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Prank Callers, Jacintha Saldanha and the Unspeakable Act of Unjustified Suicide

Jacintha Saldanha's suicidal victims are her children and loved ones, not she.

Those who have followed my blogging on Red Maryland are aware of my contempt for those who end their lives before old age provides some possible reasonable physical justification.

You surely know the basic details, plus a few added by a story in The Washington Post, of the events surrounding the prank call made pursuant to Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s London hospital stay for morning sickness: Australian DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig impersonated/caricatured Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in a phone call, feigning royal concern over Middleton’s health.

The nurse who transferred the call, Jacintha Saldanha, to another nurse who then gave intimate information that the DJ’s radio station broadcast to boast of its conquest, as contemptibly sophomoric not-so-young adults will from time to time do, was devastated.

The hospital, as reported by The Washington Post, “according to the BBC…neither disciplined nor suspended Saldanha. Nor did Buckingham Palace place any pressure on the hospital to do so.”

So who is to blame for nurse Saldanha’s killing herself and leaving two children without their mother?

Jacintha Saldanha.

Life is tough, and for some very tough. Nurse Saldanha’s first responsibility is to those who love her and depend on her. People can go on blaming the immature DJs who pulled this stunt or the radio station which publicized it, and those people would be right: to blame them for an irresponsible, purposeless trick, but not for the suicide of the self-indulgent decedent.

Why are people so reflexively forgiving of those who irresponsibly take their lives? Perhaps because they want live people to scapegoat.

A parent’s first responsible concern in humiliating circumstances is to his or her loved ones, not in regarding the short-term reputational loss she experiences, and especially when serious people did not visit that humiliation on her.
Another awful, self-indulgent suicide.

Sympathies to the children, relatives and loved ones of Jacintha Saldanha, not to Jacintha Saldanha.


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Red Maryland

The Premier blog of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the Free State, named one of Maryland's best political blogs by the Washington Post.


Professor Vatz teaches at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012, 201

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Taylor December 11, 2012 at 05:08 PM
You once again put out for display your complete lack of humanity or empathy towards the human condition. This explains quite a bit... simplistic attacks and a disgusting smearing of a man (Flanagan) who's family suffered once in life, and yet again at the hand of your pen. Whatever personal guilt you feel for the tragedy in your own family, that's no excuse for blindly lashing out at others, nor is it sufficient reason for the nasty dismissive commentary you have repeatedly shared on the topic. We get it, in your simplistic judgement of these people, you feel they are unforgiven sinners, end of story. In my own simplistic judgement, so are you, end of story. You bring only ignorance, anger, and disgrace to The Patch with your commentary.
Joe December 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
The poor woman must have had some mental issues long before this incident to take such a tragic action.
Sean Tully December 12, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I don't know why this woman took her own life but I've known several people who have and not one of them was on top of the world and doing fine when they did. People die from illnesses and, sadly, sometimes the way the mentally ill die is by suicide. I wish we could prevent all of them.
JAM December 14, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Is this in response to the above column? Am I missing something here? Who is an unforgiven sinner?
Needaname December 15, 2012 at 11:35 AM
JAM - the unforgiven sinner is the person who took their own life. In most religions it is considered a sin to kill yourself.

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