Social Question

flo's avatar

What do you think of the Australian pranksters and death of the receptionist or nurse?

Asked by flo (7163 points ) December 7th, 2012

Here is the story
Some news outlets say it is the nurse some say it is the receptionist but either way…
Are people mad at the pranksters’s?

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60 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think they should be liable for severe civil penalties for wrongful death, but I don’t think they should face criminal charges.

If I ran the radio station in question,they would both be looking for new jobs.

flo's avatar

I don’t know if the pranksters were suspecting this though, @WestRiverrat But the media in general is irresponsible in general, all in the name of jokes.

zenvelo's avatar

I agree with @WestRiverrat , although it might be difficult to sue two Australians from Great Britain.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

People need to think about the consequences of their actions. Was an on the air prank worth the life of a woman, mother and wife? I would guess not.

filmfann's avatar

Radio DJ’s that think this sort of prank shit is funny ought to be taken out and horsewhipped in a public square. I feel terrible for the nurses suicide. I am glad the radio station has put them on long term suspension.

gailcalled's avatar

No one knows yet why she killed herself. There may be cause and effect; there may not be.

That does not justify pranks, which are, by definition, cruel, embarrassing and humiliating…particularly when done so publicly.

flo's avatar

The pranksters are very juvenile. Nurses are supposed to spend their time at work dealing with life and death situations at times, not ridiculous “jokers”. Let’s hope this will teach people a lesson.

But I think it could also be a suspension, a repremand, by her employer (if she was), maybe just feeling humiliated that led her there.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Wow, she killed herself over this? Makes me wonder if she was already on the downward spiral, and the embarrassment of this prank was the last straw.

flo's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Well, if it were you, if the whole world is making fun of how guillible you are, for not knowing it is impossible for the queen and prince to need to go through the reception like anyone else, I don’t know…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate From what I’ve found she had some issues and this was just the last straw.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think it was a silly prank but that’s what it was – a prank. If the nurse killed herself over this then she undoubtedly had other issues and was psychologically fragile. As blame a couple of pranksters who could have in no way predicted this, you might as well blame the hospital and her peers for not noticing and acting on her fragile, emotional state.

No, I do not blame the DJs.

gailcalled's avatar

“No one knows yet why she killed herself. There may be cause and effect; there may not be.”

flo's avatar

This “she had issues already” senario just happens to be very helpfull to the defense lawyer if there is going to be one, So, I’m suspicious of it. Most people have problems other people can point out as “issues”. And it is easy for this tabloids to come up with someone who doesn’t like someone and pay them to say something like that. Not like they are known for their ethical behaviour.

flo's avatar

“pay them to say something like that” maybe not that crassly done.

flo's avatar

@gailcalled yes it could very well be a coincidence.

DominicX's avatar

You just can’t charge someone with someone else’s suicide, sorry. Perhaps in some cases of bullying or abuse, but in something like this, you can’t say for sure why that person committed suicide, and even if that were the reason, they had no idea that was going to be her reaction and I think that it’s difficult to blame someone for it.

flo's avatar

For all of you who don’t blame the DJs, I too don’t. But you can’t deny @gailcalled‘s “That does not justify pranks, which are, by definition, cruel, embarrassing and humiliating…particularly when done so publicly”. It is not funny in the least.

DominicX's avatar

@flo That I also agree with.

bookish1's avatar

I’m with @filmfann about the horsewhipping… I agree that they ought not to be charged for someone else’s suicide, but I honestly hope they can never find a job in broadcast again.

flo's avatar

I hope something will come out of this tragedy, whether or not she did kill herself because of it.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t know what happens on US radio programs but silly pranks seem to be run-of-the-mill over here. You might need to sack half the drive-time broadcasters. I seriously would be more concerned about what action the hospital took both prior to this event and after. There certainly isn’t enough information to hold them singularly responsible for the nurse’s actions.

Bellatrix's avatar

Has anyone even listened to the call! This is the call.

The first person – the receptionist – is the person who has committed suicide. Really, that she did this after simply putting through a call reinforces for me that the woman unfortunately had other problems.

As to the nurse who gave out other info – really how anyone could think these two were legitimate is beyond belief and the hospital needs to take a good look at its own security. Obviously the staff were given no training on how to deal with media who were likely to try to get information. I am not condoning the silliness but that’s what this call was. Plain silliness.

glacial's avatar

I don’t know if we’ll ever know the full story, but I do know that the press in the UK are absolutely relentless when scandal or the monarchy are involved. I wonder if they may have been harrassing the woman. Regardless, she was probably mortified at seeing it all around her.

