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socks and cat

This show never ceases to shock me

So just when I think watching all these shows on addiction has given me some grasp of understanding it, a new addict surprises me. Last night on the show "Intervention" the documentary followed an alcoholic so severe that he had to be drinking all the time. You never actually see him take a break from the alcohol. He just drinks constantly, day and night.

As the cameras followed him, he went unconscious to the point where his family could not wake him up. They took his pulse and found it racing. So they called an ambulance. In the hospital they discovered why his drinking nearly killed him that night. His liver was failing and could no longer process alcohol...at all. The doctors told him, just one more drinking binge would absolutely kill him.

While he was in the hospital recovering, he was desperate for a drink. He saw in his bathroom a hand sanitizer that was 50% alcohol. He poured it into a cup, but couldn't drink it because it was foam. So he added water, strired, and proceeded to drink the hand sanitizer to get drunk.

I think what shocked me the most about that moment was the fact that the camera crew did not stop him. He was basically about to do something that could kill him, and it seems like the crew could could in a lot of trouble for catching it on film but not stopping it. And of course it was shocking that he needed to be numb SO badly that he was willing to kill himself to do it before he even got out of the hospital.

Fortunately his intervention was a success and he went directly to a detox and then to rehab. The show checked up on him 60 days into his 90 day program and he was still sober and taking the next step of starting to look for work.


Phil Collins' first musical concert.

Although deemed as FALSE by snopes ..

The legend behind the song says that it is about a man watching his friend drown and didn't help him. Which in a certain place is illegal. In his first concert he sent the man a free ticket. This song was about:

"I saw what you did
I saw it with my own two eyes"
It doesn't surprise me so much that the cameras kept rolling while a guy almost does himself in. While I won't call this show 'journalism' by any stretch, it's the same concept in that the documentation of the act is what the guy running the camera is there to do. To capture what's going on. You can argue from a humanity point that he should forget his job and intervene, but then again, put yourself in the role of the camera operator. He may not be the same one that filmed the doctor telling the patient that one more binge would kill him - he may not even know any of the outside history of what he's filming. And worse yet, he may not have the coping skills, or concern, to jump in and stop what he sees. We simply don't know. You can be sure that if the guy did drink the stuff and died from it, that it would have simply been cut and a quick voice over would have relayed the 'tragic death as he succumbed to his illness...' to explain it all. And I'm no laywer, but allowing someone to kill themselves - vs. *aiding* them in the process, is no crime. It comes down to various angles of morality, but when has hollywood ever had morals?

Would Good Samaritan laws apply here?

If you know an act can result in imminent harm,
are you guilt free if you allow that harm to result?

Being behind a camera doesn't free you of obligation.
Asking the wrong person - I don't know about good samaritan laws as it applies to this situation or television/journalism. As for guilt, there's personal, and criminal - I can't say if criminal guilt would happen for not stopping someone or trying to. On top of the fact, it's hard to imagine being liable if, for instance, you freeze up and panic at what you're seeing, and can't seem to make a useful action to stop it. Hard to be a criminal for your psychological reactions. We also don't know anything about the crew here. A camera operator does not have to know or care if a mixture of household product and water can or will kill someone. Nor do they have an obligation to care. The issue isn't moral here - it's criminal as cagekitten pointed out. Without knowing the laws, it doesn't matter. But if the law says that you're not assisting, but merely observing, then anyone is free to watch a person drink alcohol soup, jump from a building, shoot themselves in the head, etc. Short of that, anyone who didn't want to be criminally responsible could simply say "hey, don't do that, ok?" and that would qualify as trying to stop them, before they jump, pull the trigger, take a sip, etc.

If being behind a camera doesn't free you from obligation, I urge you to track down every news and war journalist and sign them up for some jail time. They're doing their jobs. Their conscience has nothing to do with their work. That should be obvious by the nature of the biz.
good points.. interesting subject.
I don't know much about law, but one thing I do know is that the POLICE are not even bound by law to protect you from harm. My brain processes that information and translates that into NO ONE is bound by law to protect anyone from harm -- except parent to child.
Didn't they have Good Samaritan laws that obligated you to help? That you could be prosecuted for criminal negligence if you walked past someone having a heart attack on the ground and didn't try to assist them? (for example)


Good Samaritan laws protect you from litigation if harm results from an attempt to help (for example if your attempt at CPR results in some kind of damage). As far as I know there is no legal obligation for a bystander to help another person. Additionally, in some cases employers will contractually forbid their employees from rendering aid, for fear of the place of work being sued (as in a CPR gone wrong case, for example). Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath that requires them to render aid when they are able, but I believe that is simply an ethical agreement, with no legal obligation.

So no, there is no legal statute that requires a person to help another person.

My comment below is sort of redundant. Thanks for the clarification. :)
That sounds familiar, but I don't really know, My boyfriend says he thinks good samaritan laws are there to protect a person who may accidentally hurt someone while trying to help them. For example; I give someone CPR and break their rib. I would be protected by good samaritan law. Neither of us is positive about this though.
Sadly, drinking hand sanitizer is more common than you think. I've had internship clients do just that. Or drink mouthwash. Or even perfume. It's very sad.
Agreed. I actually have someone on my friends list that missed death by *that much* doing the same thing - an alcoholic fully consumed by the need to the point where if he stopped, he'd die (and nearly did) and if he kept going he'd die. But at that point, anything with alcohol is the need. The good thing is he got saved and is clean and healthy now, but it doesn't surprise me to hear of someone so consumed by the illness that they'll drink whatever they feel will work in place of distilled booze or beer.
Maybe it was a camera hidden and unmanned in the room? Just a possibility.
Nope, no hidden cameras. And the addicts in this show are told they are being filmed for a documentary and they have agreed to it. The only surprise to them is that their family does an intervention at the end that is also filmed and they get a trip to rehab if they agree to it. But other than the intervention, there are no suprises or hidden cameras.
.. interesting. The camera crew must be under a contract to not interviene likely then. Getting between an addict and his/her drug/addiction in a time such would probably result in bodily harm to the camera person and equiptment, as well. And likely they do not have the training. Not saying it's a great moral place to be.. I personally couldn't watch such a show that dramatizes such situations but if they do really help (ie: there are more that they help than they don't.. and you probably won't see all the don'ts) then fine but yeah shows are based of viewership and that makes good drama to not interviene. :P
I didn't expect the camera crew to stop him from drinking the hand sanitizer. I expected the crew to call for a nurse or doctor, since they were in his hospital room at the time. Isn't there a nurse call button in those rooms?
I would thing so.. so yeah, who knows.
This individual has been slowly killing himself for years. I'm sure the cam guys are told specifically NOT to interefere. Hand sanitizer, alcohol, heroine, he's at his last straw. BUT remember, these shows always create drama through editing. I suspect what you see is just part of what really happened, on or off camera.