If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


It's OK -- It's Just Normal

Stupid article in Friday's Kent Messenger about a rapist on the transplant list. The editorial comment asked the question "Would you donate your heart to a Rapist?

Well, the obvious answer is "No: I'm still using it," but it's still worth a look because it makes a rather wonderful example of the way normals think.

As far as I can tell, it's not a joke. We're not intended to say "No, and he shouldn't get blood transfusions either" or "No, and donor registration should allow you to opt out of patients with unpaid parking tickets as well." Or, and I particularly like this one, "No, and convicts should be denied medical attention generally."

Someone wrote this, someone subbed it and the editor put it on the front page of the Maidstone edition. None of them gave it the ten seconds thought required to see that there's no principle here, that even if the transplant immunologists didn't already have enough to worry about, there's no line, no criterion offered which will serve to guide donors or doctors.

There is a real story -- that some judges are much too prone to make stupid remarks -- and I'm hoping that it wasn't just cynicism that got it covered this way. I can't really object to journos who fail to take an idea to its limits to see where it goes. It is, after all, just normal. 

No comments: