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Re: [IP] Kirez on Diabetic mistaken for drunk
Thanks, Kirez. Good stuff. It turns out that we ALMOST agree on MOST of the
issues, and wow, if I'm ever in need of a lawyer in a civil case, I'd want one
with your integrity, knowledge and intelligence.
Just a couple of little nitty-gritty comments (I've been told that I'm "picky,
picky, picky!"). Not much relevance left to this mailing list, though...
apologies ... I'll shut up after this one... I promise...
Kirez Korgan wrote:
> The problem that makes these cases so complicated, however, is that two
> phenomena are active:
> 1) individuals and their responsibility for their actions -- in this case,
> the diabetic (who may or may not have been irresponsible -- I won't concede
> that it is necessarily the case that he was; this has to be decided on a
> case-by-case basis) and the police, who may have individually been
> incompetent and irresponsible, or may have been reacting reasonably --
> again, must be decided on a case-by-case basis.
> 2) institutions and the policies which guide their regular functioning
> (financial responsibilities, legal liabilities -- i.e. incentives; and
> training and procedure manuals)
> I think we are crossing swords unnecessarily -- we could separate these
> issues, and hopefully agree on the first -- it must be decided on a
> case-by-case basis. This is what litigation will in fact do, while
> legislation will fail.
So far, so good.
> Making a universal law against diabetics driving who
> have experienced sudden hypos, unaware, would be an unjust, sloppy
Yes, but too extreme (yes, you warned of your tendency!) a counterproposal. A
reasonable (I think) universal law might be to have a time frame attached to
the loss of priviledge.
> But the second issue is a far more complicated matter. Because of the
> primitive state of governance in our society, many institutions are
> chronically unhealthy. The health care industry is an example, and we as
> diabetics suffer for it. The police forces are another example, and because
> they wield force -- often deadly force, and often against the people they
> are meant 'to serve and protect' --
> I have a strong dislike of the police
> force. NOT against the individuals, but against the laws that shape their
> responsibilities and their institution.
I have an aberration of this tendency. I have a strong dislike of being treated
as other than an individual with an infinite set of attributes (rather than,
say, just a member of the class of diabetics), and consequently tend to deal
with institutions at a personal level. I understand that you probably can't
take this luxury. So far, I have personally always been happy with the
interaction which occurred at the individual level and haven't felt any need to
check the constitution which the local police officers are governed by.
Certainly there were a dozen or so times when I was "rescued" by police
officers in Ottawa and I was impressed with their individual knowledge and
care. They knew what to look for (medic alert bracelet) and they knew what to
do. Maybe police officers are better trained here than they are in the United
States. I fear though, that virtually all individuals do have biases, and that
if I happened, when low in bg, to have the following among my attributes -
of male sex, 280 lbs in weight, a scar across my face, conscious, belligerent
and baseball-bat wielding - then I would not have received as quick attention
for my hypoglycaemia. So yes, we certainly want to have our police
institutions ensure that each individual police officer is well informed.
> Police forces are highly bureaucratic and totally unresponsive (as an
> to the needs of *justice*. They are, after all, in the justice industry. If
> any business were so unresponsive to the needs of its consumers, we would
> never know it -- because that business would not exist, it would have
> failed miserably and quickly. But police forces aren't allowed to 'fail'.
> We'll keep them around forever, regardless of how sloppy their business is,
> and punish the individuals put in bad situations rather than change the
> institutions themselves.
Hmmm - I also feel that they are probably much more responsive to instilling
and adopting an improved ethical code than they would be adversely effected by
a huge monetary outlay for a lawsuit setlement! I'm assuming that American
police forces are supported by the public tax dollar as they are in Canada.
> Note the distinction between the individuals and the laws. Many think my
> ideas about laws are extreme. But extreme is relative to the status quo.
> The status quo in the 20th century has been miserable -- most of the globe
> has been terrorized by socialism and fascism. Our honorable police officers
> in america, just good ol' boys trying to raise a family and do their job,
> serve the laws. In 1939 in Nazi Germany, there were also just good ol' boys
> trying to raise a family and do their job, serve the laws, working for the
> honorable SS. As compliant members of society, most of us -- this means you
> the reader -- take the institutions as "normal". I don't; this alone
> qualifies my ideas as 'extreme.'
I'm with you in the above.
> When a situation occurs that might highlight a problem and affect an
> institutional change, a lawsuit is appropriate.
I still wouldn't recite this - unless I appended "if the institution refused to
make an appropriate institutional change or if the institution failed to make
'reasonable' amends with the 'victim' (NOT hundreds of millions, please, for
the clumsy coffee drinker!) ". Actually, that's pretty hard to recite - I think
that I'd just paste "may be" over your "is".
> So I spoke too quickly. Perhaps I should amend: IF it was the case that the
> police acted as unreasonably as it seems they did, and the diabetic was in
> fact, like many of us might be, not actually that irresponsible -- then I
> hope the issue gets a good deal of attention via a lawsuit, and I hope that
> individually justice is served for the victimized diabetic and for the
> overreacting cops. In response to the criticisms of litigation, and the
> heralding of laws which lump all diabetics together and try to regulate
> their behaviors as a class -- I still say a lawsuit is appropriate, in this
> and similar situations.
Mayyyybeeeee but let's be careful to base it on a case where no dangerous
> I DO NOT tolerate situations in which the ends justify the means. That is
> why my ideas are extreme. The means of "force" are intolerable; the means
> of the marketplace -- individuals voluntarily contracting and tradingbetween
> each other for the goods and services they need -- are moral.
Sure - the clumsy coffee drinker could have written a note to MacDonald's to
warn them of the hot-coffee danger and she could have refused to buy coffee
there and stirred up public support (if there really should have been any) if
they did not mend their ways - I'd consider that to be moral - And I really
don't think that she was individually participating in voluntary contracting
and trading with MacDonald's. Her actions still smell of greed and decadence to
> a marketplace to the provision of defense and security and justice
> services, and the world will be a vastly better, healthier, wiser, safer
> place. And it will be moral.
I don't know - We'll see what happens with MicroSoft...
I think we need to teach ethics at every stage of a person's education... We
need to up the societal standards as to what is morally acceptable.
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
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