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Big Dot

Couldn't agree more. Talk about an over-reaction. Everyone's being so mealy-mouthed. It was a prank, that's all. It's like John Cleese said, you can't be afraid to ask How's the wife? just in case she's died. It must have been horrible for her (and the other nurse) but to kill yourself? Something else going on, surely.

Zayrina

We don't actually know what personal hell she was going through as a result of this prank now do we?

Not everyone is strong and sometimes all it takes is a little push.

As someone who has had a murder-suicide and 2 straight out suicides in my immediate family perhaps I am more sensitive to the concept.

A little pity for the girl's family please.

Marcia

I seriously doubt getting punked was the sole impetus for this woman's suicide. Clearly, there were other emotional factors in play. For people who are mentally fragile, "reasonable" doesn't enter into it.

TheQueen

Big Dot - Absolutely. How can anyone blame the DJs? I suppose until we learn what else was going on people will blame them.
Zayrina- And I would hope you never blamed yourself for any of your family suicides. Would you blame the person who gave that family member "a little push?" (And of course I'm sorry for your loss, that goes without saying. And if you had to walk on eggshells all your life because you had mentally ill family members, than I have a special empathy for you. Believe me, I sympathize with the family of the mentally ill, especially those with manic depressive brothers.)
Marcia - But for people dealing with the public, "reasonable" does enter into it. Isn't it fair to assume that the people you interact with are not on the edge of suicide?

~~Silk

How can anyone blame the DJs? I can. They knew going into it that if their stunt worked, there was a good chance that their victim could lose her job at the least. And they didn't care. They sat there giggling and winking without the slightest consideration for anyone else.

As it happened, the hospital was understanding and did not discipline her (although I wonder what her coworkers said to her, especially given that in England immigrants are resented), but that could have happened, and the DJs didn't care. I cannot allow the DJs to use the excuse "Well, there must have been something else wrong." That does not absolve them of responsibility. It was a very adolescent thing to do. In my mind it equates to pushing someone in front of a bus, and then shrugging it away when the bus's brakes fail. "Oops. Not my fault."

~~Silk

Her brakes failed.

~~Silk

Yes, law has the concept of "reasonable person". Law also has the concept of "but for" and "proximate cause".

Zayrina

I expect she was being hounded by the press as well. Plus she was Indian so the accent issue probably sailed right over her head, and who knows what cultural issues were at hand.

With respect to the prank it's all fun and games till someone kills themselves.

Jodi

I am just amazed that she had to go to such extreme lengths that she couldn't go into hiding or just quit her job. But to go and end your life because of two ridiculous human beings. What a shame. All the years of good she did for people as a nurse to be ended for a stupid prank. She should know people wouldn't have blamed her and it would have fizzled in a few days. They would have lost their jobs.

Marcia

I agree with you. I don't think these DJs had any idea they were dealing with such an emotionally fragile person, and I don't believe for a moment they could have anticipated such a tragic outcome.

At the same time, when people set out to pull a prank on someone they don't know, there is a modicum of risk. These jokers just happened to hit the prank-gone-wrong lottery when a troubled and culturally awkward woman answered their phone call.

An over-reaction by the public against the DJs? Probably. But people tend to side with an innocent (and deceased) victim of a prank, which isn't really all that unusual.

One has to wonder if this woman would be alive today if the call had never been placed. No doubt, these guys are wondering that themselves.

TheQueen

~~Silk - Okay, I had to look up 'but for' and proximate cause.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proximate_cause But I notice all those examples are physical. You can predict actions that follow the laws of physics. I think what you want is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress
Her family will probably employ that.
Zayrina - I do see your point. But if your point wins the day I wonder if we'll have to have disclaimers during radio pranks like the FCC ban prohibiting fake emergency broadcasts. This makes me sad. (Actually this all could be moot, since they haven't even ruled her death a suicide yet.)
Jodi - I don't see how she could lose her job since her job wasn't to screen calls. Seh was just filling in as a receptionist, I thought. I doubt if a receptionist hired for screening would have even lost her job, since no one ever talked to the Duke and Duchess.
Marcia - There's the "but for" argument, and I think that argument says if you are the straw that broke the camel's back, you share equal responsibility with all the other straws. Is there a consideration to the camel? I don't know.

All - I now blame the UK for not having the stict HIPAA Privacy Rules. The UK is to blame. In an American hospital The HIPAA regulations would have been drummed into that nurse. I still blame the nurse more than the DJs, though.

Jodi

You are very correct about the HIPAA Privacy rules!! I work in Hospice and we have very strict rules. Family members have to give a password when calling that is assigned to them if and only if they are on "the list" of approved members that are allowed information about PHI. Oh..and I didn't mean her get fired. I meant her just quit her job if she was so embarrassed...not get fired.

Zayrina

"I still blame the nurse more than the DJs, though" You blame the nurse for what exactly? Being designed of a more fragile nature than yourself for example? What exactly is it that she is to blame for? For doing a job that most would not have the guts to do?

Oy.

TheQueen

Jodi - Well, I just heard something interesting last night - the DJs were supposed to get the permission of both the nurses and they did not.
Zayrina - I started off seeing two possibilities. One. She is mentally ill, and if so the DJs are as much to blame as Jody Foster was for Reagan's assasination attempt in 81. Two. She's an adult and needs to take personal responsibility. But now I think there's a third situation: teenagers who kill themselves because of bullying. And of course in that situation I blame the bullies. But she's not a teenager, she has children herself. Can a person have children and still emotionally be a teenager?

Zayrina

How does feeling cornered to the point of taking her own life equate to being a teenager?

Maybe your life runs more smoothly and you have always been the cool kid, whether an adult or not, and maybe that is why you could assign any blame to her at all because you are incapable of relating to what she went through.

I have been bullied as an adult. It is not fun. There are times when it crossed my mind that suicide might be a way out. I managed to extricate myself from the situation and live to tell the tale.

Marcia

These issues are better discussed face-to-face. So much is missed when everyone means well and the written word doesn't match the intent.

TheQueen

Zayrina - I am glad you are alive. I've heard situational depression doesn't cause suicide, but if you say it does then it does. (And me, the cool kid? I laugh.) I can see suicide from the mentally ill perspective. You are right, I didn't try to imagine it from another perspective.
Marcia - I prefer the written word, because it lets me imagine Zayrina rolling her eyes and sighing. Perhaps shaking a fist at the screen, not antagonistically, but humorously.

~~Silk

Don't use Wikipedia for legal definitions. Use Black's Law Dictionary.

TheQueen

~~Silk - A real, physical book? Not a link? I would have to use my arms?

~~Silk

There are some editions of Black's for free reference online, such as at http://thelawdictionary.org/proximate-and-remote-damages/, but they are older editions and sadly abridged. For the good stuff, you need a subscription to Westlaw.com.

Black's is now in the ninth edition. My hardcopy is the sixth (1991), with 1,658 pages, and it includes all kinds of neat stuff, like the US Constitution, historical list of members of the Supreme Court and terms, organizational chart of the US government, and a table of British monarchs. I bought it when I was taking law classes, but it's pretty cool to wander around in when you're bored. Older editions are pretty cheap on Amazon, and it looks impressive in the bookcase.

I still look stuff up about once a month or so.

I also have a big medical dictionary, which you can also spend hours wandering around in, but that one is dangerous. It can give you all kinds of horrible symptoms.

TheQueen

~~Silk - That's my blue medical Signs and Symptoms book.

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