Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Comment of the Week: Rick Sutton

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | February 06, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: Betsie Gallardo, Florida

From Bil's post about the passing of Betsie Gallardo: RIP: Betsie Gallardo 1983-2011.Betsie Gallardo leaves prison

Projector Rick Sutton wrote movingly of his reaction to Betsie's passing, and of his feelings towards the State of Florida's 5-year sentence for battery with a "deadly weapon" for spitting on a police officer while being HIV positive, despite the scientific evidence that HIV cannot be transmitted that way, and its decision to refuse her IV nutrition after she developed cancer, saying, "She's going to die sooner or later.":

Betsy's late life was an inspiration to me and many folks in my prayer circle--and not a one of us knew her. That's power.

Her troubles also illuminated some pretty disgusting behavior within the government of the state of Florida. Those folks are paid with taxpayer dollars, and because Florida has no income tax, they rely on sales taxes. Thus, tens of millions of us who visit the state are direct supporters of that ridiculous conduct.

Which is why I wrote the governor. As a customer. To tell him to learn from this too-short life.

RIP, Betsy. Godspeed, to her family.

Projectors, what are your feelings on the passing of Betsie Gallardo?

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Aren't we all gonna die sooner or later?

Thank you, Jillian. Florida will be our new home in a couple of years, because of the climate. Their behavior makes me re-think it.

Gina must be channeling Darth Vader or something. Maybe Dick Cheney.

Betsie touched a lot of lives in a very moving way. In short order.

Gina excepted, it appears. (sigh)

Seeingeyegrrl | February 7, 2011 10:52 AM

Rick, I don't get why you make comments about Gina when all that was done is just stating a fact. A fact that you could interpret several ways. I chose it to mean that since we all are going to die anyway, that it is irrelevant for the state of Floride to use that as a reason to withhold IV nutrition.

While I understand you are feeling the loss and unfairness of Betsie's short life, why pass on the same hurtful behavior that you are complaining about?

Rick Sutton | February 7, 2011 4:41 PM

Maybe you're right, but I read the Gina post four times. It was insensitive. The first-second-third time. Then, it was just senseless.

On this post, about this girl's life? First comment out of the box, "we're all gonna die sometime" ?


My partner and I are moving to Florida soon. This story made me seriously re-think that. The Indiana winter referenced above probably trumps my concerns. But only barely.

Is there a sunbelt state that treats us like humans?

By the way, the Fla. Governor hasn't responded to my inquiry. Floridians have this love-hate thing with snowbirds. Love our money, hate our, uh, opinions.

RIP, Betsie.

When I saw that Betsie's funeral would be in Nashville, Indiana, I considered attending. However, the Hoosier winter weather made that virtually out of the question; on Saturday morning I had raced out of Indy during a snowstorm, not knowing if I would make it to my destination near Louisville safely. Thankfully, I did.

Let's not only show compassion toward Betsie and her family -- let's show compassion toward each other, too.

I am currently reading Karen Armstrong's latest book, Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life. Compassion is not pity, nor is it the same as empathy -- compassion is fully recognizing someone's pain (including animals, and including yourself), and having the will to do whatever is possible to eliminate or minimize that pain. And, above all, compassion is refraining from doing or saying things that add to human pain.

Although I must say, there also must be a world with justice -- and the Florida authorities deserve the criticism they are getting here on this thread.