The DJs in question have “decided” to stay off air indefinitely – I don’t know if they’ll go back to doing the show. This story in The Guardian talks about some of the other things they’ve done and said on air… I also wonder if this outcome wasn’t inevitable. They sound like a couple of horrible bullies to me.

tinyfaery's avatar

Prank phonecalls are lame in the first place—never funny.

There just has to be more to it. I have to think this was just a trigger and she was already unstable.

woodcutter's avatar

They do these calls all the time. Blame the “royals” or the local news press and rags for telling the whole world about some woman puking. I fail to see why people give two fucks about unimportant news like this. The D.J.‘s just tried to get a little mileage out of a stupid news story that really was not news. That is what happens to stupid news stories. People want to make fun of them because they (the stories) deserve it. Not their fault they happened upon an already baggage laden receptionist who felt humiliated to the point of suicide is it? Did the hospital mgmt give her grief because of it? They might have different privacy rules in Briton dealing with the nature of hospital patients. Hell maybe over there since the medical bills are funded by the tax payers they give away all expectation of privacy. Inquiring minds want to know, ya know.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t blame the DJ’s. I hate pranks. I don’t find it funny to fool someone and embarrass them, but they are not responsible for the woman’s death. If it is by chance illegal to impersonate the Queen it would be nice to get them on that, but since I have not heard anything like that mentioned I would guess there is no such law.

@woodcutter The condition Kate is diagnosed with is very serious and can be fatal. I think it is a good thing it is getting some attention. I don’t know how severe her case is, I am sure they are extra cautious with her.

jca's avatar

We have to remember that in this occurred in a country that absolutely reveres the royal family, and it’s probable that not only was the poor woman suffered not only humiliation but a media barrage, media and the entire country making fun of her, and possibly disciplinary action from her employer. Therefore, we can’t imagine what she has been through behind the scenes for the past few days.

Leanne1986's avatar

It’s very sad and, whilst I think that the nurse must have had other problems to make her suicidal and this was, more than likely, the straw that broke the camel’s back rather than the sole reason for her taking her own life, I hope the radio station feel like shit. When I first heard of the prank call I couldn’t help feeling that it was pathetic and insensitive as the Duchess is thought to be less than 12 weeks and so not in the “safe zone”. Extra stress from the press etc could bring on a miscarriage. I didn’t think it would cause someone to take their own life and if this doesn’t make people think about how their own (hilarious~) actions affect others, even if they seem harmless, nothing will.

ucme's avatar

I’ve already given my views on a related question, as for the prank in itself, they actually broke the laws regulating commercial outlets.
They can record the “joke” but in order to actually go ahead & air it they need written permission from the “victim”. Given as though this was clearly not forthcoming, it being a private hospital caring for a leading member of the royal family, they rode all over this legislation in a vain attempt to promote ratings.

flo's avatar

Even if she were fragile, (we don’t know) she didn’t deserve to die anyway.
If it weren’t for this prank she probably would be alive.

Bellatrix's avatar

Certainly we would hope nobody feels the need to commit suicide. However, you can’t say that she would probably still be alive if it weren’t for this prank @flo. You don’t know what was going on in her life. This might have been the final straw but if it hadn’t been this, it might have been the bus driver on the way home giving her a hard time because she didn’t have enough change or her boss refusing to let her have a day off. Only those who have access to her medical history and real knowledge of her life and mental state have any hope of knowing what happened and I am sure there will be a coroner’s investigation.

ucme's avatar

Oh but we do know, by definition alone suicide is never the result of one trigger, but a series of circumstances over a sustained period, culminating in the tragic decision to take ones own life.

flo's avatar

I posted another OP related to this by the way

“However, you can’t say that she would probably still be alive if it weren’t for this prank @flo.” That prank was frivilous. The bus driver…not having enough change… not frivilous.
I don’t think everyone who commits suicide is fragile, most people maybe.

chyna's avatar

@flo I don’t see where @Bellatrix said anything about frivilous. You seem to be making up things as you go.
The story is tragic, yet no one knows what set this woman over the edge. It may have had to do with the prank, it may not have. She may have even thought it was funny. NO ONE KNOWS.

flo's avatar

@chyna It is me who says it is frivilous.

flo's avatar

It may have had to do with the prank.
@chyna and if it did have to do with the prank? Let’s say she got suspended, repreminaded?

Imagine a reckless driver (texting and driving) who gives the excuse that the person he run over was a drunkard, as if to say that if the victim wasn’t a drunkard…

gailcalled's avatar

‘repreminaded”?

flo's avatar

This time @gailcalled it is lol.

Bellatrix's avatar

The news reports I have read said the hospital did not reprimand the staff. As I said way up there, I hold the hospital party responsible for this ‘prank’ being allowed to happen. We are talking about the Royal family and as such they attract media attention – good and bad. Yet the staff who were working on the ward where the Duchess was housed do not seem to have been given any training in how to vet calls before providing information. That is a lapse on the part of the hospital.

