Name: Brandon Earle.
Died: December 19, 2013.
Age at death: 18.
Cause of death: Assisted suicide.
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Brandon was suicidal because he had been struggling with pedophila for years. When he came to the attention of the police for accessing child pornography on the Internet, he decided to commit suicide and told his mother so. His mother did not try to get help for her suicidal son. Instead, she went to the hospital where she worked, stole some drugs, and killed him before attempting suicide herself. She was sentenced to a mere three months in jail.
Editor’s note: Brandon’s case is a particularly sad one. Pedophilia is a mental illness in its own right, an attraction to children who are too young to consent to sexual activity. The stereotype is of a pedophile who actually molests children, but many pedophiles–those with consciences and the willpower to use them–actually never hurt a child at all. For these pedophiles, there is a good deal of hope that they can live without ever harming anyone despite their paraphilia. In this situation, Brandon found himself struggling with pedophilia; when he was caught accessing child porn web sites, he became suicidal. His mother reacted to this by helping him kill himself. Perhaps she was unaware that her son could possibly grow up to become a man who did not hurt children. Perhaps she simply didn’t believe his life was worth living. Regardless, because of Brandon’s disabilities, she decided that when he was in a suicidal crisis, the appropriate thing to do would be to help him commit suicide.