(May 21) -- Is a Las Vegas woman responsible for the death of her diabetic daughter? The District Attorney says "yes". But some in the Valley's diabetic community say the case isn't as cut and dry as it may appear.
There's a concern that the Metro investigation, which led to the murder charge was based on a simplistic view of diabetes -- a view that insulin is a "wonder" drug which "always" keeps the disease in check. While one Valley mom faces neglect and murder charges, another mom questions how neglect is defined.
Cheryl Botzet surrendered at the Clark County Detention Center; one day after being charged with the murder of her 11-year-old daughter Ariel.
Herb Sachs, Botzet's attorney, said, "She takes the blood test four times a day and gives the child insulin when she needs it. What more can you do than that?"
Botzet's attorney denies his client neglected her daughter. In a Metro report, Botzet told investigators Ariel hid her blood testing equipment and had before her February death, refused to take insulin her shots.
This is common according to Jackie Singer. "You end up with serious rebellion. Children who refuse to take insulin." Singer counsels diabetic kids, including her 15-year-old daughter Molly. She rejects the idea that an insulin shot instantly remedies a diabetic episode, such as the one that killed Ariel Botzet." For anyone to blatantly say across the board that this is an easily controllable disease is outrageous," Singer added.
Dean Collins, with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, said, "People still think insulin is the cure for juvenile diabetes, which is of course so far from the truth." Keeping that in mind, Collins says it's the only lifeline diabetics have.
D.A. David Roger says Cheryl Botzet didn't pay attention to that lifeline. By the time she did, it was too late.
Jackie Singer remembers a time years ago when a doctor misdiagnosed her diabetic daughter and administered a medicine that shot her blood sugar level through the roof. "Was it negligence on his part? Was it negligent on my part?"
And if Ariel Botzet was resisting testing and treatment, is she to blame for her own death? Or is her mother to blame?
Botzet's attorney Herb Sachs says for his client to be charged with murder, the D.A. has to prove pre-meditation -- that she planned the death. He doesn't believe prosecutors can do that. Sachs believes the evidence shows she took care of her daughter the best she could. That it was the progressive nature of diabetes, which claimed Ariel Botzet's life.
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