Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Morality & Social Media

Great Ormond Street Hospital.jpg
Photo: By Nigel Cox

The sad tale of the Charlie Gard and his parents struggle to get him further treatment has been at the centre of media attention for a while now. It has been a difficult and heart-breaking case for all involved. Who cannot but feel sympathy for parents that want their child to live no matter what but also understand the medical prognosis offered by experienced and caring medical staff.

The medical decision to discontinue treatment for young Charlie was not taken lightly either by the doctors or the courts that got involved. There comes a time when no matter how hard it is a final decision has to be made.

Like most people I trust the vast majority of NHS and hospital staff. They have a hard job in making difficult decisions, especially when the parents really do not want to let go. The decision has been made but what worries me is not the actions of doctors or parents but the activity of so-called supporters.

It was reported that both staff and the parents of sick children were abused outside the hospital. What were these idiots thinking. Even worse thousands of hate messages including death threats have been sent to the hospital. Unforgiveable.

What do these "people" think they are doing? Why make threats or send abuse to staff who are just doing their best. Untold thousands of children have been treated in Great ormond Street Hospital over the years. Medical science despite it's advances has its limitations. Doctors are not "gods", they cannot cure everything. Sometimes we have to let go and allow both the parents to grieve and the medical staff learn what they can from this and other cases.

They cannot win them all.

Yet the hate that exists on social media spills over into every sphere these days. For some reason a lot of people just cannot control themselves. Can the monster that the Internet has unleashed ever be controlled?

Probably not but if you have friends that you see step over the line pull them up and say that their words are unacceptable. Of course there are those who spread hate for other reason or hide their true purpose behind lies and half-truths by publishing false news and views on the net.

Just because it's on-line doesn't make it true. Left, right and centre can all be guilty of this but those at the extremes thrive on falsehoods that lead to hate.

As for the average punter. Simply check things out. Look at sites and blogs with which you may not normally agree to gain a balanced view. Too often what goes on-line is not checked, not questioned.

Stop being lazy. Start thinking for yourself. And don't let hate replace reason. That is the challenge for us all.

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