A recent story highlights the dangers of a government being entrusted with personal care of individuals.
A 911 dispatcher intentionally hung up on thousands of callers in need of emergency help. She remained employed without anyone noticing. For a year and a half this went on, and no one noticed. Homicides, robberies, medical emergencies, etc. All ignored.
But the individuals harmed by her cannot bring personal actions against their government. Because the government has something called governmental immunity. This law is troubling for advocates of limited government. Basically, irrespective of whether you pay taxes and abide by the law, you are not entitled to 911 services. Unless, you are imprisoned or otherwise in government custody. Then you are entitled to these services. Troubling, yes.
The courts have held consistently that the governments have no duty to provide care to you. That means you can’t sue for damages.
So no matter how wronged you were by 911 response negligence, you can’t sue.
The government has valid points about the impossibility of being held accountable. So what can we do?
We can privatize 911 services. Imagine if we were able to shop around for 911 providers, consider provider reviews and recommendations, and switch providers if we were dissatisfied with services. Imagine being able to hold providers legally responsible for inaction or negligence. For if the 911 providers are private, they cannot hide behind the cloak of immunity from liability. Imagine being in control of your emergencies, moments when you feel completely out of control.
We would still need to maintain public 911 services for various emergencies that happen outside of private areas, but we would be able to significantly reduce dependence on public 911 and significantly decrease their funding.
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