OK, it’s officialÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦the world has gone mad.
Today I went to visit the 7 week old child of my friends in a public hospital. Little Olivia has two problems. Firstly, she had a problem with her stomach in that one of it’s valves was not closing properly, and she required surgery, and second, she contracted a highly contagious respiratory virus, and so has to be nursed in an isolation room, and her mother cannot leave the room. After donning gowns, gloves, mask and cap, I was permitted into the room. Soon after, a nurse came in to remove Olivia’s sutures, and I was permitted to stay. The nurse opened a sterile suture removal pack which contained a surgical steel pair of artery forceps, a surgical steel stitch cutter, and two surgical steel forceps. After removing the sutures, the nurse bundled up the instruments and threw them away into the contaminated waste bag in the room (which also contained Olivia’s used disposable diapers). Thinking the nurse had made a mistake, I asked her if she had meant to throw the instruments into the garbage, and she replied that it was actually cheaper for the hospital to dispose of these surgical steel instruments rather than sterilize them! While I was still marveling at this Olivia’s father asked Olivia’s mother what she wanted for lunch, and she gave him her order for a takeaway food shop near the hospital. I laughed and said that the hospital food must really be terrible, but my laughter soon stopped when they told me that Olivia’s breastfeeding mother who had not left Olivia’s isolation room for 8 days was not provided meals by the hospital because Olivia is the patient and not her mother! Her husband, who works full time, has to bring her all her meals from outside the hospital!
So surgical steel precision instruments are thrown out after one use, but a breastfeeding mother is allowed to go hungry because “she’s not our responsibility, her child is”.
What have we become? How can we still be asking the question in "civilized" society: "Am I my brother's keeper?"
How can we value one another so little? How can we harden our hearts to the bureaucratic point were we can deny food to a breastfeeding mother?
Stop the world; I want to get offÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦..