Claim: Patients on life support died when a
Example: [Collected via e-mail, April 2009]
I heard a portion of a story this morning on the radio about a hospital in
This is just too outrageous for me to believe, even if it did originate in California.
Origins: A venerable urban legend
also seemed plausible to many people: A hospital in
The “Earth Hour” version does the “Polished Off” legend one better, however: It holds that the patient fatalities were not the product of a mysterious accident, but rather were an anticipated result which was fully agreed to in advance by the families of the affected patients who opted to sacrifice their loved ones “for the good of the planet.” That additional layer of outrageousness is a clue that this is neither a true account nor an ordinary urban legend; it’s a bit of satirical humor poking fun at the overzealousness sometimes exhibited by participants in such “awareness” events.
This tale actually originated with a 30 March 2009 article (“Fifteen Patients Die as Earth Hour Kills Life Support in Hospital”) published on BBspot, “a tech satire news and geek humor source.” A number of BBspot’s pieces have worked their way back to us via readers who received them out of context and believed them to be true, including an entry claiming that the MPAA was lobbying Congress to outlaw unauthorized home theaters.
Last updated: 2 April 2009