CYA culture run amok

One of my most hated things is going to the airport for calls. Some of the most ridiculous calls I’ve been to were at the airport. In short, airlines love passing the buck to 911 so they can cover their asses.

Obviously, many of you are familiar with this phenomenon of entities calling 911 so they can pass on the liability. Not just airlines, but doctor’s offices, schools, SNFs, dorms, rehab, shelters, group homes, buses, trains, taxis, etc. Basically everyone. Instead of THINKING, it’s easier to press a few buttons on the phone and let someone else take care of the problem. Just because it’s ubiquitous doesn’t mean it’s right.

By now I’m sure many of you have heard of The Great You-Can’t-Fly-Alaska-Airlines-If-You-Have-Cancer Incident. Basically, on Monday, Elizabeth Sedway, a woman with a 5-year ongoing battle with cancer, was kicked off her flight home after Alaska’s on-call doctors said she didn’t have a doctor’s note and wasn’t fit to fly. Of course, as usual, Alaska said it was “policy” to consult with their on-call doctors, who obviously remotely determined that she was too ill to fly. Good job. A monkey can do that. Stranded in Hawaii, she then missed chemotherapy back home in California on Tuesday, and her husband and kids missed work and school.

Like Ms. Sedway said, in more polite words, how the fuck did Alaska think she got to Hawaii in the first fucking place?

This is just like those stupid advice line nurses who insist everyone who calls them calls 911 instead.

So what if she had a doctor’s note? Is the note a guarantee that absolutely nothing bad will happen? Can you blame her doctor if something happens to her while having a note in her possession? What about everyone else on the plane who doesn’t have a note? Shouldn’t they have notes to guarantee that they won’t have a medical emergency? If airlines are so worried about safety, isn’t there more of a chance that some drunk asshole will disrupt the flight instead?

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