Friday, May 26, 2006

What Kind Of People Are These?

Everyone has probably heard the tale of Kitty Genovese, and marveled at the reactions (or lack thereof) of her neighbors.** Certainly all of us who've heard the story wonder how people could be so callous and disinterested in the suffering of another human.

And then we read about what recently happened on Mount Everest, and wonder what we as a people have become.

By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA, Associated Press Writer Fri May 26, 2:24 PM ET

KATMANDU, Nepal - The story, an open secret in the crowded nylon city of base camp, trickled out from the high Himalayas: a British mountaineer desperate for oxygen had collapsed along a well-traveled route to the summit.

Dozens of people walked right past him, unwilling to risk their own ascents.

Within hours, David Sharp, 34, was dead...

But many of today's Everest climbers are on commercial expeditions, some paying tens of thousands of dollars to guides who are under fierce pressure to get their clients to the summit...

As a result, Bradley said in a telephone interview, Everest climbers may be forced to decide whether to jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime investment to help a dying person.

"If you're going to go to Everest ... I think you have to accept responsibility that you may end up doing something that's not very ethically nice," she said. "You have to realize that you're in a different world."

**Wikipedia goes much easier on the neighbors than any story I've ever heard, but it's possible I've heard the sensationalized story because it's, well, sensationalized!

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