October 02, 2015

What would Dante say?

The Gentle Reader may recall an expose by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News a while back about how coal companies, their lawyers, and a lab at Johns Hopkins routinely collaborated to deny miners black lung benefits.

According to news reports, Hopkins has terminated that program, which will forever be a scar on the institution. It should never have existed to start with. I wonder how many miners died before getting the benefits they deserved

One doctor there, and I use the term loosely, is said not to have found a single case of black lung in the more than 1,500 cases he investigated. Since then, the federal government has informed around 1,100 miners that they were wrongly denied benefits.Of course, they only informed the ones who still lived.

All of which makes me wonder what circle in Hell Dante would assign to those responsible. I'm guessing it would be somewhere in Malebolge, the eight circle, which is reserved for fraud, or maybe even the icy ninth, which is reserved for those who betray. I think it's a safe bet that he'd put them way down.

1 comment:

SusanJ said...

Hi Rick -

Not sure whether I've told you about this before - our friends Larry & Ellie Clayton do a blog on the poetry and visual art of William Blake. Larry's been working his way through Blake's illustration of Dante -- here's the latest entry:


Susan J.