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01/11/2017

Flatulence and Elections

Approximately
once a month I open my schedule and see that my first task of the day is to
write a post for the Alden March Bioethics Blog, Bioethics Today. The first
part of this task is to determine what to write about. Sometimes that is the
most difficult part of the job. I try to give myself fairly wide discretion in
choice of topics but this is a bioethics blog so I do try to be conscientious about
finding some relationship between the topic of the blog and bioethics.
Sometimes that is hard. Recently while perusing the venerable Washington Post I
came upon an article that I felt I had to write a blog about.

It also happened that today was the day that
my calendar told me it was time to write a blog. So here goes.

It was
reported today that there was a fire in the operating room April 15 during a
surgical procedure. An unidentified woman was undergoing a surgical procedure
on the cervix with a laser. To make a long story short, the woman passed gas,
the laser ignited the flatulence and the surgical draping caught fire.

I was
attracted to this article because I used to be a young boy (this was a very
long time ago) and all young boys believe that everything about farts is funny
and entertaining. It was even more entertaining when the flatulence was
ignited. Alas when I first saw the article I thought it would be funny but it
was not. The woman was seriously burned.  This no longer seemed like a good topic for a
blog and I left it incompletely written and unpublished.

While this
happened months ago it is current again. At least in my thinking it has become
current. The reason for this is that sometimes things that start out seeming
funny or absurd become serious issues. I admit that only months ago I thought
that the fact that a certain individual was running for president was both
funny and absurd. Now he has been elected and it seems neither funny nor
absurd. It seems very serious indeed.

So now in my
mind the presidential election process evokes thoughts of a woman who was
seriously burned in a fire ignited by her own flatulence. I hope the nation and
the world are not seriously burned by this election but I fear they will be.

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI’s online graduate programs, please visit our website.

 

 

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