Health 103 – What, in your opinion, is the message the story is trying to convey?

What, in your opinion, is the message the story is trying to convey?

From: Wilkinson A. It’s not fair. London, Christian Aid, 1985:72

There was once a factory which employed thousands of people. Its production line was a miracle of modern engineering, turning out thousands of machines every day. The factory had a high accident rate. The complicated machinery of the production line took little account of human error, forgetfulness, or ignorance. Day after day men and women came out of it with squashed fingers, cuts, and bruises. Sometimes a man would lose an arm or leg. Occasionally someone was electrocuted or crushed to death.

Enlightened people began to see that something needed to be done. First on the scene were the churches. An enterprising minister organized a small first aid tent outside the factory gate. Soon, with the backing of the Council of Churches, it grew into a properly built clinic, able to give first aid to quite serious cases, and to treat minor injuries. The town council became interested together with local bodies like the Chamber of Trade and the Rotary Club. The clinic grew into a small hospital, with modern equipment, an operating theatre, and a full time staff of doctors and nurses. Several lives were saved. Finally the factory management, seeing the good that was being done, and wishing to prove itself enlightened, gave the hospital its official backing, with unrestricted access to the factory, a small annual grant, and an ambulance to transport serious cases from workshop to hospital ward.

But year-by-year, as production increased, the accident rate continued to rise. More and more men and women were hurt or maimed. And, in spite of everything the hospital could do, more and more people died from the injuries they received.

Only then did some people begin to ask if it was enough to treat people’s injuries, while leaving untouched the machinery that caused them.