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Sometimes, stupidity is a capital offense

The laws of Nature are much, much harsher than the laws of Man. What is often considered not a crime, or a minor one at best, will sometimes bring about the death penalty. And there's no court of appeals from Fate.

This morning, I spotted two such cases in the news. In one, the parents of a teenager who committed suicide are suing the doctor and hospital who failed to save him.

The boy, depressed about a romantic breakup and other stresses, took about 300 aspirin. Half an hour later, he went to the school nurse and complained about a stomachache, and three hours later told her just why he had that stomachache.

The nurse immediately sent him to the local hospital, which tried to save him. When it became apparent that he was getting worse and worse, they sent him by helicopter to the finest hospital in New Hampshire, the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. But it was to no avail, and he died.

The second story is of a woman, Margaret Peno, who was killed in a car accident. She was riding in her own car, being driven by her boyfriend, Felix Arroyo. Mr. Arroyo had several drunk-driving convictions on his record, and had lost his driving and vehicle-registrations suspended years ago. Nonetheless, Ms. Peno let him drive her in her car. He went off the road, hit a tree, and she was killed.

Ms. Peno's parents are understandably upset, but they're taking out their anger and grief on the wrong source. They say that their daughter might have been saved had the state's law requiring convicted drunk drivers to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles. With that device, a car can not be started until the driver passes a breathalyzer test on a meter in the car.

That law has been in abeyance pending some bureaucratic details, but I don't think it would have done any good. The car wasn't Arroyo's, but Peno's. They had recently moved in together, and I don't believe Ms. Peno would have been required to have the device on her own car. Ms. Peno died for the dumbest of reasons: she got into a car being driven by a drunk with a long history of drunk driving.

Now, while both the boy and Ms. Peno did dumb things, neither of them deserved to die for their offenses. It's unfair. But they did, because that's just the way the world works. You can't always protect people from themselves.


Comments (11)

I think it is because our s... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think it is because our society seems to have the idea that everyone who dies is a victim of somebody else, and not due to their own action.

I think it is sad that the families have to deal with grief over losing their loved ones, but in both cases the person ultimately responsible for what happened are the deceased.

People stupidly expect Natu... (Below threshold)

People stupidly expect Nature to be as forgiving as a loving God (and I wonder why that might be?). Nature ain't God, and it ain't loving, and it ain't forgiving.

Frivolous lawsuits are apar... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Frivolous lawsuits are apart of a major problem in our country. What is sad is that most of those cases will be settled out of court by insurance companies. And... we all wonder why our insurance premiums are so costly?...We live in the greatest country on earth if you ask me, but we are not going to be able to afford all the wonderful technology and opportunities if Attorneys are allowed to continue filing frivolous lawsuits...

These days, it seem that gr... (Below threshold)
DaveP.:

These days, it seem that grief = greed.

Stupid hurts... (Below threshold)
Chad:

Stupid hurts

Anger at an abstract, like ... (Below threshold)
spelling manipulator:

Anger at an abstract, like the goverment is almost easier then anger at a person, often because the anger at a group means you don't have to face any one person to focus the anger on. You can even ben angry at the group but still like individuals, For example.. IRS is often feared by americans for the power over our money, yet I have met many "agents for the IRS" and they are indeed nice people. I honestly believe the anger the familys have is warented but just not directed where it belongs. There was also a line from a comic strip of Bloom county several years ago. "Who do I sue, the gulty party or a major company with GOBS of liquid Cash" Never sue poor peope. Could it be that simple as to the familys anger is who can afford to have anger focused on them?

Yesterday, my aunt was invi... (Below threshold)

Yesterday, my aunt was invited to a funeral of a young woman who attended her church. Sure it's sad when a young one dies, but this is how it happened: she tried to out-run a fire engine on the way to a fire. Guess who won?

Something has to be done ab... (Below threshold)

Something has to be done about these ridiculous lawsuits. Suffering a family tragedy shouldn't be looked upon as winning the lottery.

"she tried to out-run a fir... (Below threshold)

"she tried to out-run a fire engine on the way to a fire."

Rather, she tried to out-run a fire engine which was on its way to a fire.

When you get caught violati... (Below threshold)

When you get caught violating the laws of nature, there is no such thing as a plea bargain.

Nature ain't God... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Nature ain't God

Not a proponent of intelligent design, I assume. If nature ain't God, as you say, then what is?




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