Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sam Roweis Suicide

I'm speachless.

NYU Professor Jumps To Death

Update: (1/14) It sounds like the care of extremely premature 1 year old twin girls may have been the main reason for Sam's suicide. See fr_of_sams comment a page down in this NY Daily News thread:

Their children were twin girls. Born over one year ago. Severely premature: 24 weeks gestation. Severely disabled. Require 24-hour nursing care for their entire lives. Cannot eat, and will be on feeding tubes for the rest of their lives. Constant medical treatment and medical crises. Maybe someday they will walk. Maybe not. They will never really talk. The financial pressures on this couple were severe: they had already used up all insurance benefit limits, and burnt through their own personal savings with their retirement savings following rapidly. We should put the blame for Sam's death where it belongs. We have the technology to keep little girls like that alive. We have a society that pretty much insists upon doing so. But we put the financial and organizational and emotional burden entirely on the parents. We allow insurance companies to cap benefits, and we have no social system for rescuing people from these straights until they are literally homeless and bereft.
I had only met Sam a handful of times at conferences and certainly can't confirm or deny any of these details, but I don't know what else could have caused him to take his own life...

See John Lanford's post and the Sam Roweis memoriam blog.

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