Parents charged in death of girl forced to drink water
September 18, 2002 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Parents charged in death of girl forced to drink water - Forcing a 4 year old to consume large amounts of water seems like an odd way to promote family bonding. Death by over watering can happen, but this sounds more like an episode of Law & Order.
posted by MediaMan (20 comments total)
That's so horrible, god knows what else they subjected the poor child to.. I just hope that they place the other two kids with a good family and that they can forget all about their time with these two monsters.
posted by zeoslap at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2002

they required Cassandra to ask for everything, including food and water, ''to help her understand ... that her mom and dad loved her.''

That reasoning is insane. "Of course mommy and daddy love you.... Just don't eat, drink or touch anything."
posted by boomchicka at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2002

this sounds more like an episode of Law & Order.

This is a common use of child abuse, last year in Dallas they had a case. How do you think some of the deaths from the drug called x occurred, same way, too much water.

It is a fact too much electrolytes will kill you, but you do need them to survive. If you were to drink a large amount of water as fast as you can, you will feel tippsy, hiccup.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2002

Cue the sound effect...


posted by TacoConsumer at 10:02 AM on September 18, 2002

Ive never seen so many balatant grammatical erors in a befour storie.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:14 AM on September 18, 2002

He said the Cascade Center promoted forced water drinking for children with attachment disorder, believing it teaches children to seek out their parents for relief and comfort.

if that works, wouldn't it just be quicker to bloody the kid's nose and blacken its eye to make it seek comfort from the parent?
posted by tolkhan at 10:16 AM on September 18, 2002

I would think a normal 4 year old doesn't understand lying enough to be punished by it, especially in which the way her parent's decided to punish her.
posted by jasonspaceman at 10:19 AM on September 18, 2002

''She had a very severe problem of sneaking and lying ... to the point of even damage to herself,'' he said Wednesday on CBS' ''The Early Show.'' ''They made the suggestion that whatever she sneaked or wanted, that you would do that in excess.''

After she took water, he said, they asked her to drink three 8 ounces glasses of water.

so, a 4-year-old getting herself a glass of water because she's presumably thirsty, without expressly asking for it, is sneaking?

my initial thought, before i even read this paragraph, was "how devious can a 4-year-old be?" (yes, i'm sure plenty of you could provide examples, but seriously.)

and then i read that what she's sneaking is just water? jesus christ.
posted by damn yankee at 10:22 AM on September 18, 2002

Prosecutors don't plan to arrest them because they are cooperating.

''They made the suggestion that whatever she sneaked or wanted, that you would do that in excess

She also said Cassandra sneaked Kool-Aid, not water

''Her death was a tragic, tragic accident,'' Jennete Killpack

forced Cassandra to drink the water even while she was gagging and had tied her arms back, and cuts and bruises were found around her mouth

So by their actions and punishment who is the real sneak, here?
posted by thomcatspike at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2002

These people are nuts. 4-year-olds lie. They sneak things. They're barely out of babyhood, that's what toddlers do - test their boundaries. Sure, discipline the kid, but honestly, let's have a little common sense here. I suppose this little girl, if she were abused, might have had more of a problem with it than many 4-year-olds, but somehow I don't think forcing anything down her throat while bound and gagged will help her get past that abuse.

Here's a thought - idiot parents who throw common sense out the window and kill their children as a result should be subject to the same "reasonable" discipline they subjected their kids to. Preferably with the same result. And while we're at it, let's include the child psychology "expert" that gave these two the idea in the first place.
posted by ctartchick at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2002

Another thing whose the real child here? Why I ask, the parents had a therapist and did I understand this correct. Or is this part of the adoption process; your fit to be parents of Cassandra so we will grant you a daughter named Cassandra. But come back for therapy on parenting, Cassandra. Not to blame the system yet it failed Cassandra the real child, here. How, what if Cassandra burned her hand, then what, burn it more. By the therapist making the: suggestion that whatever she sneaked or wanted, that you would do that in excess.

