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by Peter Moskos

October 15, 2009

No doctor without a police officer's note

I just heard on the radio that Nigeria has changed its law that required a police report from the victims of gunshot injuries before these same victims could be treated for their wounds in a hospital.

Apparently one of the factors leading to this change was a high level of gun deaths.

Imagine that.


ChristMotForbud said...

That (former) law sounds like one concocted in ivory towers.

I can practically hear back in time, I hear doctors shaking their heads as they learn legislators passed such a thing. And muttering under their breaths, or talking with each other, about how that law will surely be ignored once a child of the legislators comes in with a gunshot wound and needs serious and immediate attention.

PCM said...

The ivory towers of Nigeria? I only hope they exist. I imagine this law was passed simply by legislators getting tough on crime. It didn't seem to work.

ChristMotForbud said...

I can't pretend to be an expert on the country of Africa like George Bush. ;-)

But aren't they allowed to keep ivory these days, vs. letting all the big game hunters take it away to turn into toothpicks, chess pieces, or grind up in strange Asian concoctions for impotence? :-)

Anyway, by ivory towers I meant people isolated from the commoners; people so removed from shootings, medical emergencies, they only saw it through a "moral" lens (vs. blood squirting on the floor, people screaming, and the other realities of someone who has been shot). I agree, a "get tough" measure that fell flat. Sorry if I'm too much of a wise guy.

ChristMotForbud said...

That said, I am completely ignorant and will admit it. It could be their legislators are doctors and are so frustrated at finding out who is doing the shooting, they created the law, and were willing to let the shooting victim suffer a little to force some names out of them, instead of letting the victims just clam up and come back shot up next week.

So easy to grandstand.

Rivkah said...

Elephant hunting and piano keys aside, I'm pretty sure Peter of Harvard gets the meaning of "ivory towers." Secondly, I doubt that doctors created this law. From my experience with medical personnel, they generally don't like being told what to do, whether by cops, insurance companies, or legislators... The (previous) law just seems like a really bad idea, not unlike many of the "get tough on crime" decisions made in the U.S.

ChristMotForbud said...

Dear Rivkah, thank you for taking the time to explain that to me. Thank you for your get-tough, no-nonsense, zero-tolerance, approach. ;-)