Nursing Voices

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Would Clara Think?

My favorite historical figure is Clara Barton. I know that a lot of people think of Clara as an antiquated relic, but she was really quite a gal. Clara voluntarily obtained and distributed supplies to wounded soldiers under horrific battlefield conditions during the civil war, was an outspoken advocate for women’s suffrage and civil rights for African Americans, and was the founder of the American Red Cross. Clara was well connected, too. Her circle of associates included Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, and she achieved her accomplishments during a time when most Americans believed a woman’s place was in the kitchen. More remarkably, she accomplished all of these things while fighting her own battle against depression.


Clara was a brilliant woman, so I've often wondered what thoughts she would have concerning recent events. For instance, what would Clara think about the court battle going on between Johnson and Johnson and the Amercian Red Cross? I'm not a lawyer, so I’m not going to comment on the merits of the case, but Johnson and Johnson is suing the American Red Cross for copyright infringement. I checked out jnjbtw.com and read what Johnson and Johnson was saying about the case,and while I was there, I found a link that leads readers to a post about Clara Barton. Clara signed an agreement with Johnson and Johnson, which allowed the company exclusive rights to use the red cross as the company’s trademark. I think Clara would be rather surprised by the lawsuit. She always believed that people should sit down and talk their problems out.


There was one other story in the news today that made me take pause. I wonder what Clara would say about Hillary Clinton's interest in a nurse's life. Keep your comments clean.

Update: Here is a link to some additional information about the lawsuit between JNJ and the ARC.

8 Comments:

Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

I'm a big fan of Clara, too. Her legacy changed many lives for the better. I have always "sensed" that she was probably a no-nonsense person who believed in a practical, "get the job done" approach to problems---which is something I "sense" is greatly lacking in today's bureaucratic, money-minded, red tape entangled, politically influenced health care industry....

8:31 PM  
Blogger rlbates said...

Good post. I was hoping someone would comment on the Red Cross / J&J law suit. I don't get it. What's the problem? We have all grown up with both and never confuse them.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Some Random Girl said...

wow. clara was awesome! you only usually hear about Florence N. I love that HIlary followed a nurse around for a day....let's try a month and see what she thinks.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Wendy Harman (HarmanW@usa.redcross.org) from the American Red Cross. I shared your post with our resident Clara Barton expert here. While there's no way for us to know what she would have thought, he surmised the following:

"Clara Barton would be amused that the organization is still grappling with an issue she knew would become a problem if there was no legislative remedy. Clara was a good negotiator at times but wasn’t shy about using the law to stamp out rivals."

I'll also point to a new article just published that examines the history of the emblem between our two organizations:
http://www.nj.com/business/ledger/index.ssf?/base/business-7/1187151953197510.xml&coll=1

Thanks for weighing in!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Amrita said...

what a heroine, like Florence Nightingale. I am inspired by such courageous women

10:47 PM  
Blogger rosie said...

Hey Nurse R,
A psych nurse from Iowa that likes Mac computers!! think I'm looking in a mirror!! Thanks for keeping the rest of us "sane"

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Marc Monseau said...

Great post. Thanks for providing more insight into the life and work of Clara Barton. Quite inspirational stuff.

I just noticed the comment by rlbates, and thought I would provide some more info about the suit. We aren't asking the American Red Cross to stop using the symbol for legitimate purposes. Rather, we
are asking that they stop licensing it to for-profit companies that use the trademark to compete with Johnson & Johnson products.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice H. Clinton touching the table surface... think she washed her hands afterwards? :p

5:50 AM  

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