Before I even give you this scenario, I can tell you right now I say "No!" Seriously, (almost) no gray area for me.
Now, here's the deal: Daryl Strenke, 45, is serving 30 years in a Wisconsin prison as part of a 60-year sentence, for murdering his ex-girlfriend, the first half of what he apparently planned to be a murder-suicide.
Strenke lured Samantha Verby out of her home, blasted her in the face with a shotgun, with her 7-year-old daughter a few feet away, and then turned the gun on himself.
While aiming at himself Strenke suddenly became a bad shot and instead of dying, mangled his face.
His mother says he's "tortured" daily by the physical pain caused by his self-inflicted injuries...again, self inflicted after he shot his recent ex-girlfriend point blank in the face.
They say, it's their obligation to provide medical care to inmates, because inmates are wards of the state. I get that argument, and I actually agree with it, if the medical care is either basic "maintenance" stuff or emergency care to save an inmate's life or prevent his death.
But no one with the WDoC will say whether Strenke's disfigurement and related issues make for a life or death situation. His mother says though that the surgery is needed 'cause he can't speak clearly, he's in constant pain, and since he shot his teeth off all his food has to be puréed. So he's in pain, can't chew solid food, and has difficulty talking.
Should he get the surgery, and should the state pay for it?
You already know my answer. I'd say 30 years in prison with physical pain and disfigurement serving as a daily reminder that you murdered someone is a fair trade off. My one exception would be if Strenke's family/supporters can pay for the surgery themselves.
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