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Airplanes And Alphabet Soup

Is that a fly in your soup?

We all have some modest expectations when taking a plane ride. Personally, I expect that the plane will stay in the air as long as it is supposed to. I would expect a pilot that actually knows how to competently fly the plane. And most importantly, I expect to walk away from the landing. These things do not seem too much to ask when you put your life in someone else’s hands.

Fair Expectations For Other’s Choices

Stepping on a plane is choice. It is a choice which puts our fait in others hands. However, there are times when our fait is put in the hands of others, and we don’t get to choose whose hands. The person wrongfully accused of driving with an alcohol concentration above a legal limit is in such a position. After they consent to a blood test, thinking it will exonerate them; the government makes all the choices that follow. The accused gets no say in the “who” or “how” the test is performed.

In such cases, the blood test result may be the difference between being a criminal for the rest of your life – or – walking out of the courtroom. Thus, it’s fair that we have some reasonable expectations of our government when testing blood.

To Err Is Human, To Ignore Is A Choice

Errors happen.

Errors in labs happen.

Machines occasionally malfunction.

Sometimes errors are caused by machines.  Sometimes people make the “mistaaakes”. As the saying goes, to err is human. However, not all errors are the same. Spelling “mistake” incorrectly is not the same switching John’s blood test result with Bob’s result. A small grammatical error is not the same contamination in a blood sample. The latter are critical errors.   When critical errors occur, without understanding what is causing them, relying upon the results produced is a choice. A choice prohibited by science. A choice we should never accept. It does not seem too much to ask of our government not to make such choices.

Is That A Fly In Your Soup?

You order a bowl of alphabet soup. In the kitchen, the waiter sees a large black fly drowning in it. Fearing for the fly’s life, he reaches with his fingers between a few consonants and scoops up the fly. He has saved the fly from death by soup.

Subsequently, and without telling you, then he takes the same bowl of soup, places it on the table in front of you. With a smile he then says “enjoy your soup.” If you knew about the fly, would you eat the soup? Did simply removing the visible problem in the soup make the soup more edible to you pallet? It does not seem too much to ask of the waiter not to make the choice of serving you a bowl of soup contaminated by an insect

Whether it’s airplanes, alphabet soup, or a blood test result we have a right to some minimum expectations. The more important the thing you are relying upon, the higher our expectations.   When evidence will be used to determine guilt or innocence, we should have the highest of expectations that thing were done correctly. Is that too much to ask?