Life [Re: Jude]
FormerTexan Offline

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12132
Loc: Denver, CO
Jude, saving his life does not make you responsible for the choices he makes. You did what any good decent person would do, you saved another's life.
Money talks, but all it tells me is goodbye.

If I could meet myself as a boy...

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