How depressing. This girl doesn’t look to be more than twelve or thirteen years old.

The group which supervises all the greater Boston area Boy Scouts troops has approved a policy which will allow gay scoutmasters to remain as part of the organization. Of course, it’s a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, which means that it’s just sweeping the issue under the rug; despite hanging the policy on the notion that “discussions about sexual orientation do not have a place in the Scouts,” I can’t imagine that any heterosexuals will be kicked out of the organization for making references to their straightness.

Meanwhile, this week’s Newsweek cover story (mirror) has some pretty encouraging statistics: 44 United Way chapters have backed away from the Scouts, as have many big companies, cities, and churches. Of course, one prominent person who has not backed away from them is our President; instead, he’s busy holding the Scouts’ values up as “the values of America.” (Please excuse me while I become ill.)

I swear to you all, I think that my digicam starts quivering when it senses a mirror nearby.

I read the story about the young child who was killed in the MRI machine in Westchester, and immediately wondered how often near-miss events happen that avoid tragedy (and notoriety) simply by chance. Every time that I have to bring a child into the MRI rooms, I have mini-nightmares about forgetting to remove something from my pockets or clothes that could fly across the room and hit someone, and it takes everything in me to take that first step across the threshold of the room.

I feel a bit guilty that it’s taken me this long to point to Rob’s words about the suicide of Paul Wayment, the man whose son died after he left the boy in his truck while he was hunting last year. Rob’s a great writer, and his sentiments on this specific issue resonate in me (especially since I’m guilty as charged). The most poignant part is the end:

What’s the lesson? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s to beware of complacency, or of righteous indignation. YOU would never make a mistake like that? Really? Did you ever make a mistake that didn’t have serious consequences, like turning your back on your baby in the tub for ten seconds while you grab that towel you forgot? You came back and the baby was still sitting there, scooping up the Mister Bubble bubbles and eating them. You didn’t have to call the police and tell them you let your baby die, that you took the most important charge of your life and you fucked it up. And the reason you didn’t have to make that call? It wasn’t your turn to have Bad Luck land on you. Maybe next time. Maybe not. Pay attention, stay sharp and maybe it’ll never happen to you. But be careful of how you judge those for whom stupid mistakes had powerful repercussions. Irony is not a force to be played with.


My first PICU call went well. I had nine patients of my own, four of whom were intubated and on ventilators, and everybody decided to behave relatively well over the duration of the night. Learning to manage the hyperacute changes that can take place in critically ill infants and children is going to take a lot of work and hands-on experience, and I can’t imagine a better place for that than the ICU that I’m in. Next up is a full 24-hour call this weekend; that should provide a few more challenges, and hopefully, some great learning.