Tag Archives: risk aversion

The Glenwood Gardens Incident: A Duty To Rescue, Policy Or Not

"Here at Glenwood Gardens, our residents understand that our crack staff will allow them to die on the floor without lifting a finger."

“Here at Glenwood Gardens, our residents understand that our crack staff will allow them to die on the floor without us lifting a finger.”

Once again, we consider the ethical duties of someone placed by fate and circumstance in a position to give life-saving service…and who refuses to do so.

Lorraine Bayless,  87 year-old resident of Glenwood Gardens, a Bakersfield, California senior living facility, collapsed on the dining room floor, not breathing, her life obviously in danger.  A Glenwood Gardens staff member who identified herself as a nurse called 911, and this exchange ensued…

911 Dispatcher: “This woman’s not breathing enough. She’s gonna die if we don’t get this started. Do you understand?”

Nurse: “I understand. I am a nurse. But I cannot have our other citizens, who don’t know CPR, do it … ”

Dispatcher: “Is there anyone that works there that’s willing to do it?”

Nurse: “We can’t do that.”

Dispatcher: “Are we just gonna let this lady die?”

Nurse: “Well that’s why we’re calling 911.”

Dispatcher: “Is there anyone that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?”

Nurse: “Um, not at this time.”

The 87-year-old was declared dead at the hospital. Continue reading


Filed under Character, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society, Workplace

Dog Racism Update: A Definitive Defense of Pit Bulls

Nanny dog1

Ethics Alarms has discussed the unfairness, bigotry and ignorance behind the vilification of pit bulls and related breeds on many occasions: here, here, here , here, and here. Now Joshua Holland has written an excellent primer in Salon for the pit bull-phobics to chew on, and he did a superb job of debunking the illusion that this is a monstrous breed rather than what it really is, an uncommonly delightful one.

Among the highlights…

  • “Pit bulls are the dog of choice for irresponsible breeders, dog-fighters, people who want a tough-looking dog to tie up in their yard and those who refuse to have their male dogs… 86% of fatal canine attacks involve an unneutered male, according to the American Humane Society.”
  • “A 2009 study in the Journal of Forensic Science, found that the owners of vicious dogs, regardless of the breed, had “significantly more criminal behaviors than other dog owners”…According to the ASPCA, “Pit Bulls often attract the worst kind of dog owners.”
  • “We have tragically betrayed our children’s beloved nanny-dogs, raising them irresponsibly, training them to be aggressive and then turning them into pariahs when they behave as any dog would in similar circumstances.” Continue reading


Filed under Animals, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Research and Scholarship

Irresponsible School, Cowardly Teacher, Betrayed Students: the Palm Beach Classroom Attack Incident

Donald Charbonneau, a teacher at a Palm Beach, Florida middle school, watched as one of his students, a 13-year-old boy, Adrian Thompson, attacked classmate Joshua Poole, who was sitting at his desk. Thompson hit Poole several times, and threw him to the floor. Rather than intervening is the fight, Charbonneau left the room to get assistance. Poole says he now suffers from headaches and blurred vision from the prolonged attack, which was longer that it would have been had the teacher stopped the fight.

The school district released a statement explaining that the teacher was following a school policy dictating that staff can only intervene after undergoing “special training” on how to properly deal with such incidents.

Got it.

The policy is an irresponsible legal risk-reduction maneuver that places students at risk and turns teachers into spineless, equally irresponsible weenies. Continue reading


Filed under Daily Life, Education, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Professions, U.S. Society

More Unethical Anti-Dog Slander by The Daily Beast

It is odd that a news website called “The Daily Beast” is engaging in an ongoing effort to misinform and frighten the public regarding dogs. Someone—publisher Tina Brown perhaps?—in The Daily Beast’s lair must have been badly frightened by a puppy at some point in his or her life, leading to an irrational fear of dogs and mind-blowing ignorance regarding them. Earlier this year, the site published two unhinged calls for the eradication of  anything resembling a pit bull by a writer whose pet was attacked by one. At the moment, The Daily Beast features a gallery with the ominous title “39 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds” that had to be assembled by some one who has seldom seen a real dog, much less owned one. On the home page, the feature is placed under the heading, “Beware of the Dog.”

The criteria for the ranking is completely mysterious—several of the breeds listed, for example, have exactly one attack attached to them. The gallery itself is riddled with errors and is actually quite funny, if one knows anything about dogs at all. In addition to being careless and incompetent, the feature is dishonest, and seems to be calculated to make people irrationally frightened of dogs, when in fact the relationship between human and canines is one of life’s great and fortunate pleasures. Continue reading


Filed under Animals, Daily Life, Family, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement

Charles Leerhsen’s Unethical Pit Bull Vendetta Continues

You have to hand it to Charles Leerhsen. He is determined to get revenge for the mauling of his beloved Wheaten Terrier, Frankie, if he has to wipe out an entire dog breed and thousands of other people’s beloved pets to do it. To this end, the Daily Beast has, for some reason, decided to give him a second column to make the illogical, historically flawed, intellectually bigoted argument that pit bulls should be wiped off the face of the earth.

This time, he has abandoned any pretense of fair argument, and simply ridicules and insults his critics. Using the logic of his articles, this would be sufficient evidence to argue for sending writers to extinction. Astoundingly, he accuses critics of relying on “anecdotal evidence,” when his entire crusade was inspired by a single incident. His rebuttal of non-anecdotal evidence, such as studies showing that the supposed excessive viciousness of pit bulls over all other breeds is a myth? “Fabricated by pit bull lobbying groups, according to at least one commenter.” Well, I guess that settles it then! Continue reading


Filed under Animals, U.S. Society

Pit Bulls and Bigotry

Writer Charles Leerhsen has experienced a conversion. After witnessing his best friend being viciously attacked and nearly killed on a city street without provocation, he has embraced bigotry with both hands. Now he writes screeds condemning not the attacker, but all individuals of the attacker’s race. In a passionate and angry essay for The Daily Beast, he denigrates not only those individuals but also anyone who defends them, such as “certain PC urban professionals who long to tell the world that they are super-sensitive and understanding souls.”

It’s an ugly essay, emotional, doctrinaire, and illogical, employing the well-worn racist technique of generalizing from the individual to the group and back again. Why would any respectable media outlet print such bile?

Perhaps it is because Leerhsen’s best friend was Frankie, a Wheaton terrier, and Frankie’s attacker was a pit bull. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Daily Life, History, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, U.S. Society