The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

When commerce outweighs compassion

Posted by pauaprincess on May 30, 2007

A woman died yesterday in Auckland, when the power company came around and disconnected her household for unpaid bills.  The woman was ill and dependent upon oxygen delivered to her via an electrically powered system.  The family contend they explained to the contractor who disconnected the power supply about the womans condition and her dependence upon power being connected to her home.  The power was disconnected regardless and the woman died a short time later.  You can read the article here.

While the company is using it’s process as a defence, the family would have had warning letters and a disconnection notice, it is really no excuse.  The woman had only recently been released from hospital, her husband had been forced to cut back on his working hours in order to care for her and his family of four children.  With a seriously ill wife to care for, the upheaval of tooing and froing from the hospital, doctors appointments and day to day care of the children, it’s easy to imagine him putting things like the power bill to the back of his mind.  The contractor who visited should have waited, period.  When he was told about the oxygen being power driven, showed the seriously ill woman and her condition, he should have referred the family to the power company and left.

What kind of society have we become, where contractors follow instructions like robots without an ounce of thought toward the consequences?  When the mighty dollar outweighs compassion?

Should profits outweigh the care of society?

Update 1247:

Sue Bradford of the Green Party is not somebody I generally I agree with, however she has released the following statement and I agree whole heartedly…

Green Party MP Sue Bradford called for a public inquiry into the death describing the decision to cut the power as “mercenary”.

“Is there no social responsibility requirement? No code of conduct? Listening to the company spokesperson this morning it would seem the company sees it as entirely the responsibility of the consumer to make contact, provide documentation and argue their right to be allowed to live,” she said.

“Surely there is some flexibility to use compassion and common sense in this type of very rare situation.”

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