Why “Share” Hoaxes Get My Goat

I get really annoyed when people share those photos stating that for every share, some illustrious company or doctor will donate $1 for a lifesaving treatment or surgery.

It annoys me because it turns logical people into pathetic sounding board for Munchausen-by-Internet sufferers. It annoys me because it floods my timelines. It annoys me because it makes me feel like an evil person, even though I know it’s a hoax.

These pity-mongers take a picture of an ill child and spread it around the internet without the parents’  knowledge or consent. The child may be cured already… or perhaps no longer alive.

Recently, I have more reasons to be annoyed.

There are such things as state hospitals. Even in a struggling country like my own, a family who cannot afford a life-saving treatment or operation can get it at a hospital. A while ago, a South African mother was begging people for money so that her daughter could undergo an operation to rectify craniosynostosis.

Meanwhile, the hospital where I work does MANY such operations on a regular basis, with a spectacular plastics team. Woman, who ARE you to decide that a public hospital is not good enough to save your daughter’s life when it may well be her only option?

Oh, and then there’s the last reason: my humanity. I know doctors are sometimes seen as machines; but can you really imagine a doctor saying,

Oh, sorry, but you only got 900 shares and not the prerequisite 1000 and therefore I will not perform this life-saving operation on your child.

Really? REALLY?

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