For nearly a month now the only news I’ve come across has been that which people on my social media platforms have commented on. So unless it is a hot topic on Mumsnet or inspires a friend to post a link on Facebook I’ve been in the dark. I rather imagined this would be the case and that my world would get very small after my son was born and would then gradually open out again. It came as a surprise to one of the midwives on the maternity ward however, when she remarked on a hurricane or some such and was surprised I had no idea what she was talking about. I’m not sure how she thought I’d be gaining information what with it being my fifth night in a hospital with poor WiFi signal on a ward that didn’t feature a newspaper the entire time I was there. Perhaps she thought the husband was rushing to my bedside to discuss the weather rather than how the baby was doing.

At any rate one story has popped up in enough places that despite my most blinkered stumbling through the days I have picked up the gist of it. Two Australian DJs phoned King Edward VII Hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted for Hyperemesis gravidarum pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles. Then amid criticism for the nursing staff who gave out personal information, Jacintha Saldanha committed suicide.

A sad thing to happen but bewilderingly there has been utter vitriol for the DJs and I can’t for the life of me see what they did wrong or how they are in any way responsible. People are responsible for their own actions. Yes they can be pushed to desperation by the actions of others but if Saldanha truly killed herself due to this one instance of public humiliation then she must have been near the edge already. That she was a mother and in a caring profession makes me quite uneasy as surely someone should have seen she was having problems. I completely fail to believe the media storm was anything but the final straw in the life of a desperate woman.

I’m left wondering why people get so angry and why they directed it at the DJs. Is it because it can’t be directed at Saldanha? After all, it is her actions that have devastated her family. When dealing with grief anger is a normal response and given the fury I have at times felt towards my father and stepfather for dying on us, I can’t begin to imagine how you process someone choosing to inflict that upon you (and sorry but I just don’t buy mental illness as an excuse, depression or whatever just isn’t on a par with cancer).

We aren’t allowed to judge those that take their own lives. We’re meant to be understanding and sympathetic. Does this mean that we are left with judgement needed to be directed somewhere, anywhere and in this instance the DJs are an easy target?

12/13/2012 05:52:32 pm

The suicidal don't have the same logic as the 'normal'. In their heads the world will be a better and easier place without them. They completely fail to factor in the misery, confusion, bitterness, sadness etc that they will cause.
I agree to some extent that you can't blame the DJ's per se but without their action in the interests of humour she may not have gone through with things.
On the other hand even Noel Edmonds worked out by the late seventies/mid eighties that phoning people up and pretending to be someone else isn't funny. Oz radio seems to be a little late to catch up with that news....


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