Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Justice

 The things that are advertised on television and in the magazines are a reflection of what society wants. I suppose that isn't completely accurate as they are products and services that the advertisers want to sell us. Their job is to create that desire in us to purchase whatever it is they are selling. Done correctly however the first statement is true as well. These products and services can have a profound effect. Consider the tobacco industry. In the forties and fifties they sure made that look like a desirable thing to do. All the really cool people did that. Smoking practically liberated women ! That was the impression those advertisers projected anyway.
 I was listening just yesterday and an ad for a law firm came on. This is just one of the many for medical malpractice. The catch phrase they were using was, there is no excuse for medical abuse ! Well you can't argue with that logic can you ? No one has a right to abuse anyone. The " non attorney " spokesman went on to say they would investigate and find the mistake that was made. If you, or your loved one had suffered from a mistake, or died from it, they will get you the compensation you deserve ! They will not rest until justice has been gained. And it is that last statement that causes me to think. Is justice monetary compensation ? That is the clear message they are sending out. Justice is a settlement, make them pay. Enough financial compensation will make up for the injury or loss and you will have obtained justice.
 Just what is justice ? Justice is being treated fairly. That is what I think anyway. Justice is being fair and reasonable. Laws are made to ensure justice. The thing is the law isn't justice, it is only the vehicle that delivers that justice. If a doctor makes a mistake and causes injury or death what penalty should he or she be subject to ? How do we administer justice ? If the mistake was a honest one should they even be subject to prosecution ? Is justice solely punishment for wrongdoing ? I don't believe that it is. Fair and equitable treatment applies to all the parties involved. If a suit is brought against a doctor and no wrongdoing is found were is the justice for him or her ? Is that justice just a simple, sorry ? According to the non attorney spokesman justice for the injured can mean thousands of dollars in compensation. I would agree the injured party shouldn't be liable for the medical expenses incurred as a result of an obvious error, that would be fair. The physician that is subject to legal scrutiny, having his ethics questioned and his reputation smeared has no recourse for justice if found innocent. Justice for him is not having to pay a settlement. Is that fair and equitable ? I would say not.
 Setting all that aside however the central issue I am questioning is this concept of justice. The advertisers on television, radio and magazines are all saying justice is monetary compensation. If you want justice, real justice, sue them ! No matter how ill, injured or even if death resulted the only true course of justice involves  payment of a settlement. That is how we obtain justice in America ! I believe justice is a virtue. Justice is an individual thing. The most virtuous among us seeks only a justice that is fair and equitable. Our courts only allow you to be " made whole " again when it comes to your personal property that was damaged or stolen. That often doesn't seem fair to the one suffering the damage though. Consider your car. If it is completely destroyed you can only receive the Kelly blue book value of the car. Is that fair ? To the insurance company it certainly is. Can I buy a replacement car of equal value with that settlement ? Probably not. Was justice served ? But what of a medical mistake ? What is just compensation when you can not be made whole again ? Apparently it is a whole lot of money. Sure Aunt Susie is dead, but you're getting a structured settlement ! That's justice ! Somehow I just find the whole thing a bit troubling. I don't have the answer but I don't like it. Justice as retribution ?  What I am seeing in those ads is an abandonment of Justice and a shift to retribution. And that is what is being taught today and I find that very unsettling. Justice is not getting what you want. Justice is not punishing another for their misdeeds. Justice is an equitable settlement between two parties. Justice is a give and take. Justice is a virtue !