By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)
Are you sitting down?
Kate Middleton is pregnant. The world found out because she was hospitalized with morning sickness. I myself am not interested in the royal family, but enough people are for two Australian morning DJs to prank call the hospital posing as the Queen and asking questions about Kate. The call was answered by a nurse who transferred them to a hospital official. If you listen to the audio the DJs only got basic information, but it is amazing that they got through at all which became a big story in the news.
In America, medical staff divulging any medical information is illegal. While it isn’t in England I’m sure there is an unwritten rule not to. However the hospital supported the employees and went as far as publicly backing them. Despite the support from her employer Jacintha Saldanha, who was the nurse that answered the phone, committed suicide.
Social media is now exploding with no shortage of people wanting to blame the DJs for the nurse’s death. To make a judgment like that fairly, one would be claiming that the DJs had a reason to believe that their prank call could result in a death. All they did was make an accidently high profile joke.
We really know nothing about the nurse. She may suffer from some kind of mental illness, depression, or some condition that would make her more prone to suicide. But people want someone to blame someone so badly, so I will oblige and blame someone.
This woman was under a lot of stress, but why? Her employer publicly supported her and she was in no risk of losing her job. The stress came from the constant media attention. I’m not sure how England’s tabloid culture compares to ours, but I know they are obsessed with anything and everything Royal Family. Over the past few days she was probably hounded with people following her, phone calls and harassment over social media.
So if I have to blame someone, I blame the people who feed tabloid culture. I blame the very same people who care that Kate Middleton is pregnant are upset with the DJs. You are the problem. If you didn’t care so much neither would the media, and this nurse’s death could have been avoided.