There was a news story here the other day about a cat who (somehow) got himself frozen to some driveway. Apparently he was there for 24 hours before he was rescued by an employee of an animal shelter.
The long and short of it is, the cat was taken to a local veterinary clinic for care, and despite significant hypothermia, he appears to be doing well.
On this news website there is an area for readers to leave comments. And in the comments section, one reader had left a message fundamentally asking the veterinarian to donate services and such in order to offset the bill.
I’m not sure why, but this really irked me.
I thought about it carefully, and I think the reason I was put out by this was because the vet was called out in a public way to donate his time, expertise, equipment and supplies in order to offset the cost of care of his patient.
The person who commented made no mention of donating money to the cause... he just called on the vet, for all intents and purposes, to reduce his fees for the cat.
Now, we all know that most veterinarians are a giving sort... and I think it’s likely that the vet in this case will probably donate some of his time and try to manage the expenses as much as possible, but I ask, why should he feel obligated to do this?
It made me think of the hypothetical situation of a person (let’s call him VBB) walking down the street, and he stumbles across Hungry Homeless Guy (HHG). VBB, being the kindly sort, elects to offer help to HHG, so he picks him up, and helps HHG walk to the local restaurant. And it’s a good restaurant, too. Not McD’s or some other crap food, but it’s a nice steakhouse, with a wine list and such...
So, anyhoo... VBB and HHG enter the establishment and meet the Fancy Restaurant Owner (FRO). VBB explains the situation, and then demands that FRO feed HHG at FRO’s expense. Because VBB has no intention of paying for it himself, and after all, FRO has all the stuff required to feed HHG.
Doesn’t seem right, does it?
I guess the point is, if you choose to be a 'Good Samaritan', man-up and be the Good Samaritan! When you ask someone else to pay for your 'charity', you end up not being charitable at all.