Yes, I am mad about this, as I'm sick of hearing blame our youth for the mess of the world. The parents are blaming Cassandra for dying, folks.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:31 AM on September 18, 2002

People should require breeding / parenting licenses.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:53 AM on September 18, 2002

Here's info on the attachment disorder freaks people.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:59 AM on September 18, 2002

What they are describing re: the girls condition is hypernatermia. It's a condition sometimes found in athletes during ultra-endurance events like Ironman triathlons and ultramarathons (regular marathons are generally not long enough to produce this condition). What happens is that over the course of hours of extreme activity you deplete your sodium levels at a rate greater than you are able to replace through sports drinks, energy gels, etc. Of course, to stay hydrated you are also consuming plenty of liquids. If the sodium levels drop too low, your body starts to shut down, you can't process the liquid anymore and things get really ugly. Death can occur but only in the most extreme cases.

I imagine you have to drink (or be forced to drink) absurd amounts of water to create this condition in a healthy kid. From what I know of the condition, I suspect that she might have been OK had they sought medical attention in a timely manner. You don't just drink a lot of water and drop dead right away.
posted by probablysteve at 12:56 PM on September 18, 2002

once again i am reminded of that line from steve martin's movie 'parenthood': "you need a license to keep a dog, but they let any old butt-reaming asshole become a father..."
posted by quonsar at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2002

Sadly, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:21 PM on September 18, 2002

What they are describing re: the girls condition is hypernatermia

Probablysteve, you've confused your facts a bit. The problem with this girl is that she had HYPONATREMIA, too little sodium in the blood plasma. Imagine that the sodium concentration has been diluted by all the water she has drunk. The same thing happens in "psychogenic polydipsia," when psychotic or compulsive people drink very large amounts of water.

People who use ecstacy will occasionally develop the same problem, but it's not due to drinking too much water as suggested earlier, but rather a disorder of autoregulation in the brain. For some reason it happens more often in women.
posted by mert at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2002

[smirk] Sounds to me that water's the real culprit here. I say we make all H2O illegal and force children to drink alcohol. They'll pass out long before they drown. [/smirk]
posted by ZachsMind at 3:35 PM on September 18, 2002

Damnit, RJ. Reactive Attachment Disorder is an officially recognized DSM-IV classification with widely accepted criteria.

The FUCKHEADS who killed this child were not psychiatric professionals, but shit-on-a-shingle "therapists" who decided to mix the adult-oriented rebirthing therapy technique (which has been widely used though it's considered pretty new-agey) as a bonding exercise for treating RAD, though they had no clinical or experimental experience to back up these choices. They located in Evergreen, Colorado, which has a community of nationally-recognized clinics dealing with RAD, most of them accredited and staffed by medical professionals, many with staff connections to the original Attachment Center {which admittedly had an uphill battle with getting RAD recognized, and was criticized years ago for promoting both the diagnosis and its own expensive services in slick video and print materials}.

My two nieces and one nephew -- who were handled poorly in their early life by my marginally capable ex-sister-in-law -- are all diagnosed with varying degrees of RAD as well as other problems (ADHD, bipolar, etc.). Not once has any of the professionals with whom my family has worked suggested anything remotely akin to that fucked-up, criminally negligent "rebirthing" exercise. Those bullshit wannabes probably permanently tainted the diagnosis for a lot of people (just as Scientology's wacked-out opposition to psychiatry in general led them to spread resistance to Prozac).

In short: Attachment Disorder, real; Rebirthing, real but silly; Rebirthing as treatment for RAD, bizarre; Rebirthing as supervised by idiots, criminal.

posted by dhartung at 3:42 PM on September 18, 2002

People should require breeding / parenting licenses.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:53 AM PST on September 18

[comment by ex-Residential Social Worker]

hear hear!

[/comment by ex-Residential Social Worker]
posted by dash_slot- at 11:51 AM on September 19, 2002

« Older Would you like some cheesecake with that coffin?   |   India's slide into facsism... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments