I read something online today about a couple of paramedics who were called to the scene where a young woman had drowned. She was in her 20s and wearing a bikini. One of the paramedics suggested to his partner that they turn over the body, because he thought the way she was lying was sexy and he wanted to see her backside. The other paramedic helped him turn her over so they could both ogle her.
This is horrifying to decent people, right? It’s disrespectful, inappropriate, and unethical. The police officers who also responded to the call were disturbed by the behavior of these two paramedics. So was the girlfriend of one of the paramedics, when he told a group about it later, claiming it was a funny story.
So why am I mentioning this? Because I am appalled not only at the paramedics’ actions, but at the number of people who replied online to this “funny story” by condoning this behavior as acceptable because it is a form of gallows humor that first responders use to cope with the stress of their jobs.
No. This is not humor. This is sexual exploitation of a dead body. No amount of stress justifies it. How would these paramedics and their apologists feel if someone did this to their wives, sisters, or daughters? Would they still consider it an acceptable form of black humor? Or would they be outraged?
I have said this more in the past five years than I ever had in my entire life: What is wrong with people?