Archive for the ‘Legal Reputation’ Category

Choking your reputation: How Charles Saatchi’s Neck Is On the Line

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Famous art collector, Charles Saatchi, was photographed outside a London last year choking his, now former, wife. Artist renditions of Charles Saatchi with his hand around the neck of Nigella Lawson can now be purchased on Saatchi’s website, www.saatchiart.com.

Pictures of the shocking event can be purchased for amounts ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Artists may upload their work to Saatchi Art and sell it to receive 70 percent of the original selling price, while the gallery receives the other 30 percent.Art gallery with different pictures

The Saatchi Art website clearly forbids uploading images that are “violent or threatening, or promotes violence.” Yet when asked why the pieces were not removed, chief curator Rebecca Wilson responded that “Saatchi Art does not believe in censorship unless the material is pornographic or incites racial hatred”, according to the Daily Mail. Saatchi seemed to be unaffected by these paintings and commented, “Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?”

Obviously, these images have begun to stir up some controversy. “Domestic violence is not a trivial matter. It is extremely insensitive to all victims of domestic violence for someone who has accepted a police caution for assaulting a partner to earn commission on images of the offence. We are shocked that anyone would want to make a profit from images of abuse,” said Polly Neate of Women’s Aid. So the question stands, is restricting the sale of such paintings considered “censorship” and a hinder to freedom of expression? Or are such works offensive, especially to victims of domestic violence and abuse? Should these works be removed?

Either way, the publicity that Saatchi has received, after seemingly choking his ex-wife, appears to be making light of a serious matter. No woman should ever be choked by her husband, and earning a profit from such an act of violence is distasteful and insensitive.  If Saatchi wishes to maintain his reputation as a renowned art collector, he should be careful in his next steps; he must try to avoid both excessive censorship and creating a reputation for himself as a misogynist, to keep an effective and profitable gallery.

Photo credit: © depositphotos.com/lightkeeper

A Healthy Debate?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

nurse makes the shot in the armAfter being denied unemployment benefits, a nurse recently fired for refusing a flu vaccine filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center. The court ruled that the hospital did in fact violate this woman’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression. While other employees at her place of work were allowed to skip the shot for religious reasons, this nurse’s more secular motivations for refusing the vaccination led to her dismissal. Although there may be some basis to this woman’s claims of discriminatory practices, isn’t it mainly to the detriment of hospital patients that she won this case? In our politically correct world, when do the rights of the ill and infirmed trump the rights of a healthcare worker to skip a basic healthcare precaution? We count on our healthcare professionals through blind faith alone that they are carrying out their tasks in the safest manner. Our well-being depends on their fastidious attention to detail and commitment to both health and hygiene.

Imagine you were a patient in the hospital and your nurse entered the room wearing a pin that read, “I refuse to be inoculated.” Could you run out of there fast enough? When we keep our closest friends and loved ones away with a ten foot pole when they’ve been infected, would any sane person allow an unvaccinated hospital employee anywhere near them when these employees spend countless hours in close quarters with other sick patients? Not a chance. It is essential that those working in these kinds of environments are doing everything that they can to keep patients safe from harmful germs. That most certainly includes ensuring the health of those caring for these patients. This is especially important when so many hospital patients have conditions that can already cause weakened immune systems, making these people even more susceptible to illness.

Do we want to live in a world where our healthcare professionals are not held to the highest standard?  Perhaps the laws for healthcare professionals should be even more restrictive, when it is our very lives with which we are entrusting them.

Now that this nurse has won her case, where will hospitals draw the line? Any employee of the hospital could refuse a vaccination on any grounds. Of course, the hospital would have to be transparent about the inoculation practices of its employees. When choosing between one hospital or another, patients would flock to the other for fear of picking up a virus. After all, how could the sanitation of the hospital be trusted if it could not even maintain control over the health practices of its employees? This would seriously bring the reputation of the facility into question.

To make matters worse, this case could cause a domino effect and allow many other environments where healthy employees are vital to operations to similarly disregard basic healthcare precautions. Patrons of food service providers and daycares, for example, would steer clear of these businesses during flu season, and these businesses would suffer as a result. Turning this into a debate about freedom of expression ignores the heart of the issue. We need to be able to trust our healthcare providers. Otherwise, our whole system will topple.

Photo credit: © depositphotos.com/thandra

The Cost of Kicking the Habit

Friday, February 7th, 2014

CVS/Caremark Corporation has made waves in the news this week for severing their relationship with the tobacco industry.

The Woonsocket Rhode Island based pharmacy is aiming to reposition its brand from a convenient store to a healthcare provider. CVS has been taking the proper steps to really promote health and wellness to their customers, starting with the launch of “MinuteClinic’s”—walk in medical centers—in their stores. In some states, CVS’s “MinuteClinic’s” are affiliated with local health systems to provide even more specialized care.

CVS’s decision to stop selling tobacco related products is a great reputation move. Selling tobacco products does not fall in line with promoting proper healthcare, and makes CVS’s mission look less credible. They have been lauded by several medical associations such as the American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association—even President Obama has been singing praises.

While CVS is being portrayed as a hero in the healthcare industry, their decision comes at a price, and at a price that ultimately hurts CVS’s bottom line. The pharmacy chain will lose a core demographic: tobacco users. Annually, they are expected to take a $2 billion hit which accounts for “$1.5 billion in tobacco sales and the rest from other products tobacco shoppers purchase while in the store”

While tobacco related products will be completely phased out of all CVS stores come October 1st, 2014, CVS will still be lending a helping hand to customers who struggling to quit, by offering smoking-cessation programs, and continuing to sell cessation aids like Nicorette in stores.

Alienating current consumers could be a fatal move for some companies, but it is a necessary move for CVS to support their rebranding efforts. After all, a $2 billion dollar annual loss is a “small price” to pay to show that CVS truly practices what they preach.

In search of…a cure for Affluenza

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

A drunk driving case in Florida made national headlines this week after a judge in Fort Worth sentenced a 16 year old to probation instead of 20+ years behind bars for a drunk driving incident which left four people dead and one person permanently paralyzed.

In June, Ethan Couch was arrested with a blood alcohol content of 0.24 – four times the legal limit for an adult. Couch was driving his car around 70 mph in a 40 mph zone. His car struck and killed four people and left nine other injured.

While this is very sad, what is most absurd is that, during the trial, Couch’s attorney called Dr. G. Dick Miller to testify that Couch suffered from a disease, but not one you would normally hear in a drunk driving case:

Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.” He called Couch a product of “affluenza,” where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.

He said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example, Miller said Couch’s parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed out, undressed, 14-year-old girl.

And this defense worked!

Is this really a thing now…affluenza? It’s bad enough that many parents are more-than-lenient in reprimanding their children these days, but now we have defense attorneys using this made up ‘disease’ as a way to skirt a jail sentence? I shudder to think about what will happen when more and more legal teams start using this excuse for their clients’ bad behavior!

Skin in the Game?

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

For those spending money and searching for hope and eternal youth, the federal court today took another step shutting the Hope chest.

It turns out that the claims made by L’Oreal that slathering oneself with their anti-aging cream might not result in “cell regeneration”…which is to say that you may be stuck with the skin you look at in the mirror.

L’Oreal lost a motion to dismiss the class action case, and the case will proceed.

And we women will continue to search for that fountain of youth.

So maybe L’Oreal’s loss is a plastic surgeons win???