Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How I helped my mother starve to death: NY Times reporter writes book...
LifeSitenews.com ^ | August 23, 2011 | by Jeremy Kryn

Posted on 08/23/2011 1:55:48 PM PDT by topher

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, August 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A recently retired New York Times reporter has penned a book in which she details how she followed through on a shocking pact to help her 88-year-old mother, Estelle, starve to death.

Julia Gross with her mother Estelle. In an excerpt from the book, “A Bittersweet Season,” published recently in the Daily Mail, Jane Gross describes her mother’s increasing dissatisfaction with life as her health deteriorated, and her mounting desire to die, despite the fact that she was not terminally ill.

“So here we were, my mother and I, wishing that she were terminally ill and feeling a bit creepy about it,” Gross writes about her conversations with her mother about her death wish.

Gross admits that there “was no pretending I hadn’t been part of her decision [to die], and had arguably even encouraged it,” but argues that she made sure that her mother, with whom she had never been particularly close, was “doing this for herself,” and not out of a desire to spare her children “trouble and expense.”

Finally, after her mother spelled out the words “N-O-W,” Gross met with staff at the hospice where her mother was being cared for, and thus began the lengthy and grueling process of her mother’s death by starvation and dehydration – a process that staff had told Gross would only last a week, but that actually lasted 13 days.

(Excerpt) Read more at lifesitenews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: cultureofdeath; euthanasia; janegross; lifehate; medicide; moralabsolutes; murder; prolife; starvation
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-91 next last
Now I know why some people refer to the New York Times as the New York Slimes -- a person bragging about starving their mother to death.
1 posted on 08/23/2011 1:55:54 PM PDT by topher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: topher
desensitizing-the-masses alert.

oh, and for those who aren't sure, this is really sick.

2 posted on 08/23/2011 1:58:51 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

If you’ve killed a few of your babies, why not your mother, too?


3 posted on 08/23/2011 1:59:54 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

I”m not advocating euthanasia, but wouldn’t it be kinder to at least afford them as much care as we give our pets? NO ONE would even allow this kind of treatment for an animal. What is wrong with some Americans?


4 posted on 08/23/2011 2:00:23 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher
Why LifeSiteNews.com is excerpted:

Reprint Permissions

LifeSiteNews.com Terms of Use

LifeSiteNews.com is a non-profit service dedicated to spreading the truth concerning issues of life, family, and culture in our world today. Thus, LSN is free for personal and non-commercial use, as outlined below.

LSN would like to provide its articles free of charge to anyone. However, the substantial costs incurred in maintaining this news service requires that we charge a limited fee for professional use of original LSN articles.

Personal, Classroom and Non-Profit Use

LSN grants the right to print copies of an article for private use and to distribute to friends and family. LSN also encourages readers to e-mail articles to friends and family by using the “E-mail” feature located at the top-right of every article.

LSN also grants the right to print or republish its articles for limited single classroom situations and for inclusion in smaller non-profit organization websites, newsletters or bulletins. Such organizations would include pro-life, pro-family U.S. 501(c)(3) or other charitable or non-profit organizations and churches. We would, however, request that any such organizations first contact us, informing us of their intended use of LSN articles.

Website or Print Media Use

The reprint, re-use or redistribution of articles in full or large portion (more than half) on websites and in print media other than as noted above is strictly forbidden without the written permission of LifeSiteNews.com.

LSN offers licensing agreements to news organizations allowing them to republish LSN articles in full. Websites, print publications or others required to pay a fee for reprinting or website publishing of LSN articles should contact Matt Anderson to discuss terms using the e-mail form below, or at (540)635-3131. LSN is willing to negotiate fees to ensure that all organizations wishing to use LSN articles will be able to do so.

Articles republished in full under such licensing agreements must attribute the article to the author and to LifeSiteNews.com.

Any service that would generate revenue from the republishing of LSN articles must first obtain a licensing agreement before republishing.

Reprint, re-use or redistribution of portions of articles (not exceeding one half of the article) is allowed free of charge provided the wording of the article is not changed in any way, and LifeSiteNews.com is clearly credited as the source for the article. Internet republication of partial LSN articles must include a link to the original article on LifeSiteNews.com, in addition to clear and prominent mention of LifeSiteNews.com as the article source.


5 posted on 08/23/2011 2:00:40 PM PDT by topher (Traditional values -- especially family values -- are the values that time has proven them to work)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

Life has little meaning for the Godless.


6 posted on 08/23/2011 2:01:09 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

Good Gawwwddd...that is one sick-minded woman. She must’ve whined every day to put her mother in such a state of mind. Can you imagine being so unwanted by your own child that they would encourage you to do yourself in?


