SMC is doing it right
Brian Appleton and Matthew Planell | Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Regarding medical amnesty in the Observer’s Jan. 27 article, “ND explains lack of medical amnesty,” Brian Coughlin stated, “It is hard to fathom one Notre Dame student acting so much out of a perceived self-interest that they may not help a fellow student in need because they are more worried about potential discipline.”
In my mind, this situation is easy to fathom. Let’s say that a friend of mine is extremely inebriated and I’m really not sure whether he or she needs medical help. Of course, the smart thing to do is err on the side of caution. However, the threat of discipline stands as the primary motivation to do otherwise.
There’s a simple rule of economics that states that people respond to incentives. Discipline is a significant disincentive when one is unsure if their friend needs help. It is also important to bear in mind that the people making these decisions are often inebriated as well; they can’t be expected to make rational choices.
The University should be more concerned with ensuring the safety of students than its right to discipline.