Thursday, May 12, 2011

where is the justice?!

In today's independent there was discussion of the fact the evidence in 25 rape cases may be called into question because the nurse who carried out the examination of the victims was not registered with the HSE, as is officially required. The article condemns the HSE for allowing this to happen to the poor rape victims.
While I agree the fact a nurse is practicing without being properly registered with the HSE is troublesome, the real issue here is the fact that improper administration is grounds enough to undermine justice. How is the point of focus of a piece about the possibility of rape victims not being able to see justice the fact the HSE had an oversight with regard to bureaucracy and not the fact that our justice system would allow a slide in administration mean justice is forgone?
Today's society has become so obsessed with regulation and bureaucratization that a principle of objective value is taking a back to these methods of organization. Justice is one of the few moral goals that nobody can intelligibly deny is worthwhile. Even those who have reservations about equality as a societal goal can not dispute justice. Yet here we have a situation where, not only is our societal and judicial organization such that a bureaucratic discrepancy is set to undermine the justice these poor victims will see, but when the controversy is discussed by a journalist the main issue they took up from the situation is the fault of the HSE for allowing said discrepancy. Bureaucracy is a means by which we organize society to enable us to live together harmoniously. How can communal life be harmonious if justice gives way to a means of societal organization? Where is the value for justice?
Yes, the nurse should have been registered and yes it is wrong and problematic that they were not and were still able to practice nursing. However, is it not fair to assume that this nurse has been trained as a nurse and thus must be at least in some way competent in their role? If in fact it was the case that a person who is not a competent nurse was able to practice nursing unnoticed I may be more able to understand the possibility of this being a focus of the situation and even undermining justice. But, unless I understand the situation incorrectly, this is not the case and thus this cannot be where the real issue lies. It's a question of (what I would have thought to be fairly obvious) priorities.


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