Saturday, July 16, 2005

My letter to the Taipei Times

[Update: Yaaay!!! They printed it!]

A couple of days ago, the notorious gangster Chang Hsi-ming was captured after a shoot-out with police in Taichung county. He was shot four times in all and rushed to hospital. Television viewers were then treated to a farcical scene in which a colossal crush of cameramen and reporters jostled alongside Chang's trolley as doctors tried to move him through the hospital to receive treatment.

I rattled off a quick letter to the Taipei Times pointing out that this situation has to change. Call me naive but it just isn't right. Incidentally, this is the first time I've ever written to a paper.

Dear Sir/Madam

Watching fugitive Chang Hsi-ming being admitted to an emergency department in Taichung county on the TV news last night, it was readily apparent that doctors were being severely hampered in their attempts to move their critically-injured* patient through the hospital. The wildly chaotic jumble of cameramen, photographers and news reporters thronging around Chang's hospital trolley was a sight to behold.

The media have no place in hospitals. Apart from privacy issues, the media are all too often getting in the way of doctors who are trying to give life-saving treatment to their patients. Hospital security staff have little chance against the frenzied hordes of media persons who regularly force their way into hospitals to harass patients and medical staff.

Therefore, the Department of Health should send a warning to TV stations and newspapers that this behaviour will not be tolerated. In the interests of health, safety and privacy, the media should be kept out of all hospitals and clinics, with no exceptions. Sincerely,

[*Actually, he wasn't critically injured but that isn't the point.]

So what are the chances of it being printed? None whatsoever.
Look at this picture which wasn't up at the time I sent the letter: Taipei Times photographer, Liao, Yao-tung, right slap bang in the middle of the media scrum!

No comments: