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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bad Hospital Visitors

One Douglas Kennedy, a member of the famous Kennedy family, and also presumably of the posh set in New York's famously affluent Westchester County, and also of the gangsters at Fox News Network, since -- unaccountably -- he also seems to be one of their reporters, has been charged with a misdemeanor allegedly committed in a hospital. He is accused of reacting badly to two nurses in the maternity ward there. They caught him toting his newborn child out of there, supposedly to give it some "air," and among other things, one nurse claims that he gave her the knee.

The circumstances of this incident haven't been coming down to us in a coherent whole. That happens with many news stories, and sometimes we have to wait till the trial before it's all sorted out, and even then we can never be quite so sure. But what we do have is entirely fitting, because this man is said to be nothing less than the 10th child of the Robert F. Kennedy who was also a brother of JFK and was in fact his attorney=general, if I remember correctly, and RFK, like JFK, and their "soul brother," too, MLK, was felled by an assassin's bullets in the 1960's. But I guess JFK just didn't have as much time or inclination or whatever to be nearly as prolific with generating the offspring as his brother, Douglas' dad, and let's not forget Robert's wife, too, because Ethel obviously had a role in it all. That pair did their bit in helping along the overpopulation that was first ordered by unknown cavern dwellers several thousand years ago and has been religiously carried forward by the Catholic church for just about ever since, though the need for such rampant reproduction no longer seems to exist. And now we have one of their descendants trying to carry his newborn out of the hospital, for some "air."

Still, I would not be interested in this news report, were it not that it chimes in with a pet peeve that I am having with a miniseries called "House." I am late in seeing this show, because it has already been "on the air" for seven years and in fact will not be renewed next year. I don't understand how "House" could've stayed popular for that long, because though it often gives interesting medical facts, it also has a number of glaring faults, the worst of them being that it is far too formulaic.

Douglas Kennedy's run-in with the maternity nurses makes me think that he has been looking at too much of that show and has bought heavily into its practice of having relatives and friends usually taking such active parts in everything that is going on, in ways that give "up close and personal" new meaning, that you wonder why the show doesn't have them leaning over the surgeon's shoulders and putting in their two cents while he is trying to perform a heart bypass. If those rascals are not always there right in the room arguing with the doctors and doing all kinds of other intrusive stuff that I had thought were strict no-nos in hospitals everywhere, they are still shown plastered to fancy floor-to-ceiling glass walls through which they can still see and maybe even hear everything that is going on, to the point where you get to thinking that "House" visitors never go back home or get any sleep but instead forever stand right there against that wall, burning for their chances to meddle in the deep medical deliberations therein. I realize that this makes for heavy dramatic conflict, but I had thought that there still are limits, especially in settings as crucial as hospitals.

But I don't get out much, and times change, and maybe that kind of thing is the norm nowadays. Maybe nowadays newborns are no longer kept strictly behind glass and off-limits, until such time when they have ceased to be newborns in the strictest sense of the word, and the hospital is ready to see the parents take them home, to make room in the ward for the new arrivals. Still, anything other than these previous practices seems strange to me, and that goes double and triple with arguing, much less striking, any nurses or doctors.

In one scene in "House," an irate male relative of a patient actually socks the hero doctor and knocks him down. Yet none of the other characters so much as suggests that they think he has done the absolutely unthinkable and should be arrested on the spot, no matter what the motivation.

I was badly stunned by that scene. I know times have changed, and that in this "Republican era" of unremitting nastiness, pugnacity is the in thing. But that was ridiculous.

Maybe, then, I'm the one who is grievously at fault. Maybe I am way too docile. Maybe I shouldn't go along with everything a doctor or nurse says.

My excuse is that maybe, just maybe, medical people know volumes more about a crucial area, the workings of the human constitution, than I have ever bothered to learn. So I just leave them to their work and let things be.

I behave that way toward longtime workers in any field of activity, except the political.

Politics is another area altogether, and there's no such thing as "expertise" there that can't be challenged all along the line.


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