As hospital spokespeople have said she was not reprimanded and in fact was treated with sympathy, this again suggests to me she had other problems. I don’t actually see why she should have felt ‘humiliated’ (except in her own mind) since most of the reports even prior to her death were critical of the prank. I have not seen one report where the nurses were held up to criticism. Furthermore, this report shows that Prince Charles had even laughed it off.

I can see you would like to have these DJs hanged, drawn and quartered and perhaps you would like their heads stuck on a pike and placed on Tower Bridge. I will wait until any subsequent inquiries are completed before saying their prank was the main cause of this woman’s choosing to suicide.

flo's avatar

@Bellatrix “I can see you would like to have these DJs hanged, drawn and quartered and perhaps you would like their heads stuck on a pike and placed on Tower Bridge.” Really? See Permalink from above and see all the other posts above, nothing at all suggesting that.
The fact that the Prince laughed it off is neither here nor there, I think.
The official statement of the Hospital is predictable.

flo's avatar

@Bellatrix I think you may have read my more recent OP, in which I was thinking of future pranksters who may do it recklessly/willfully.

Leanne1986's avatar

I saw a comment recently on the Daily Mail’s website about this that I thought had a good point. Unfortunately we have adopted a culture that gets it’s kicks from humiliating people. Just look at the likes of X Factor, who doesn’t laugh at the auditionees who are completely clueless about how bad they are? By allowing them to get up in front of the world and humiliate themselves (even the ones that are clearly mentally ill) we are, potentially causing them distress from ridicule. It won’t make “good tv” but maybe it’s about time that this disregard for people’s feelings came to an end. I don’t agree with a nanny state but I do think we need to start thinking about how are actions may affect others. Seemingly innocent pranks may have tragic consequences especially when the whole world knows about it.

glacial's avatar

@Leanne1986 I totally agree with you.

flo's avatar

Here` is my most recent OP I was referring to.

flo's avatar

By the way, some people find x extremely mortifying, and some find x to be nothing, even something to brag about, but y, on the other hand, they literally can’t live with. Whether it is the last straw or the sole thing, ....
The victims don’t need to made out to be defective, and I wouldn’t want to put salt on the wound of the family.

flo's avatar

To give another example, @Leanne1986 the New York Post picture with the man about to get hit by the train last week with the “Doomed”! headline. Revictimize the family why don’t you NYP?

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme I heard that they did not air it live, but that the radio station producers or owners, not sure which, but someone above the DJ’s so to speak, decided to air it. It seems to me they should definitely be facing some sort of charges. Here in the states when they make those prank calls they tell the person on the line that they are on the air before they ask any questions, I assume it is the same in the UK and Australia.

jca's avatar

Whoever in the stations management allowed it to happen should bear some responsibility, also, don’t you all think?

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie It’s certainly the case here, I remember when Russell Brand & Jonathon Ross were hauled over the coals for pulling a stunt on Andrew Sachs (Manuel in Fawlty Towers).
You can’t prank someone famous & release it publicly without their written consent.

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme I saw a short clip of the DJ’s and they are simply overwrought. The woman was in tears and basically saying she felt responsible. I thought to myself in America she would have been warned not to say such a thing. I don’t really understand the prankster mindset, I don’t find it funny to trick people.

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie No one could possibly have foreseen a tragic outcome such as this, they both clearly couldn’t see beyond the royals in terms of potential victims & are now paying the price for that glaring oversight.

chyna's avatar

I am not taking up for the DJ’s and think what they did was out of line. But does anyone really know the reason the woman took her life? Could she have had a fight with her husband, or some other thing could have happened in her life and this just happened to have happened three days before?
I think this is something no one will ever know.

gailcalled's avatar

This bears repeating;

“No one knows yet why she killed herself. There may be cause and effect; there may not be.”

flo's avatar

If it is cause and effect, if it is not just a coincidence, is what we are addressing here.
@gailcalled posted “That does not justify pranks, which are, by definition, cruel, embarrassing and humiliating…particularly when done so publicly”,whether or not someone ended up commiting suicide as a result.

flo's avatar

@jca Definitely, the management is more responsible, but I do believe they might have learned in the last few days. One of the DJs seems to really have learned a lesson too. But to repeat myself, I can’t imagine they would have forseen this possible outcome, if it is cause and effect.

ucme's avatar

Oh the irony if she faked her own death, prank the pranksters.

jca's avatar

I just read this morning that the show has been cancelled, so apparently everyone associated with it is taking the rap in some way or other.

Kat555's avatar

By doing a prank they did not mean to cause anyone’s death.

flo's avatar

No, they didn’t mean to cause her death, that much is sure. “Punk’ed” is guilty.

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