Friday, April 27, 2012

Lessons In Responsibility

When a speeding driver kills someone, he's blamed - not his parents, his socio-economic standing or what he had for breakfast.
It's simply taking responsibility for one's own actions...not finding someone/something else to blame. But despite a coroner's ruling last week, the family of Natasha Harris who died suddenly in Feb.2010, is blaming what she had to drink! She died of cardiac arrest, but also had a severe lack of potassium in her blood, probably relating to excessive consumption of soft-drink. Y'see, she drank 7L of Coca-Cola daily!
Pathologist Dr Dan Mornin said this was consistent with her tiredness, low strength, and with other cases of heavy soft-drink consumers, and it was probable a combination of factors (including poor diet and her 30 cigarettes a day) played a role in her death. How much Coca-Cola she drank varied, but averaged 7L a day. Her family is convinced the Coke was partly responsible - and say it should carry warning signs!
Her partner Chris Hodgkinson said she'd been unwell for a year before her death, including vomiting six times a week. The pathologist said her vomiting was likely caused by too much caffeine. Hodgkinson said she was addicted to Coke and without it would become moody, irritable, "quite nasty" and be low in energy.
University of Otago researcher Dr Lisa Te Morenga said every litre of Coca-Cola contained 100g of sugar, so drinking 10L a day equated to eating 1kg of sugar. Ms Harris drank no other beverage and very little alcohol. Since she'd been unwell, she did not eat breakfast, ate only snacks at lunch and often went without dinner. All her teeth had been removed because they were rotting, prompting a dentist to remark about drinking too much Coke.
Coroner David Crerar suggested that even if Coke had warning labels, Ms Harris may not have heeded them - she was after all a smoker and all cigarette packets carried health warnings.

Ms Harris' mother-in-law, Vivien Hodgkinson, said none of the family knew of the dangers because there were no warning signs, and they want compensation from Coca-Cola for the eight kids, who are now in care...
I don't think so! This sad tale boils down to personal responsibility. Natasha Harris chose to guzzle excessive Coke and smoke, seeming to skip her responsibility to her children. Chris Hodgkinson didn't seem to take his responsibilities seriously enough either, to insist his partner ate properly or seek medical advice over her vomiting. Now, after her death, he and his parents have a continuing responsibility to look after the children.
Yes, that task will be financially very tough, but they can't seriously expect in this day and age to put their hand out to Coca-Cola!
Otago Daily Times calculated:
7.5L a day @ $1.50 per 1.5L bottle (based on a recent 2-for-$3 special at Countdown) = $2737.50 per year.
Plus...30 cigarettes @ $13.60 a pack of 20 = $7446 a year.
That's over $10,000 p.a. of personal choice and responsibility!

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