Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We're all doomed, it seems.

"He died of cardiac arrest."

That was the sentence in my local paper today in an article about the death of a pro football player that was a big influence on his team, the Buffalo Bills. There is a big fan base here for the Bills, as their training camp is held here before the start of the NFL season, and Rochester being only one hour east from Buffalo, of course. But that's not what pissed me off. Look at that sentence again:

"He died of cardiac arrest."

How many times have you read that same sentence when it refers to the death of someone in a newspaper, website, etc? Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Each and every time I read that similar sentence I want to scream, "ONE DOES NOT DIE FROM CARDIAC ARREST!" Sheesh! I don't know if this is a case of lazy journalism, or simply no one telling them what condition a person had that was the actual cause of their death. It's as though cardiac arrest were a disease unto itself. It's not. It's a condition that results from something else. If it is indeed a disease unto itself, than it is more deadly than AIDS, cancer, or just about anything else combined.

Trust me. I worked as a paramedic for far too many years. I know what cardiac arrest is, and is not. I treated people who went into arrest, by the way, and sometimes it wasn't quite fatal. Rare was the case, but sometimes they would, in the image of Monty Python, be "getting better." How did they get into the condition of cardiac arrest? The causes are varied. It could be a gunshot, a car accident, a heart attack, stroke, or simply having been forced to sit through the newest Keanu Reeves movie by one's significant other. (Okay, The Matrix was good, but the sequels made me want to reach for the defibrillator.)

The point here is this: In the end, we're all going into cardiac arrest. How we get there is open to speculation from both the religious and scientific communities, but you can be absolutely certain we will all suffer from this condition someday. What happens after that is also open to speculation from those same communities, but I can tell you this: If I read an obituary or other article after my death that states I died of cardiac arrest, I'm going to haunt the newspaper that published it, and the reporter that wrote it, until the end of their days.

Yep, in the end, we're all doomed.


The Overnight Couch Blogger said...

The worst part? I secretly kept quiet about that very issue for years because I thought I was the only one who thought that! I'm so ashamed for my silence............

Mr. Nighttime said...

I should have mentioned that he was a retired NFL player, having played on the Bills Super Bowl teams in the early - mid 90's.

Dan Ryan said...

I am NOT a merry man!!

Mr. Nighttime said...

I don't look so great in tights, either...and I've been in them, so I know!

Guyana-Gyal said...

I'm tiptoe-ing away in shame * * * *

If I hadn't read this, I wouldn't have known * * * * (more tiptoe-ing away), seriously, I just never knew * * * *

Mr. Nighttime said...

GG - Ah, ha! I knew it! Consider yourself schooled! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Before I say anything, will you haunt also whoever disagrees with you ??

Mr. Nighttime said...

Only if the disagreement is rude or nasty, which I suspect it won't be coming from you... ;-)

Anonymous said...

oh no, I am neither :)
What I wanted to say is that although I understand what you said in your post, I really don't find it necessary to know the cause of death of any person just because it makes me even sadder to learn of their suffering and what they went through..
I have lost a lot of people to accept a simple answer like the one my mom gives me most of the time: "their heart simply stopped" or "their time was up".. I think sometimes that this is maybe a culture thing?!

I know my opinion might seem naive and simple but to be honest with you, I even fear talking about the subject..

So, may all of them rest in peace..
You see, I am nice :)

Mr. Nighttime said...

No, I understand your point of view. The issue is a matter of good journalism vs. poor journalism, and getting the facts correctly. It really is just one symptom of a larger issue I see all over the web, and in print for that matter.

Sloppy spelling and grammar, inferences that make no sense, facts that are not supported by any means. These are all symptoms of a lack of respect not only for the craft of journalism, but quite frankly, for the reader as well.

One does not need to give gory details of their pain and suffering, but, one can still be accurate when reporting the cause of a death. Even a single word goes a long way.

Yes, I see you are nice, and thank you. I've already ditched two or three person's comments on other posts, as they were rude for no reason other that they could do so.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Ah, yes, inaccuracy is extremely annoying, isn't it? Although it's not so much inaccuracy as being economical with the explanations.

The standard of journalism is pretty low right now. You'd think they could vary it a bit. 'He died of apnoea' would at least sound a lot more interesting and mysterious.