When obedience puts lives at risk

A friend who works for a local organisation that nurtures and helps the most vulnerable young people has just been told that due to cuts their funding has run out and they must close their doors in 3 weeks time. The staff have also been told they must say nothing until the place just shuts down, giving the young people no notice and no support.

I have suggested that they might like to consider, given the extreme times we are living in, they disobey this dictat and think about telling the young people while they can still support them and help them in whatever way they are able before the closure.

This closure will put lives at risk and not giving young people any notice is an almost certain guarantee that young people will die.

I hope the staff find the courage to break the rules, because that is now routine in government and no one can insist on or expect our obedience any more. Saving lives must come first and be our absolute moral imperative.

Keith Ordinary Guy. 11 October 2019

5 thoughts on “When obedience puts lives at risk

  1. This is a situation I’ve witnesses over and over in the past five years or so; as a community and youth worker lie yourself Keith I share your comments regarding informing the young people of the situation.

    Those of us privileged to work with younger members of society have, I believe, a moral duty to always speak the truth as we know it, this includes supporting younger people make informed choices, how are they to do this without the knowledge Their provision is to close?

  2. Once upon a time, if a project had to close suddenly, for whatever reason, a call would go out and there would be a mad scramble to find other networks of support in place for these young people BEFORE the cut off date … Whoever made the decision to gag the staff and leave these vulnerable young people queuing outside an empty building, is totally unfit and UNQUALIFIED to work in any caring capacity and should NEVER in future, hold any position of authority !

  3. In this case it is quite clear that the instruction to withhold information is in the interest of the organisation or their bosses and counter to the interest of the vulnerable people they are assisting. It is, on that account, a vile and deliberate deception. I am very understanding and forgiving of people who do bad things. I get it. I know why people collude with things they disagree with because they feel stuck between a bad and a very bad place. If you know your child is likely to die on the operating table do you tell them it is risky or do you attempt to keep them happy until they die by saying everything will be okay? It’s a human problem and is possibly insoluble as a general case. But as far as I understand this case I think anyone in possession of that knowledge should make it public and defy any authority or power that is attempting to coerce them into compliance. It is more important than ever, in times like these, that people reach inside for the very best of who they are and stand up against this landslide of deception and abuse. I would find it very hard to forgive anyone who would keep this secret. I have seen too much pathos and sentimental weeping “But what else could I do?” to extend much sympathy to anyone knowingly colluding with cruel actions. It is a case of personal responsibility and respect for other human beings. I would tell my friend in no uncertain terms that they must make this information public, and I’d be perfectly willing to do the job for them and refuse to divulge where I received the information. But the correct thing to do is to inform the ‘authority’ that you will not keep their secret and then make it public.

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