This week I found out that there have already been twice as many child fatalities in the U.S. due to being trapped in a hot car then there were at this time last year. Currently there have been 13 hot car child deaths; this doesn’t count the number of pets that have died.
Imagine for a second what these children went through. They are locked in a car, strapped in their car seat, unable to move. At first it is just a little boring, then the heat starts to climb. They start to sweat and their seat belt starts to chaff. Their heart beats faster, circulating blood to cool them down. Their tiny bodies struggle to keep up, but the car gets too hot and their bodies can’t cope. Their body temperature starts to rise. Their body, vainly trying to cool itself, keeps sweating, transferring liquids to the sweat glands, drying out their eyes and throat. After sweating so much they are thirsty, but they can’t move, even if there was a bottle left in the car. But the heat in the car keeps climbing and so does their body temperature.
Imagine their torment as they are baked to death.
The media has made heroes of the people who have saved children like these from their torment. Yet, 13 children, in the U.S. alone, have still suffered a horrible death. What if cars were equipped to sense movement and after 20 minutes they were programmed to circulate a gas that would painlessly kill the child? This would save their torment.
Perhaps you were outraged at my suggestion. “Gassing an innocent child?” Would you rather they suffer an unimaginably horrible death? At least having it as an option would give parents the freedom to choose to safe-guard their children from the possibility of a horrible death or take the risk of not having such a system in place. Not having it is an infringement of personal freedoms and rights for those who want to prevent their children from suffering.
I hope you are still outraged at my suggestion. However this thinking is already present and legal. Doctor assisted suicide makes it legal to kill people to alleviate their suffering, much in the same way that a gas-equipped car system would.
What if, instead of circulating gasses, the cars were programmed to open the windows or turned on the AC after sensing movement? This would cool the vehicle, let air circulate and ease the child’s suffering. And, what if, instead of killing people, and spending money debating how to make killing people legal, we spent money researching how to make their lives more bearable?
Duncan Poulsen, Three Hills