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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is This a Case of Not My Brother's Keeper?

From the AP:
Firefighters cut a hole in the side of a house and used a forklift to extricate a 900-pound man from his second-floor bedroom after a visiting nurse became worried about his health.

Rescue workers were called in Tuesday by the nurse, who determined the 33-year-old man needed medical help, Fire Chief Tom Cochran said.

Cochran said the man had not left his home since 2003. The man's brother, who lives with him, said he suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that creates a chronic hunger feeling that can lead to overeating and life-threatening obesity.
Scott Adams has a riff sort of along the lines of what I first thought:
My favorite part is the nurse who called firefighters because, in her professional opinion, the 900-pound man "needed medical help." Kudos to her. A lesser nurse might have missed the signs. ...

And what is up with the pizza place that presumably delivered to him five times a day? Did it ever concern them that their Customer of the Month was two pizzas away from forming a black hole? Maybe it all happened gradually and it snuck up on them.
We obviously do not know all the details of the situation, but I can't help but wonder how someone, despite being reclusive, is not completely alone, gets to this point. Wouldn't a passing notion of solidarity, a simple sense of human caring, prompt somebody to do something at 400 pounds, 600 pounds, 750 pounds? At what point do you drop pretentions of "rugged individualism," or "not my business," or avoiding embarassment, or whatever and pick up the phone? I suppose there's the possibility someone did before this, but it still makes me wonder.

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