She sued him for WHAT?

Well, by this time I'm sure that all of us have heard of, and been outraged by, the story of [Sandra Bergen](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7180379.stm), the Saskatchewan woman who sued her dealer when the methamphetamines that she overdosed on left her in a coma.

(She's got a website, by the way: [Meth Today](http://www.methtoday.com/). Very... irritating web design, leaving aside any other cause for complaint.)

My initial reaction was a resigned disgust so intense that I couldn't even get disgusted by it. I saw the headline, blinked once, and went on with my day, secure in the fact that at least _I_ am not so pathetically stupid nor incapable of taking responsibility for my actions. Nor, in the main, has that sentiment changed; this sad individual _made bad choices_ that led her to pain. However, I've questioned this a bit today, enroute to that final conclusion, and I thought I'd share my thoughts, such as they are.

There's a lot of questions about addiction and its position as an illness; whether an addict is responsible for their actions, or if they should be treated as being sick and preyed upon. I fall on the former side of the fence, and have for most -- if not all -- of my adult life. Coming from the other side in this, however, is the argument that there are _already_ criminal responsibilities in this matter, and that this woman was guilty of those crimes, but that the _civil_ responsibility should be shared between her and her procurer.

So, I thought about this for a while... in fact, I was thinking about it as I started this post and even then I was waffling in the other direction -- until I started framing it as responsibility in the second paragraph. It's seductive, though, this idea that the blame for this kind of choice can be 'shared' somehow, as though we're not really in control and so how can anyone really point a finger at us if we do something catastrophically stupid. But that seductive call is a siren, luring one onto some metaphorical rocks... (here I stop with the attempted classical metaphors). The sad truth of the matter is that, irrespective of the criminal acts being perpetrated, Sandra is no less responsible for her actions than any other person that harms themselves in the pursuit of pleasure. If I jump out of a plane and injure myself, I'm not going to blame the pilot of the plane, nor will I blame the instructor who 'gave me my first hit.'

And that's what's happening here. And it shouldn't.

Comments !