Saturday, August 12, 2006

Leaving a Man to Die


Keywords: Good Samaritan, Good Shepherd, love, compassion, selfish

The man who was first to climb Mount Everest says he is concerned about the attitude of climbers today. Sir Edmund Hillary who reached the summit of the world's highest mountain in 1953, said he was shocked that dozens of climbers left a British mountaineer to die during their recent attempts to reach the world's highest peak. 34 year-old David Sharp had apparently died of oxygen depravation while descending from a solo climb last week. More than 40 other climbers are believed to have seen Sharp as he lay dying, and almost all continued their quest for the summit without offering assistance.

One of those who did try to help was New Zealander Mark Inglis, the first double amputee to reach the top of Everest on prosthetic legs. Inglis said a member of his party tried to give Sharp oxygen and sent out a radio distress call before continuing to the summit. Inglis said Sharp had no oxygen and there was virtually no hope that he could have been carried to safety from his position about 1,000 short of the 29,000 peak, well inside the infamous "death zone" on the mountain. Inglis said, "I walked past David but only because there were far more experienced and effective persons than myself to help him."

In a report, Sir Edmund Hillary said he would have abandoned his own historic effort to save the life of another. Hillary said, "There have been a number of occasions when people have been neglected and left to die. " He added, "I think the whole attitude toward climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying." He added, "It was wrong if there was a man suffering altitude problems and was huddled under a rock, just to lift your hat, say 'good morning' and pass on by."
Luke 10:36-37

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