Monday, 19 July 2010

A matter of life and death

I don’t know why I read the newspapers sometimes – they just wind me up.
Last weekend I read about the moronic behaviour of boy racers in Christchurch. While trying to evade the police, some lowlife hit a power pole and killed his front-seat passenger. He himself suffered serious head and chest injuries and underwent intensive surgery.

A mother in Invercargill resorted to crushing the car in which her 19-year-old son and his two 16-year-old passengers died instantly to prevent his ‘friends’ taking parts as keepsakes. She was understandably upset as she admitted her son was responsible for the deaths – he was drunk, speeding, and driving an unsafe vehicle.

On the next page, there is a story about an Auckland teen fundraising to buy a $217,000 microscope that Middlemore Hospital can’t afford. He needs it for his treatment after he received an electric shock seven years ago that blew his left hand off and ruined his right arm, knee and liver. The 15 year old has had over 40 surgical procedures and multiple skin grafts.

People injured in car ‘accidents’ of their own making are taken to hospital where they face lengthy operations that cost thousands and occupy doctors and nurses for hours – that’s their job; their Hippocratic Oath prevents them from picking whom they care for. They don’t choose who deserves treatment and who should be left on the gurney. I haven’t taken such an oath – I know what my decision would be. I’m just saying...