7 posted on 08/23/2011 2:01:09 PM PDT by RowdyFFC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

I’ve seen someone starve to death and it is ugly.

Lots of cancer patients go out that way when they cannot ingest food... Nor even water... It takes longer than you think.


8 posted on 08/23/2011 2:01:54 PM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

I can’t even put into words how repugnant I find this. This woman is a worthless, contemptible, pile of excrement.


9 posted on 08/23/2011 2:07:27 PM PDT by liberalh8ter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Retired Greyhound

I read a little bit of the article in The Mail. The relationship between mother and daughter seemed cold and unloving and after reading that far I wasn’t surprised at all. The sad thing is that the rest of us will live with the consequences that spring from what THEY want.


10 posted on 08/23/2011 2:10:37 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: brytlea
I”m not advocating euthanasia, but wouldn’t it be kinder to at least afford them as much care as we give our pets? NO ONE would even allow this kind of treatment for an animal. What is wrong with some Americans?

Are we desensitized to shame. Or is there no shame anymore. Selling a book about killing one's mother. I think our spiralling, shameless moral decline is why we will re-elect Obama. There is no more shame. You'll see four more years.

11 posted on 08/23/2011 2:10:57 PM PDT by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: topher

If she wasn’t terminally ill that hospice should be investigated and so should the doctor who certified her.

This is the criteria that must be followed to be admitted to hospice:

Physician certifies a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease progression runs its ordinary course (hospice eligibility re-certification every 60 days)

Patient or legal guardian elects Hospice benefit

Patient resides in service area

Non-Cancer Diagnoses:
Alzheimer’s/Dementia
Heart Disease
Respiratory/Emphysema
Stroke
Kidney/Liver Disease
Debility


12 posted on 08/23/2011 2:11:51 PM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: topher

Starvation deaths are very unpleasant.

Abortion gets ‘em on one end, this gets em on the other. A worldview that accepts abortion has no problem accepting killing the elderly.


13 posted on 08/23/2011 2:12:58 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: brytlea

Thank you for your comment (post #4). I always felt guilty about pulling the feeding tube on my dying mother (brain cancer) but it was the most humane thing I could do. I know she’s in heaven thanking me.


14 posted on 08/23/2011 2:17:59 PM PDT by New Jersey Realist (Congress doesn't care a damn about "we the people")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: brytlea

Pets are not people. They are loved, they are family members. Most people can see taking care of moms and dads, or having them at a place they are taken care of when they need it. Not many people can stop life to take care of a pet animal, or justify the funds to do so, no matter how much the animal is loved.

Animals also cannot tell you exactly what their wishes are or if they change their minds.

Further animals, being innocent creatures, have no need to be saved, their eternal destination is secure - back to God. Killing off people prematurely may take away the time they need and experiences they need in order to develop a saving faith.

Perhaps you should have picked a different story to express your opinion on, as this woman wasn’t terminal.


15 posted on 08/23/2011 2:19:04 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Bon mots

I’ve seen the long and harrowing and sad decline at the end of cancer too. It broke our hearts to see my young uncle die like that. He was 54. It was 4 years ago,and still makes me cry when I think of how he bravely suffered until he went home to Jesus.


16 posted on 08/23/2011 2:20:37 PM PDT by TheConservativeParty (PALIN 45 -The cure for "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Resisting Tyranny Since 1-20-2009)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: New Jersey Realist

If your mom was terminal and in the process of dying, you were just letting the natural death process occur. As long as pain is managed and you know she’s saved, there’s nothing else you can do.


17 posted on 08/23/2011 2:21:04 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: topher

BTW, did Julia and her mother Estelle pay for the hospice care (for starving her) or did the taxpayers pick up the tab for this starvation?

I tried to find an email link for Julia Gross to ask her but didn’t find one!

******

PAYMENT (for hospice)

What if a patient does not have insurance?

Hospice is a non-profit agency that serves all regardless of ability to pay. Everyone is guaranteed the same high quality care.

How is hospice care paid for?

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances. However, we offer care to everyone in need regardless of their ability to pay.

Is hospice care expensive?

All expenses related to the terminal diagnosis are covered under hospice care.


18 posted on 08/23/2011 2:23:32 PM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

“Starvation deaths are very unpleasant.”

If I may append a brutal fact, such deaths are from dehydration, not starvation.

Such deaths are far from free of suffering, but I will spare fellow FReepers the details.

Death by dehydration is easy to spot on the patient charts - look for the NPO which medicalese for Non Per Orem which is nothing by mouth. NPO and no IV for any length of time can only result in dehydration.

Why we approve this form of torture/death instead of allowing a drug to induce a painless death is something I have not understood.

Perhaps others might have more data?


19 posted on 08/23/2011 2:27:54 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

>>The day I left for university, with my father driving me, we had not completely backed out of the driveway before she had filled the rubbish bins outside the house with my old school uniforms, boxes of the poems I had written, and other cherished possessions — now just clutter to be cleared away.<<

The woman hated her mother.


20 posted on 08/23/2011 2:32:41 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Happiness is a choice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: kcvl
All expenses related to the terminal diagnosis are covered under hospice care.

Going through this as we speak with my mother-in-law. Hospice care only provides daily visits, so we have to pay $500/day for private nurses to be there 24X7.

And yes, it is a gruesome process for sure.

21 posted on 08/23/2011 2:37:19 PM PDT by Cementjungle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: topher

Arrest her and charge her with murder.


22 posted on 08/23/2011 2:38:32 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: liberalh8ter

Well said.


23 posted on 08/23/2011 2:40:40 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: kcvl
Jane Gross on a blog on the New York Times that seems to be related:

BLOG on NY Times: The New Old Age: Subtitle: Caring for Aging Parents: articles authored by Jane Gross

I guess her way to care for her parents is to starve them to death.

You might find a way to email or ask the New York Times about your question -- did a Hospice pay for starving her mother to death?

Since medicine is socialized in the UK, the answer is probably yes...

24 posted on 08/23/2011 2:40:47 PM PDT by topher (Traditional values -- especially family values -- are the values that time has proven them to work)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom
The woman hated her mother.

**********************

So it seems.

25 posted on 08/23/2011 2:43:05 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: topher

Why was her mother in a hospice if she was not terminally ill?


26 posted on 08/23/2011 2:49:34 PM PDT by heartwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
Given the woman's age -- 88 -- and how she died, starvation, it is unclear about the suffering.

The brain operates on GLUCOSE [blood sugar]. Starving the brain tied with how the brain may have problems in old age, might mean that the person is in fact suffering.

You cannot find out if the person suffered unless you bring them back and have them explain their suffering.

There is the well documented story of Maximillam Kolbe.

The Nazis tried to starve him to death in Auswitz, but they finally had to poison him after the other 11 prisoners, aka Nazi victims, died.

Of course, Maximillam Kolbe had no right being alive anyway -- he had only 1/2 of one lung...

In his case, it was God's will that he remained alive.

27 posted on 08/23/2011 2:51:44 PM PDT by topher (Traditional values -- especially family values -- are the values that time has proven them to work)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: heartwood
I don't know. It was in the UK, where they have socialized medicine.

But then some sort of nursing home or other facility could have helped her.

28 posted on 08/23/2011 2:56:15 PM PDT by topher (Traditional values -- especially family values -- are the values that time has proven them to work)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Cementjungle

There is a local hospice house in this area where patients are cared for 24/7.

Statement of Purpose

At the John R. Williamson Hospice House, we provide specialized care to eligible hospice patients who require acute pain management and symptom control; physical, emotional, or spiritual stabilization; or frequent clinical assessment and observation. We also offer short-term placement for hospice patients who have no caregiver, whose caregiver has a need for temporary respite, or where circumstances in the home environment necessitate an extended, but limited, period of caregiver relief.

The John R. Williamson Hospice House accepts patients from anywhere in the nation.

http://lifetouchhospice.org/Hospice_House.html


29 posted on 08/23/2011 2:56:52 PM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Bon mots

I’ve seen elderly, debilitated, demented patients refuse to eat. At that stage it does not seem like suicide; it seems like the last bit of autonomy left to someone who’s ready to go. They deserve an examination and a swallow eval to make sure there isn’t anything to prevent them from eating if they want to; they deserve fluids if they want, IV fluids if they’ll tolerate it, and a chance to change their minds.

But when you see a wiry old lady ripping out every tube, let her go.


30 posted on 08/23/2011 2:59:49 PM PDT by heartwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: topher

sick


31 posted on 08/23/2011 3:00:57 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: New Jersey Realist
Why did you share rhis story about your mother? Was it for affirmation? And why did you feel guilty? Was it because you thought you did something wrong?

If a person can no longer assimilate food (because their processes of digestion and absorption have shut down), or if feeding provides negligible nutritive benefit, but causes severe discomfort and pain (nausea, vomiting, infection or abcesses at the point of tube entry, risk of aspiration/suffocation) and death from an underlying cause is in any case imminent-- in these cases, futile, burdensome attempts to provide nutrients can be discontinued.

If such was your mother's case, then you had no need to continue attempted feeding, and you ought not to feel guilty.

Because I don't know anything about your mother's condition, that's all I have to say. I hope you may be at peace.

