The things I've learned, the things I needPosted Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 11:12 PM
These days, I'm careful to remind those I love that I love them.
I try not to let every argument result in never speaking to a person.
I try to call my mother as often as possible. I at least leave some kind of interaction with them on Facebook each day (thank goodness for that, Japan is a long ways away).
I realized the scope of how important these things in life are after my friend, Linzi Dudding, passed away last summer. I have also learned a few more things, recently, that have created views in me I didn't have.
I learned that only two states have "duty to assist" clauses in their Good Samaritan laws. Idaho is not one of them.
I've learned that everyone has a role in the lives of those they know.
Linzi's cause of death is very public now, published Sunday in the Idaho Statesman, where I learned Idaho does not have a duty to assist clause, and the role people play.
Linzi overdosed on a prescription painkiller that was not hers, self-medicating for back problems is what we've been told.
I understand that she should not have taken what was not prescribed to her.
But I cannot understand why the two people with her when she died did not take her to a hospital or at least call 911. I cannot understand why they felt it necessary to drive her two blocks from their home and leave her body in her car for police to find.
I cannot understand why my friend was neglected and disrespected in such a manner, especially when she had met one of those people through a random act of kindness.
Linzi picked this woman up as she walked alone in the rain.
This woman watched my friend die, did not help her, and dumped her body without a word.
I cannot say for sure that Linzi would have been saved by a call to 911 or a trip to the hospital. But I know it is possible. God does incredible things (He saved me from the tornado that hit Norman on Friday).
I don't deny what Linzi did was wrong, but the wrong doing did not stop with her.
We shouldn't NEED duty to assist laws. In a world where people cared for each other, the way Linzi cared for that woman, when a person was dying in front of them, they would call for help or drive the person to help.
But we don't live in Linzi's world. We live here. And if people aren't going to do the right thing on their own, perhaps a change needs to be made.
Not perhaps. Definitely.
Duty to assist laws won't bring Linzi back. But they could save others. Keep a daughter with her mother. Sisters united.
Linzi's story scares me. We shared a lot of similarities. Air Force brats, our fathers worked together. She and I are the same age, so are our little sisters.
This and a similar column I published 4/18 in the Oklahoma Daily are the beginning of my personal campaign to spread awareness and support for duty to assist laws in the United States. I pray one day the two people with Linzi realize what they could have done and feel the pain I know her family feels (It has to be awful. Mine still has not gone away). I pray that one day, every state requires at least a 911 phone call for distressed persons.
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