The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On falling ill in a taxi.

It is time for a common policy of taxi driver response to a passenger falling ill, in the cab. I say this because of something which happened in Singapore, recently.

Some weeks ago, a man travelling in a cab, in Singapore, became ill - and fell unconscious in the cab. The driver took him to the nearest Polyclinic. There he had to wait to be seen, as is usual in Polyclinics. The real problem with this scenario is that he had had a heart attack. He died.

Now, this story might have had a different ending if the taxi driver's standard response, according to his company policy, had been to drive him straight to the nearest hospital. There he would have received emergency treatment for his heart attack. It might have been possible to save his life. Sadly, he was instead taken to somewhere that had two failings: plenty of people waiting to be seen, who might not be keen to give him priority - and the likelihood that the Polyclinic would lack the relevant equipment to deal with the situation.

No-one who falls acutely ill in a cab should be condemned to death by a taxi driver who, perhaps being a little too lazy, takes them to the nearest everyday clinic. In such situations, a hospital should be the automatic answer.

I rather hope that someone in a position to change policy reads this and responds sensibly and proactively to prevent other unnecessary deaths in future.

My condolences to the family of the man in question.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:25 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to disagree with your comments. The situation you described is no different from someone, in the vicinity of the polyclinic, having a heart-attack. Or someone carrying a heart-attack victim to the polyclinic.

It is common knowledge that the polyclinic is a place to obtain medical treatment. It should have had the basic but necessary triage to determine and highlight the urgent/critical cases for immediate treatment. I believe that is where the service (as with many GP clinics) is inadequate. The front-desk is often manned by a administrative person who is not properly equipped (probably not even in first-aid) to make a first hand diagnosis of the situation.


9:18 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I don't think you are thinking clearly about the situation. A polyclinic is not likely to respond fast enough to the situation to save the life of a heart attack victim: a hospital would be far the better choice.

IF you have a heart attack, by all means go to a polyclinic, if that is your choice. However, I think it is fairly certain that you would die if you did so.

A policy like the one I suggested would save lives - and how on Earth can you disagree with saving lives?

11:50 AM  

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