Opinion

What's with the race to find blame for tragedy?

SAD LOSS: Nurse Jacintha Saldanha
SAD LOSS: Nurse Jacintha Saldanha

I AM still struggling with the idea that those two Sydney radio hosts are the only ones to blame for the death of Jacintha Saldanha.

There are a lot of people who disagree and it's not that I can't see where they are coming from.

Those higher up in the chain at the radio station should have paid more attention to the broadcast codes before they put the practical joke to air.

Those rules exist for good reasons - as we've unfortunately seen over the last week.

Even so, I find it hard to equate that sort of breach with such a tragic outcome. There was simply no malice in the execution and the airing of the segment.

Those people who want to suggest that the prank callers have blood on their hands - that they should answer to charges of manslaughter - are in my opinion at the opposite end of the callous spectrum to two people seeking to make an otherwise harmless joke of the Royal Family.

Remember, the extent of the joke was to impersonate the voices of the Queen and Prince Charles - not to obtain some kind of secret information, or to expose an innocent person to such an unprecedented public backlash.

The Australian pranksters may have failed to anticipate the hysterical response by segments of the British and Australian media, but you cannot blame them for that.

In fact, it is very hard to blame any particular outside influence for a person's suicide, but if for argument's sake you are going to, there are some other questions that I think need to be asked first.

What effect could the storm that was whipped up in the press in the aftermath of the prank call have had on Ms Saldanha?

How did the hospital's management react to the situation and what consequences were in store for the nurse?

We have already heard that one of the notes that Ms Saldanha left before taking her life was critical of other staff at the King Edward VII Hospital.

We have also heard that British detectives are looking at emails and text messages sent before the tragedy.

These matters are being investigated as part of the inquiry into Ms Saldanha's death, and it is probably worth waiting for the result before condemning the pranksters alone.

Topics:  jacintha saldanha, opinion, royal family



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