And all of that happened because of one person: Cheryl McLean, Katie’s mother. Cheryl refused to allow Katie to be force fed, which led to her death by malnutrition. Cheryl maintained that Katie said she wanted to die at home, with dignity. Her opponents, however, believed Cheryl was a negligent mother who could not look after Katie or her other seven children, and that overstressed and out of control, she starved her child to death. And many were convinced that Cheryl was a manipulative, murderous psychopath who allowed her child to die a cruel and horrible death. In the end, the judge ruled it homicide (a preventable death) but did not assign blame — and no criminal charges were ever made.
The one witness who could establish the truth is no longer with us and her great tragedy is whatever that truth, the help and guidance the solution required was not available.
All in all, a very strange and disturbing story—and its relevance is unfortunately not outdated.
Blizzard Award, Best Movie
Gemini Finalist, Best Movie
Produced with Sienna Films and Buffalo Gal Pictures.