Thursday, November 29, 2007


As the horrid details continue to come out in the stunning discovery of a huge cache of child pornography in the former home of the late Dr. George E. Reardon, the word that keeps coming to mind -- after all the revulsion and anger -- is "violated."

Obviously the victims were violated in a way that makes us all sick to our core, but I also find myself thinking about many of the people indirectly involved -- other patients of Dr. Reardon who have to be replaying their every encounter with him, other patients at the hospital where the activities were going on, nurses and support personnel who may have unwittingly been involved in aiding these crimes . . . .

Not only are these people feeling violated by Dr. Reardon, but they must also be feeling a bit violated by the hospital administrators, the local police department and the department of health, all of whom seemingly turned a blind eye to the extent of the activities they may have had a suspicion were going on, if from nothing else but the number of complaints lodged against Dr. Reardon. ("If there's smoke . . .")

I'm fortunate in that I've never had to endure first-hand anything this horrible in my life, but even so, I feel a bit violated -- the doctor-patient relationship is one of the most sacred there is, and it's something that after an event like this, if at your next visit to your physician you're not thinking about it up front, it's at least somewhere in the back of your mind. Troubling.

I also feel for the unfortunate homeowner who stumbled upon this nightmare -- he must feel violated by his own home, holding a dark and nasty secret in its walls. I mean, can you imagine stumbling upon that? "Oh, time to renovate this old basement. Guess I'll start with this wall over here . . . let's pry back this board and .. . what the heck? Slides, movies? What is this stuff?" [picks up one slide, holds it to the light] "Oh. my. god."

Talk about a sucker punch to the gut. I feel bad for him then trying to make that phone call to the police to explain how he found 50,000 slides of child pornography in his house while trying to maintain his dignity -- the poor guy did nothing wrong other than take a hammer to a basement wall, but you know he probably had to defend his innocence and integrity a bit when the first investigators showed up.

It's amazing how the vile actions of one man could violate the lives of so many.

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