Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Shock burns cable thief beyond recognition
Mon Oct 8, 2007

BERLIN (Reuters) - A thief in Germany was charred beyond recognition by a 10,000 volt electric shock when he tried to steal a live copper cable, authorities said Monday.

Police in the western city of Duisburg found the 32-year-old man's blackened remains by a set of cable cutters and pile of non-live cables he had already stolen.

Only because one of his hands survived incineration were officers able to identify the man as German of Kazakh origin.

"His fingerprints were already logged on police files," a local police spokesman said. "The force of the shock was so great that the hand was severed from his body."


Blogger Harry Eagar said...

We had a case like that. An ice addict cut into a cable from a generating plant.

Unfortunately, the voltage was so great that it blew him away without killing him.

I never found out how much it cost me, but he was in ICU for more that six months, maybe longer.

There's a moral conundrum for you liberals -- how many poor children are being denied medical insurance because this guy is soaking up millions of public funds?

October 09, 2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger erp said...

The answer is zero.

October 09, 2007 11:10 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Maybe not, erp.

Medicaid funds are a bloc grant to states, and so the more intensive the care that's needed, the fewer people can be helped.

Therefore, there may well be people in Hawai'i who were denied less-critical care so that the failed thief could be treated.

And simply as a matter of economic theory, resources are currently finite. The money to treat the waste-of-space is coming from somewhere, and unless his medical bills are being picked up by large-hearted millionaires, there's a potentially-significant opportunity cost being paid.

October 09, 2007 12:47 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


... and unless his medical bills are being picked up by large-hearted millionaires, there's a potentially-significant opportunity cost being paid.

I suggest your "unless" should be replaced by "even if".

After all, the large hearted millionaire does not have an infinite amount of resources, and could have taken that same money and spent it instead on the non-volitionally, instead of the volitionally, sick.

There is no escaping opportunity cost.

Nor is there any escaping moral hazard.

October 09, 2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Block grant Medicaid or not, I doubt children will be turned away from medical treatment and even though this guy sounds too dumb to live, he shouldn't be denied care no matter the cost. This is who We, the People are.

October 09, 2007 2:37 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Speak for yourself.

I ain't into giving heart transplants to people on death row.

A friend of mine is an oral surgeon. You may have heard of meth mouth.

In private practice, he occasionally sees a case, usually who also has AIDS. He is obliged by law and professional ethics to offer treatment, if the junkie can pay, but he doesn't want to, because these cases are very difficult, and the chance of getting a needle prick is high.

Luckily for him, people that juiced have worse problems than bad teeth, so they never come back.

However, if they manage to get into a penitentiary, they get the finest and most dangerous dental care.

I also do not believe in sending addicts through publicly funded rehab more than once. In fact, it wouldn't take much to get me to deny them the once.

I also don't believe in using public resources to rescue morons who climb mountains or sail across oceans in little boats.

I got other priorities.

October 09, 2007 11:42 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Harry, in principle I agree with you and wouldn't allow Viagra and similar drugs in prisons or rehab, nor heart or other organ transplants to those scheduled for execution, but what about lifers? Should they receive the latest medicine has to offer? I'd say yes.

Rehab: it's pretty clear by now that rehab is just another money gobbling, make-work, feel-good idea that just doesn't work. One of the rapacious developers here has kindly provided land and a building and a considerable amount of money to build a rehab center a couple of miles from here. The reason -- he receives some kind of credit in kind for clear cutting the county and we get neighbors from hell.

Dentistry for people with AIDS and drug addicts. First I've heard about that one. Bad teeth aren't life threatening, so I don't think I'd go as far as providing pearly whites to those who've voluntarily destroyed the rest of their bodies.

Dentists, like the rest of us, shouldn't be forced into dangerous situations.

October 10, 2007 5:54 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Rehab works. It just doesn't work for everyone, nor always work the first time, for those for whom it does work.

Ever hear of AA ?
That's rehab.

Besides, what's the alternative to rehab? Giving up on the person before trying any cure?

As far as providing cutting-edge medical care to those incarcerated, I say no. They should get routine and effective care, but their medical plan shouldn't cover much more than trauma care and antibiotics. And psychotropic drugs.

October 10, 2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger erp said...

AA type rehab would be fine with me. No tax payer money involved and no expensive rehab facilities. If rehab for drug addicts works, why are there so many who go back on them as soon as they're able.

Organ transplants aren't cutting edge anymore and neither is dialysis. They're routine and very expensive now.

October 10, 2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

'They should get routine and effective care, but their medical plan shouldn't cover much more than trauma care and antibiotics. And psychotropic drugs.'

That's close to my alternative. Prisoners could be given medical care equal to -- but never better than -- whatever the lowest coverage is that is offered to public employees, or to welfare cases.

Something like that.

As it is, in California, prisoners get the most elaborate care available.

The fact that so-called bioethicists never address this -- while Oro goes right to the heart of the matter -- is just another reason (among many) to dismiss bioethicists.

October 10, 2007 9:27 AM  

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