‘Affluenza’ and Other Stupid Medical Ways to Get Away with Murder

In my fare burg, there is this kid — this rich, spoiled-ass-rotten, still-sucking-on-mama’s-teet-called-kaching, 16-year-old punk — named Ethan Couch. He, for lack of a better word, is a murderer.

And for his crime of killing four people as he got behind the wheel of a car; thus, making it into a bullet hurled out of a .357, gets 10 years — probation?! What the what?

Why? A doltish term North Texas psychologist called in the Couch trial “affluenza.” Today, he admits that term is a regrettable flub from which the medical community will never recover. Talk about a #PRFail. More on his thoughts after the jump…

Meet G. Dick Miller, Ph.D. 

Sure, I’ll bet his friends call him “Richard,” but following him yanking this ghastly term out of his medical briefs, I’ll think his colleagues will stick with with his given middle name.

Apparently, when Dr. Miller took the stand on the defendant’s behalf, he never intended for “affluenza” to be considered a diagnosis. Yet, there it is:

“I think that term, ‘affluenza,’ which I was just using to describe what we used to call ‘spoiled brats,’” he said. “It’s not a diagnosis,” Miller said from his home Friday. “The diagnosis was something completely different.”

That term has become vilified because it seems to be what got this kid only probation. Miller says that he has spent 50 hours with Ethan Couch and his parents, starting the day after the teen killed four people and paralyzed another while “driving fast and very drunk.” Popular down here was Couch’s response in court — a cold fish. He showed no emotion in court because he has learned not to show it. This, according to the good doctor, is “a defense mechanism for dealing with his parents.”

Among hate mail, windows busted in his office and even the frequent death threat, Miller regrets using the word. And despite the consequences this kid “having to live with what he did to those four people,” the entire medical community has to deal with this for many years to come.