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How Far Does “Blue Blood” Go Today?


This has to be the saddest, most obscene tragedy on many, many levels, that the modern world has ever known!

Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse caring for Prince William’s wife, Catherine, treating her morning sickness, received a prank phone call from a radio station in Austrailia.  The callers pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Chalres, inquiring on Catherine’s condition and treatment.

Nurse Saldanha believed the caller, and “transferred” her call to Catherine’s caretaker in the hospital.  What was  disclosed was very innocuous, harmless information to the pranksters.  Saldanha is now dead from an apparent suicide.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha,” the royal couple said in a statement.

“Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.”

So, the “Blue Bloods” are offering their “prayers” to this “wonderful” caregiver, yet, Jacintha feels no longer worthy to live!?

Catherine, as learned from the “pranksters,” was being treated for “severe morning sickness” during her first pregnancy. So?  What’s the big deal about that?  None, really, but its been rumoured her co-workers were teasing her and laughing at her for her “mistake!”  The “Royal Family” themselves didn’t have much to say about her “leak,” but apparently Jacintha felt much differently.

Lots of questions come to mind. Was she not emotionally stable to begin with?  Was she bullied by her peers?  Did DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig of 2 Day FM in Australia go too far?  The answer is most likely yes to all of these!  You can never underestimate the repercussions of a joke!

What if this was information disclosed about any “Regular Joe” and not “Blue Blood?”

Would the same have happened?  Would anyone bother to prank healthcare providers for the benefit of a laugh?  Would a nurse kill herself over letting out information about you, me, your mom or any non-blue blood person in the world?!  I seem to doubt it.

Media will go for the proverbial jugular for the purpose of ratings every time!  I don’t envy the “Rich and Famous.”  Poor things!  All that money and fame….what to do?  Then again, some celebrities seem to thrive on “bad press,” which we know is “better than no press!”   However, in this case, the Royalty didn’t even have an issue with this “breaking story!”  In fact, reports say that Prince Charles was laughing about the leak.   Is someone to blame?  I say no.

I don’t believe that anyone went “over-the-line” here.

While I feel terrible for Jacintha and her family, my guess is she was a very caring, helpful and conscientious nurse, she was not a fully stable, emotionally-healthy individual.  This incident caused her so much shame and humiliation that it pushed her “over-the-limit,” and had a self-esteem so enthralled in her work as a caregiver, that this “injustice” of hurting her patient, of such noteriety, was more than her fragile ego could stand.

If her colleaugues were tourmenting her and the media was pointing her out as “the one” who was to blame then she felt a tremendous loss of all of her ability and dignity as a nurse, which most likely was her only source of self-esteem.  Very, very sad.

I wonder though, how the DJs feel now.

It is a bit unreasonable to expect a joke such as this to cause a person to commit suicide. That is not normal.  Most in Jacintha’s situation these days would “cash in” on the incident, go on television, interview with People Magazine, write a book and live happily ever after!  No harm, no foul.  This incident most tragically involved a very unstable woman.  One who was hanging on by an emotional thread, and was quite likely “Star-Struck” by first caring for Royalty, then believing she was talking to the bluest of bloods!

If the “dupe” was that convincing, who would dare question them? Besides, the information given was truly not very interesting anyway…

I have to believe that Christian and Greig are not sleeping well.

I also have to believe any of Jacintha’s colleaugues didn’t know how dangerous their teasing was.  The Royals will always have this memory of their “New Blue Blood” on their minds, and Jacintha’s family will always wonder what they could have done, or whose fault this was.

30 or more years ago, this type of prank would not have happened.  Today’s laugh has become Tomorrow’s tragedy.  We need to think more, care more and simply leave people alone more.

Leo Battenhausen, MSW, LCADC, is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.


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