In Louisiana recently, a doctor and two nurses were arrested for killing patients in a New Orleans hospital during Katrina. These were all gravely ill people that had do not resuscitate orders. No one knew when, or if, they were going to be evacuated, and conditions in the hospital were hellish. Temperatures were over 100 degrees and there was little water. There was utter chaos and lawlessness. Looters and shooting was observed all around. So evidently a decision was made to give certain patients a lethal injection of morphine and another drug. According to accounts, the staff giving the injections stayed with the patients until they died.
I am not saying that it was right. I can, however, imagine the agonized thought processes of people that were not sure what was going to happen to any of them, much less these deathly ill people. I am absolutely certain that they thought they were making the right decision for their patients. They did not, for instance, like other people simply run and leave these people alone.
But our system, in all it's glory, has decided that these people need to be punished. And I'd like to ask a few questions. Isn't this the same system that put these people in that position to begin with? Where were the resources that would have prevented the staff in that hospital from making that awful choice? Why aren't THEY being arrested for murder?
Of course, what would a discussion like this be without a contribution from the Holy Emperor of the Universe, G.W. Bush?
He decided to veto the stem cell bill. There he was, in all his smirking splendor, talking about how innocent life shouldn't be taken to find medical benefits for some. Talk about spit takes. I nearly choked. The man that thinks it's acceptable to kill tens of thousands for a very doubtfully unattainable goal of democracy is telling me it's not right to use a few embryos that were going to be destroyed anyway so that perhaps millions could lead a healthy life free of suffering? The mind reels. Hey I know George, maybe we could use the stem cells of only Iraqi and Afghani babies.
But that's just par for the course in America today. Protect a few embryos but reduce funding for medical care for people that are alive right now. Rationalize the deaths of thousands elsewhere. It's not a new trend, but under G.W. Bush this loss of gentleness, of compassion, in our country has greatly accelerated. We talk of being united as Americans yet we care less and less all the time about the conditions they are living in, whether or not those conditions are ones they could have avoided being in.
When you come to realize that, you begin to understand how it is that we Americans seem to care so little about the death and horror we inflict in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Or preventing it in places like Darfur or Lebanon. It's like we are little kids saying "they started it!" Even where they didn't.
We all need to wake up and stop the people that are callously playing high and mighty with so many lives yet want to sit in judgment of the people that as a result have been put into untenable positions. We need to start caring about our fellow humans if only for very practical reasons. If you ignore suffering people for too long, it has a way of coming back to haunt you. Look at any deposed regime all during history; the Russians, the French, the Chinese. Wounded animals always strike back.