Communicator (communicator) wrote,

'I have no sympathy'

A lot of people have commented on the BBC site about the drugs test volunteers who nearly died. While lots of different views are expressed there is one type of comment that comes up a lot.

'afraid i am fairly without sympathy here. you know the risks when you do these things'

'they were glad enough of the money. Like selling body parts for transplants, its the donors choice'

'i am sorry. but what am i missing about this story? They signed up to test experimental drugs, signing a form which clearly states an element of risk. Where is the story?'

It's a strange reaction. Sympathy costs nothing, so why be so reluctant to give it? Some of the comments seem positively hostile. It's almost as if people think they will lose something or be implicated or weakened in some way if they just say 'I feel sorry for them'. Heck, they don't even have to post a comment at all - so why go online just to say 'I don't care'?

My feeling is that some people want to distance themselves from anyone to whom a bad thing happens, as a form of emotional protection. We saw it with Katrina, the Tsunami, with many violent crimes. For some people the first reaction is 'I have no sympathy', the hidden text is 'They did something wrong'. If the victim of a misfortune brought it on themselves, that's much less frightening than the thought that bad luck happens, regardless of virtue or caution.

BTW I know it is irrational, but I would feel more reluctant to take part in drugs tests after this disaster.
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