Bridge of Life

Today has been kind to me and I hope it has been kind to you, my Dear Readers.

I’ve been rather distracted, however, on hearing about the plight of a 91 year old man who had to spend 29 hours on a hospital trolley in a Dublin hospital before finally getting a bed.

The Accident and Emergency Crisis in Ireland has been bothering me for a long time now, as both a social researcher and at a personal level, and this latest outrage makes me feel incredibly sad.

Bridge of Life

I can’t but wonder if a child would have been treated in the same way. In  other words, are people in their 80s and 90s viewed as having less value than younger people?

Also, would the 91 year old parent of one of our top politicians be left on a trolley for 29 hours?

As I write tonight, I feel a horrible sense of relief that my parents, who lived to great ages,  have both passed on and will never, ever have to face long waits on hospital trolleys again.

I also feel a horrible sense of agony for the people who are stuck on trolleys in our Accident and Emergency Departments this very minute. This is a social problem, not some natural phenomenon, and can therefore be solved if there is enough social and political will to seek out and implement solutions.

“An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing…”
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, “Sailing to Byzantium”

Let us all sing , and sing out loud together, to bring this awful Accident and Emergency Crisis to the very top of the social and political agenda.