Reality Round-Up: Wrongful Death Edition

Death is coming to us all (courtesy of Ryan Springer)

No matter who you are or what you believe, the inevitable truth is that every life must someday come to an end. Death is the great equalizer and doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or any other factor.

When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. It’s as simple as that.

If you’re like me, you envision your demise coming at the end of a long, successful and rewarding life.

Lying in your death bed and surrounded by the family you helped spawn, you bathe yourself in adulation and let the love warm you as your body grows cold. As your time grows near, you utter some final words designed to inspire your progeny for generations to come. Peace comes over you as a bright light appears.

And then you’re gone. No pain. No regrets. Only love.

Wishful thinking, isn’t it?

I wish every death were as peaceful and pleasant as this, but the fact is that things rarely go as smoothly.

Instead of passing away in your sleep, you check your cell phone just as you step off the curb and get flattened by a city bus; or remember electricity the second before you step into your bathtub with your laptop in hand, the cord dragging through a puddle on the floor behind you; or leap from a cliff into the water below without bothering to check the depth first.

Of course, a lot of people just end up wasting away in some nursing home or hospital room. Not that this is any better, mind you. I’d much rather jump off the cliff.

Regardless of the manner of your death, the truth is that your time will come now, later or, preferably, far into the future. No one knows when or where, and that’s the beauty of it.

Only Death knows.

All death is tragic, to be sure. But death that results from the negligence of others, to me, seems most poignant, especially when the unexpected victim is young. Wrongful death interferes with the natural order and removes fate from the equation. When it also removes hope, like the limitless hope of youth, it becomes even more heartbreaking.

The latest edition of “Reality Round-Up” presents three examples of wrongful death. And in all three cases, the wonder and promise of youth is extinguished by “people” who barely deserve the classification.


Saturday marked the 12th birthday of Bailey O’Neill, a young Delaware County student.

The next day, he was dead.

In January, O’Neill was the victim of bullying at Darby Township School. His attackers hit him in the face, fractured his nose, knocked him down and gave him a concussion. Shortly thereafter, O’Neill started having violent seizures and had to be placed in a medically induced coma.

On Sunday, his family decided to remove him from life support and the young boy died peacefully. And far too soon.

An investigation by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office is active and school officials are cooperating. With any luck, they will find the bullies responsible and teach them a valuable lesson.

Might I suggest employing some older kids to return the favor, albeit in a non-lethal way? You could call it an “Old Testament Refresher” for Sunday school or something.


Prepare yourself to be both saddened and angered by this next story. It pissed me off, to say the least.

On February 26th, 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless collapsed in a dining tomb… I mean, room… at Glenwood Gardens. A staff member immediately dialed 911 and you will never guess what happened next.

The 911 dispatcher knew what to do and asked the staff member to perform CPR on Bayless, but the caller refused. Apparently, it was against the home’s policy for employees to perform CPR on anyone, so they simply waited for paramedics to arrive.

Bayless was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. And as far as I know, there will be no investigation into her death, either. That’s all she wrote.

I wonder if CPR would have helped Bayless? Granted, she was old, but everyone deserves a last chance, right?

Stupid staff member.


Wrongful death is most wrong when it applies to babies, as it does in this next story. I must warn you, though. This is pretty disturbing stuff.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is a 72-year-old physician facing eight counts of murder: one for a 41-year-old woman who died while in his care and seven more for babies he aborted. In the words of prosecutors, he runs a “house of horrors” and deserves to die.

Gosnell and his clinic (courtesy of

This may seem harsh, at first. But I assure you, it is completely warranted.

Gosnell is known for performing late-term abortions, so the babies he “destroys” are alive when he first encounters them. To end their lives, he uses scissors to sever their spinal cords. And these are babies that could have been saved!

The Women’s Medical Society, as Gosnell’s “clinic” is known, has been operating since the late 1970s. He serves mostly low-income, minority women and, in his mind, provides a valuable public service.

Tell that to the young woman who died of an anesthetic overdose on his table during a second-trimester abortion. Not to mention the endless babies he slaughtered along the way.

Following Gosnell’s arrest, authorities searched his office and found some pretty disgusting things. There were bags and bottles full of aborted fetuses, jars with severed baby feet on the shelves and blood-stained equipment everywhere.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams described the scene later.

“It was a house of horrors beyond any type of definition or explanation I can humbly try to give,” he told reporters. “My grasp of the English language doesn’t really allow me to fully describe how horrific this clinic was—rotting bodies, fetal remains, the smell of urine throughout, blood-stained.”

Sounds like an ideal place for medical procedures, don’t you think?

Jury selection began Monday, but there are rumors that Gosnell is seeking some kind of plea bargain. And he may somehow buck the system and get himself out of trouble, but I can say this: there is no plea bargaining in Hell.

And after what he’s done, that’s exactly where Gosnell is heading. It won’t be long now.

This concludes another depressing edition of the “Reality Round-Up” and I have but one thing to add: I will do my best to make the next one uplifting and inspirational.

I just might have to look somewhere other than the news.

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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