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    Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    A Christmas Carol Reminder: I was listening to a reading of A Christmas Carol yesterday while preparing the Christmas feast, and this exchange between Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas present. Scrooge has just asked him if he knows whether or not Tiny Tim will live:

    "If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race," returned the Ghost, "will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

    Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

    "Man," said the Ghost, "if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God! To hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust."


    A century and half later and we still pronounce on the "too much life" among the less fortunate. We're no better than the Victorians. We've just shifted our disdain to the severely disabled and defenseless.
     

    posted by Sydney on 12/26/2006 08:21:00 AM 4 comments

    4 Comments:

    Always ironic to see a tort reformer waxing poetic on the plight of the weak.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 PM  

    I believe in tort reform, not tort abolition. The problem with our tort system is that it's used by trial lawyers from a position of strength to enrich themselves.
    Alas, they are held accountable to no one but themselves. Why is it that lawyers believe they are the only profession that can be trusted to police themselves?

    By Blogger sydney, at 5:15 PM  

    Tort reform, in all its current forms, is designed to do nothing more than keep the individual victims from recovering. Show me a proposal that does anything otherwise and I'll be glad to discuss it.

    As for a "position of strength", how exactly does the plaintiff's counsel operate from such a position? They are not a multibillion dollar insurance company, with experts on staff, and lawyers who get paid win or lose. They fund it all out of their own pocket, put their time in without guarantee of recovery, and have a client who typically needs money, and needs it fast to pay their medical bills. As for "enriching themselves", they get paid for their work, same as you. Except they have to win to get paid. You get paid whether you do a good job or not, and don't put any money up front.

    Lawyers are just as accountable as physicians, if not more. We carry malpractice coverage as well. In fact, part of our bar dues even go to a victims' compensation fund designed to help the victims of our negligence if we do go under.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 PM  

    Interesting use of this quotation - I've just seen yet another piece about suggestions that the NHS should ration healthcare to smokers or obese patients who default on lifestyle contracts to change their behaviour.

    It just put me in mind of this piece (I've seen several version of A Christmas Carol in recent days) so it was good to see it used this way.

    Regards - Shinga

    By Blogger Shinga, at 10:50 PM  

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