Friday, December 7, 2012

Kate Middleton's Hospital Nurse's Suicide: A Tragic, Avoidable Event

A senseless prank call caused a hospital nurse to lose her life.

If you recall, a set of radio DJs from Australia, Michael Christian and Mel Greig, thought it would be funny to call the hospital where Kate Middleton was staying with morning sickness. They pretended to be Prince Charles and the Queen, and spoke to the (seemingly naive) nurse Jacintha Saldanha asking about Kate. The interaction was broadcast on the radio as a prank, bringing public humiliation and shame to innocent Saldanha.

In response to her newfound fame and this cruel trick, Ms. Saldanha took her life, leaving behind a husband and children.

Should Ms. Saldanha have provided the information to the callers? Probably not. But I can certainly understand why she did it. It seems that many British people deeply respect and admire the royal family, and Ms. Saldanha had no reason to believe that someone would fake a call to find out how Kate is doing, let alone broadcast it on the radio!

Since Ms. Saldanha's suicide, the radio DJs have stepped away from their jobs and deleted their online presences, including their Twitter accounts. And who can blame them? People are obviously outraged that their lack of consideration for Ms. Saldanha led to such a tragic end.

What I want to know is, how did these DJs think their actions were funny or appropriate in the first place? What business did they have calling the hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated? That's unfair to Kate's privacy (and she doesn't get enough of it as it is!), to the hospital staff and to the royal family.

I hope this unfortunate and tragic outcome teaches the world a lesson - sometimes you need to consider other people before making a decision. The radio station DJs knew what they were doing was ethically and morally wrong, yet they still did it, and now they've destroyed a family.

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