I look at my life, and realize how my experiences have shaped me, and my perceptions: being adopted, divorced, and remarrying. And working in both large and small communities, with families in a wide range of socioeconomic situations, students with all sorts of abilities and disabilities. But, finally, dealing with families in crisis, I learned so much about people and humanity.
As a class room teacher I made mistakes. In front of my students I would use the phrase, 'I stand corrected', and we would move on. When I think of the young people who are front line workers in society, I understand how they do the best of their abilities in their jobs. But sometimes, the impact on families is huge.
I think of the B.C. tasering death, the 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski, is a prime example. This situaiton is much more complex, however, since cover ups ensued.
For example: Canada blocking Taser investigation: Poland, and the enquiry demonstrates that the powers-that-be, as well as the officers involved, cannot simply stand up, admit their mistakes, suffer the consequences and pay the price.
In a recent situation. In a small town, Cornwall, Ontario, (South-east of Ottawa), a man dies of natural causes in a boarding house, and none of the family are notified. The Coroner's Act outlines the protocol, family members must be contacted. Does it not make sense?
Doug Thompson, 61, had been buried by the time his family heard he had died, said Det. Andrew Thompson,
What a shame. Some did not check his wallet, which contained contact information for his son, an Ottawa police officer, or the officer's aunt and uncle who lived in Cornwall, and whose names and numbers were in Mr. Thompson's wallet. His cell phone also had these numbers in its memory. It's not as if any nimrod couldn't figure out that if Mr. Doug Thompson's phone contained the phone number of Mr. Andrew Thomson wasn't a relative. I did this with a phone I found in the school yard once.
The family wants to know,
- Who is at fault
- How did no one in the chain catch the error (i.e., the agencies who let the family down: the Coroner's Office, the Cornwall police, the hospital, the funeral home, the social agency that took possession of his body and buried him)
- How and why these agencies could release a body without paperwork showing they had a right to take it away. (I know, I've been through that with my mother's body, long story; read the book!)
- How the error will be corrected.
But Not by Me : Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions