As if Jamey Rodemeyer, the gay teen who took his own life, hadn't been through enough, his bullies have continued to taunt him beyond the grave.
In suburban Buffalo, the bullying continued at a school function immediately following the 14 year old's wake.
When a song by Lady Gaga -- the artist who recently dedicated a song in Jamey's memory -- came on, a potentially poignant memory turned ugly.
“[Jamey's sister] was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,’’ said Jamey’s mother, Tracy. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.
“My daughter came home all upset. It was supposed to be a time for her to grieve and have fun with her friends, and it turned into bullying even after he’s gone.’’
“I can’t grasp it in my mind,’’ said Tim Rodemeyer, Jamey’s father. “I don’t know why anyone would do that. They have no heart, that’s basically what it comes down to.’’
What is happening with these kids? Peer pressure or something more insidious?
Since studies have shown that obese women struggle to conceive naturally and face higher risks of medical complications through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Canadian doctors are considering barring such women from obtaining fertility treatments.
Already some clinics are refusing patients with a Body Mass Index (a measurement of weight relative to height) of more than 35 (a BMI of 30 is considered obese).
“We've had many angry patients say to us, 'This is discriminatory' and I say, 'Yes, it is' But I still won't do it," said Arthur Leader, co-founder of the Ottawa Fertility Centre.
On the other hand, denying fertility treatments to obese women only further stigmatizes against those most in need.
“We don’t say, ‘Oh sorry you smoke, so we can’t treat you – it could result in pre-eclampsia, or small babies.’ It doesn’t mean we have this blanket policy where we say we can’t treat (smokers),” said Anthony Cheung, a fertility expert at the University of British Columbia and Grace Fertility Centre.
When the country’s fertility doctors meet this week, Dr. Cheung will argue that IVF does not pose unacceptable risks for heavy women, and that BMI alone is not a good measure of which patients face the highest risks. Age, he claims, is a bigger risk factor.
Research has shown that women who are severely overweight have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, which can endanger both mother and baby.
While doctors' advice may be wise, is it ethical? Should fertility treatments be open to all women, regardless of size?
Parents who say they don't play favourites with their children are obviously lying or fooling themselves.
According to an October issue of Time magazine, our brains are hardwired to do so.
"Nature impels us to have to have a favourite child," said journalist and author Jeffery Kleuger.
Typically the oldest child is favoured because of "the idea of sunk costs".
"You've invested more time, money, resources, even calories into the first born," said eldest child Kleuger.
But the baby of the family is often the favourite, especially for mothers who'll "steer a lot of protection and a lot of resources to youngest and more vulnerable in the nest because that's the one who needs it."
Rue the fate of the middle child, then. Kleuger claims that parents should be forgiven for playing favourites since they are driven to do so by their very genetics.
Did your parents play favourites? If so, how did you deal?