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Thread: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

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    lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    Fine for doctor who killed an obese woman | Dundee and Tayside | STV News

    A doctor who killed a morbidly obese woman on his way to a medical team bonding course was fined 5,000 and banned from driving for three years.
    He was not sent to prison because, if the woman had been of average size, she would have survived the impact.
    Do you agree with this ruling?

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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    Yes, I don't think he should be in prison. He caused the accident but I didn't see a reference in the article to overtly reckless driving and he otherwise did everything he could to save her. He had a car accident, yes, but it really wasn't his fault that she was too fat to be transported by the nearest available rescue vehicles. From the article:

    Her weight was so great that both the ambulance and the air ambulance called to the scene were unable to transfer her to hospital, and eventually a helicopter from RAF Kinloss took her to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
    This is one of those tragic things that happens in life. He didn't really get a lighter sentence because she was fat, he's being punished for the car crash but not for her death because the paramedics were unable to get her to the hospital quickly enough because of her heft.
    Last edited by other; 11-19-10 at 06:34 AM.

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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    No I don't agree with this. While it seems like there was no wrong doing, and this was just a horrible accident, I don't think that the victims weight, causing her inability to be transported to receive the medical treatment she needed should effect the sentencing of the guilty party. It would be like saying someone should receive a lesser sentence because they murdered a terminally ill patient, who was going to die soon anyway.

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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    No I don't agree with this. While it seems like there was no wrong doing, and this was just a horrible accident, I don't think that the victims weight, causing her inability to be transported to receive the medical treatment she needed should effect the sentencing of the guilty party. It would be like saying someone should receive a lesser sentence because they murdered a terminally ill patient, who was going to die soon anyway.
    I don't think that's analogous because murder is specifically done with the intent to kill. That the victim was terminally ill is beside the point. This woman died due to circumstances beyond anyone's control (although he did cause the accident, it was an accident and not a purposeful killing).
    Last edited by other; 11-19-10 at 06:37 AM.

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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    I completely agree, not only because she obviously shared responsibility for her own death but because I hate fat bodies.

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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    180 kilos, you'd think she could absorb the shock with all that extra padding.
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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    Yes, the ruling is correct IMO. I don't know much about the laws of Scotland, but I suspect that most courts here in the US would rule the same way. If you like, replace the fact that she was morbidly obese with some other frailty that is less emotionally charged. Would it be fair to charge someone with manslaughter (or whatever the applicable death-related crime would be) if they could not have reasonably expected that their actions would kill someone? I don't think so.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-19-10 at 09:25 AM.
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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    what the hell is "driving carelessly". was he talking on a cell phone? changing the radio? just not paying attention? the story doesn't say. If he wasn't drinking and he caused the "accident" due to being momentarily distracted I don't see why he should've been charged at all. Accidents happen....that's why they are called accidents. It's not his fault she was so fat they couldn't get her into an ambulance.
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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Yes, the ruling is correct IMO. I don't know much about the laws of Scotland, but I suspect that most courts here in the US would rule the same way. If you like, replace the fact that she was morbidly obese with some other frailty that is less emotionally charged. Would it be fair to charge someone with manslaughter (or whatever the applicable death-related crime would be) if they could not have reasonably expected that their actions would kill someone? I don't think so.
    the question is, would he have been charged with something else had she been "normal" and died anyway. if so, then he should have been charged in this case. if not, then the ruling is appropriate. we have to take the "obese" factor completely out of the equation.

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    Re: lighter sentence because the lady was fat

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    the question is, would he have been charged with something else had she been "normal" and died anyway. .
    according to the article, if she had been "normal" she probably would not have died. her immense fatness not only contributed to the severity of her injuries, it prevented her from being transported to a hospital in a timely manner. therefore, if she had been of normal weight/girth not only would she have not been as severely injured, it would not have taken them 4 hours to get her to hospital.
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