The boy, who is uninsured due to a recent move, and his story made Chicago news on Tuesday, with his family reportedly expressing their incredulity that his good deed has left them with a huge medical bill. (No good deed goes unpunished, indeed.) By Thursday, the hospital announced that it had decided to waive the $2000 bill.
Now, there is no doubt in my mind that the hospital did the right thing. Stories without happy endings are like empty milk cartons in the frig - frustrating to experience; and never more so than in a tale of kindness and selflessness such as this. However watching the news unfold, (with my business and marketing hat on) left me with questions.
If the media had not been made aware of the story, would it have played out differently? Did the fact that it was highly-publicized "force" the hospital into a business decision it would have rather not made? Or would the hospital have taken the details of the situation into account and waived the bill anyway?
It made me stop and think of businesses in general. Do we do the right thing just because it's the right thing - or do we do the right thing only when it threatens our job in some way? Or both at times?
I'd love to hear your comments. Do you think the hospital would have waived the bill after considering the family's situation even without all the attention drawn to it? Have you ever "bent the rules" for a client or co-worker because it was the right thing to do? On the flip side, have you ever held-firm to your policy only to have it hurt your job or business in some way?