Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a question of ethics

there is a lot of suffering going on in haiti right now. i thought about that last night, tucked in warm in my bed. i've thought about it since a week ago when the earthquake hit - about the dead, the dying, the people who are suffering. it's not just a natural disaster - it's a man-made one. say what you will about big brother, but the absence of governmental organization has probably tripled the number of dead in haiti, and it's getting worse.

i've been blown away by some of the reporting going on there - even the reporters i have had doubts with have done an amazing job of conveying the brutality of the situation. how much can a photo, a scream, a teary voice speak? they have connected me into the stories, and i plan on donating to the cause because of it.

but i had to know this was coming when i saw a video of dr. sanjay gupta from cnn examining a 15-day-old baby girl with a head wound. as dr. gupta explained what was wrong to the baby's father, he also explained it to the viewers. the purists in my field are now questioning in articles like this one whether doctors who work for new networks should get involved so heavily.

or you could read this article quoting the doctoral student i worked with when i was an a.i. mike brings up a valid point: "'In the end, I tell my students it is up to the individual person,' he adds. 'But most of my students say it is wrong for the reporter to insinuate themselves into the story, and I tend to agree. In that moment when they become the story, how can they bear faithful witness to the truth?'"

true - but how could i as a person bear watching an innocent get hurt, a country crumble to its knees, without at least trying to help?

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