It’s an odd expression. “I’d like to be a fly on the wall…” I’m pretty sure that all flies hear when they listen to us is nonsense goop. Flies probablie don’t take anything meaningful away from their vague interactions with us. They probablie don’t even bother to ignore us, they just concentrate on fly things like laying lots of eggs before their month of life is over.
Still, the other day, I got to be a fly on the wall in the last class of Gerontologie that the current ACE class will ever have to take. That’s right I voluntarilie sat through a lecture that I didn’t need to, but never fear, I brought a book (lots of them actuallie).
The teacher is a woman named Harkins, and I’ve never ever heard anything good about her. For instance, she was to give a quiz in the first half of the quarter… half of the class failed this quiz. Actuallie half, no exaggeration. And during the course of this last class she proceeded to JOKE about this fact. She seemed to find it amusing that half of the students in the class had recieved a failing grade. (I know for a fact that people who had never gotten below and 85 on any test or quiz in the program had failed this quiz.)
But her extreme insensitivitie wasn’t the worst part of what followed. In nursing school you are required to take a great many ethics classes, presumablie so you can make your own decisions on the issues and have a logical foundation for your beliefs. Well the lecture just so happened to be on death and dying and she brought up the touchie issue of assisted suicides (I’ll spout my opinion shortly).
She claimed that they were unethical. That according to the nursing code of ethics assisted suicide is ALWAYS unethical. This is wrong. Assited suicide is illegal (fact). But it is NOT unethical (fact). The difference, you ask? Illegal means against the law. It would in fact break a law to help someone end their life (unless you live in Oregon, but that’s a subject for another day). However, ethics is the process of deciding right and wrong and there are many ways to decide such things.
Harkins cited the Nursing Code of Ethics when she made her pronouncement, specificallie the section (which I’m sure you’ve heard of) that says “Do no harm.” Now some of you might agree that death is in fact harmful, but when you’re already dying, painfully is administering morphine harmful? It will kill you faster (fact), but it will prevent you from being in enormous amounts of pain (fact). So which is worse? Death or Pain? I’d say if you’re alreadie dying, unequivacalie, irrevocablie dying, then pain is clearlie worse, and maybe you’d disagree and we’d both be right. And that’s ethics.
(P.S. my opinion on assisted suicide. I’m mostlie against it. I think that people should take responsibilie for their own lives [and deaths] and if they want to off themselves I think they should go for it. The onlie time and this is totallie a case by case basis thing, I would even consider it is if the patient was physicallie incapable of ending their life, but still mentallie sound enough [by my judgement] to say THIS IS WHAT I WANT and be absolutelie sure. Then I might think about it.)
But this wasn’t her most frightening statement (Even worse if you know that she actuallie also teaches ethics). Her most frightening statement included the teaching of superstition as fact. Her willingness to say well I don’t actuallie have any basis for this except for my own (illogical, and unscientificallie documented) experience but I’m going to teach it as a fact.
So there is a fly on the wall. Sometimes, for reasons of their own, flies chose to come indoors. This happens in gazebos and houses and even hospitals, but Harkins can’t bear to have flies in the hospitals, because they might go in a patient’s room…
“And the second I see a fly in the room I know the patient is going to die.”
She didn’t mention how many times she saw flies in patient’s rooms who didn’t end up dying, or how many times patients died with no fly in their room, but she presented this storie as unquestionable irrefutable fact. And she took up twenty minutes of class time telling us this and as a result did not finish the power point presentation with makes up an entire fifth of the final exam.
I think that if flies could understand us, and did care what we did with our lives, that even a fly would be frightened that this woman is permitted to teach.