Don’t act like a child and you won’t be treated like one

This may come as a surprise to some of you but I try to read the business section of my daily paper regularly. In my case it is Report on Business in the Globe?

Why? Because there is a lot of information there you just can’t find anywhere else. Businesses make decisions on some interesting facts and many of them should be more widely disseminated. Some business people are quite honest about politics–among themselves.
A story in today’s ROB (Jeff Gray’s ‘The question of ‘psychological harm’) struck me.
He describes a case where some patients at a hospital were informed they may have been exposed to Tuberculosis while attending treatment. They were requested to come in and be tested for Tb.
Notwithstanding the test only takes 48 to 72 hours to be interpreted, a group felt compelled to sue the hospital for ‘psychological harm’.
Now, mind you, they did not test positive. That is, none of the group apparently got sick. But their claim was that they suffered from depression and anxiety while awaiting the results.
This bothers me in two ways.
First, hospitals (as the health care system in general) struggle to provide services with the funding they receive. Hiring lawyers and waging court battles in not cheap. The legal departments at hospitals add to the cost of health care delivery.
I am sure the patients suing the hospital in this case would be the first to scream if there were any cutbacks in the health care they were delivered.
But what bothers me more is the lack of ability of some people to ‘suck it up’. I mean, for god’s sake, you can get hit by a car crossing a street. You mean it’s shocking that one could get a communicable disease when attending a hospital? What rock have these people been living under? Maybe, more to the point, can they return to wherever they came from.
No, the flagrant display of what can only be seen as either crass money grabbing or gross inadequacy the issue.

Now, don’t take this as an attack on the tort system in general.  Awards of damages can ultimately reduce accident costs by deterring those who might otherwise cut corners and risk significantly harming others.

Of the two, it is the latter that disturbs me more. Every conservative politician plays the card of wanting people to take ‘more responsibility’ for their own lives (ie: crash and burn social services because they are turning us all into zombies). They claim the citizenry has lost its ability to be self reliant.
Of course, in the safety of their own clubs they secretly admit that they don’t think the commoners can handle self governance.

But just when the political right is in the ascendance, along comes a group of idiots who prove them right.

If we as a citizenry are going to demand the right to determine the direction of our communities, we cannot behave as spoiled children.


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