32 posted on 08/23/2011 3:02:31 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Either we’re all fully human, or none of us is." - Tax-chick)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: topher
Gross admits that there “was no pretending I hadn’t been part of her decision [to die], and had arguably even encouraged it,” but argues that she made sure that her mother, with whom she had never been particularly close, was “doing this for herself”

Old woman with a daughter who could care less about you and and the times you do get to see her she keeps encouraging you to die.

They remind me of "The Waltons."

-Good night, Elizabeth...Good night, Mary Ellen.-

-Good night, Mama. Please die tonight.-

33 posted on 08/23/2011 3:05:28 PM PDT by tarotsailor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Calusa

I kind of don’t doubt it. People are afraid to say abortion is wrong. So they say, “I wouldn’t have one, but it’s not my business to tell someone else not to.”


34 posted on 08/23/2011 3:06:00 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: topher

That daughter seems an incredibly vile creature.


35 posted on 08/23/2011 3:07:05 PM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o

Thank you, Mrs. D. That was very kind of you.


36 posted on 08/23/2011 3:09:06 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: New Jersey Realist

We live with whatever decisions we make. It’s unfortunate that medical science has come to the point where we, in effect, play God. My Mom’s in heaven too. I miss her, but I’m not sure what she’s in Heaven thinking. Eventually I’ll get to see her again, that’s all I really know. I’m sorry you lost your Mom. Mine had kidney cancer, but cancer of all types is pretty horrible.


37 posted on 08/23/2011 3:10:36 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: topher
She says she encouraged her mother to die. It took 13 days, despite the staff saying it would take 10. Terri Schiavo took 11.

I recently had to put my cat to sleep. She had advanced disease, and I fought to keep her alive. She seemed happy, but one day, it was time to take her in. The doctor said with a peritoneal shot it would take about 20 min. We didn't get through one minute. That was because it was time for her.

Dying is a process. If you artificially force the process, it becomes a violence.

Shame on this woman. My cat got better care than her mother.

38 posted on 08/23/2011 3:13:13 PM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

I think you misunderstood my post. I was NOT advocating what was done to this woman (and stated so). I was saying we wouldn’t even be allowed to do this to a pet. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear.


39 posted on 08/23/2011 3:15:00 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: GladesGuru; Secret Agent Man; Tax-chick
"Why [do] we approve this form of torture/death instead of allowing a drug to induce a painless death?

If the person is dying, why do you have to induce death at all?

A dying person needs comfort-care, hygiene, and effective pain management --- and more than anything, needs loving presence: an accompanying person who is alert to even their feeble reactions, and responsive to their needs, including the need for the sound of a familiar voice, and the need for touch.

Neither starvation/dehydration nor deliberate morphine overdosing (under the guise of "terminal sedation") can provide for a dying person's real needs. A loving person can. A terminally ill person will die soon enough. There's no "need" to grease the skids and give a hearty shove with an implacable "Adios."

40 posted on 08/23/2011 3:17:35 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Either we’re all fully human, or none of us is." - Tax-chick)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Cementjungle

I remember the frustration of trying to find help for my Dad when my Mother was ill. She didn’t want to refuse all but palliative care, she was not ready to give up, so hospice was not an option. She wanted to stay at home. There is really nothing like hospice for the person who wants to live.


41 posted on 08/23/2011 3:26:06 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: GladesGuru; Secret Agent Man; Tax-chick

Repeating tagline without typo:


42 posted on 08/23/2011 3:28:09 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Either we're all fully human, or none of us is." - Tax-chick)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: brytlea
I confess that I too wasn't sure what you meant by your post. I probably should have said something, but I didn't, and for that I apologize.

Thank you for continuing to discuss this issue.

43 posted on 08/23/2011 3:30:40 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o

Well said, Mrs. D.


44 posted on 08/23/2011 3:32:13 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: trisham

Sometimes I just think everyone knows exactly what I”m thinking! You mean you all don’t? How strange! :)


45 posted on 08/23/2011 3:36:01 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o

Thank you!


46 posted on 08/23/2011 3:36:35 PM PDT by Brads Gramma (Mr B has a new cousin on the way!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: brytlea

LOL! I can barely read my own mind these days. :)


47 posted on 08/23/2011 3:38:47 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Brad's Gramma

It’s wonderful to see you, Brad’s Gramma! :)


48 posted on 08/23/2011 3:39:39 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o

I learned a lot when my Mom was dying. I learned that you really need to be surrounded by people who love you and will advocate for you and I learned to have a bit of concern about the medical community. You really REALLY need to have a loving family and I would hate to be alone in the world. I do NOT want the government or even my doctor making decisions for me. Ever.


49 posted on 08/23/2011 3:40:28 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: trisham

You need a teleprompter. Then we could all read it! :)


50 posted on 08/23/2011 3:41:37 PM PDT by brytlea (Wake me when it's over...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-91 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson