Imagine this scenario:

At 2 a.m., a surgeon, the best in his field in his city, receives a call at home from the hospital. He is needed immediately in the operating room to save the life of a police officer who had just received multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. The surgeon gets into his fastest car and races to the hospital.

Along the way, another police officer, from the same precinct as the wounded officer, tracks him at 50 mph in a 35 mph zone; however, there is no one at all on the road besides the surgeon. The officer decides to pull over the surgeon, and flashes his lights.

Despite his stress and rush, the surgeon pulls over to try to explain his situation. The officer, however, comes over with a major attitude, and demands to know why the surgeon was speeding, and asks him to produce his license and registration. The surgeon begins to explain his situation, but is cut off by the cop again with a request for his license and registration. By now, the surgeon has become frustrated as well, with knowledge that a patient, another officer nonetheless, is slowly dying on the table in the hospital. A good couple minutes have past, not including the lost travel time.

After the officer finishes his power trip, the surgeon is able to explain the situation fully, but is still issued a citation (and thus loses more time in having the ticket written up) and a warning not to do it again. The officer is oblivious to the dilemma of the surgeon.

The surgeon thus arrives at the hospital later than expected, but the valuable time lost had cost the patient dearly. The wounded officer dies on the operating table. The officer who had written the ticket learns later that he was the cause of the delay, and had cost his fellow officer his life.

I'd like to know what the Everything community's take is on this. Here are some questions on the matter that can be answered in writeups (but definitely don't limit yourselves to these):

  • How would the ticket writing officer feel? (esp. if you, the noder, are or at one time were an officer of the law)
  • Who was wrong? Who was in the more morally defensible position?
  • Are there any means to correct this tragedy?
  • What can we do as a society to prevent this kind of thing from happening?