Saturday, December 13, 2008

My eye on the BI #2

I have discovered another Blog-"Running a Hospital!" Talk about a big subject!

 Is there any one left who does not blog? In this case it is particularly interesting, and useful, as in the entry of Monday July 10th in which I find an explanation of the background to the "Eye on the BI" advertisements and the SEIU. It makes me very sad that the labor movement has been so morally reduced that they have to employ these tactics. Talk about degrading! what ever happened to the responsible, the honorable, stance taken by labor in the past. I can understand that in the case of migrant farm workers or other really oppressed groups, absent any constructive response from their employers such tactics might be resorted to, but here we are talking about the teaching hospitals of Harvard University in a major metropolitan area. I find it very upsetting that the after the accomplishments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that organized labor should be reduced to this.

I want to be clear that my complaint is the misleading nature of the advertising- misleading in this respect: that neither the intention nor the source is clear. They do have "SEIU" at the bottom. Who knows what that means? the "U" does stand for "Union" so the clairvoyant amongst us should be able to figure it out, but what are the rest of us to do? 

How many times has it happened that a valuable and important institution, even those that contribute heavily to the welfare of our community gets tied into bureaucratic and public relations knots that reduce it's effectiveness as a result of this kind of cowardly attack. It happens because we all stand by and assume that the issue is somehow distant from us; however we regret it, our laziness, fears and isolation make it seem irrelevant to us.

Do you drive? Ever been in an accident? Found yourself in an ambulance? Are you aware that being received at any emergency room, which I think we all assume as a matter of course, is no longer the case. The driver will drive to the BI or Boston Medical because he knows you will be received there. Think about that the next time you see one of those posters!

I will close by sharing with you this observation: That when one is reduced by illness to dependance and poverty you still can find help, compassion and respect in places like the BI. That hasn't happened by accident. It may sound strange to say, but through my own illness I have discovered a blanket of kindness in institutions and in my fellow man that has been a great and consoling gift. The world won't stay that way if we lack the courage, individually and as a society to speak up- to speak out!

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