DZ is old enough to remember when being gay was illegal in this country. If you were convicted of being homosexual you could be sent to prison, where you would be incarcerated with a whole load of guys with a lot of time on their hands and no access to female company.
Although this is now no longer illegal in this country, or most other western nations, the sad fact is that being gay is still illegal in about 70 countries, some of whom have the death penalty for this "offence."
Egypt is one country which criminalizes gays, as has been highlighted in this article today. The Egyptian public prosecutors are pursuing a group of men because, they say, releasing film of a gay wedding "would anger god".
Really? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't he supposed to be all powerful, all seeing etc? If he was really that pissed off about it wouldn't he be able to do something about it himself? Perhaps he's too busy with other things I suppose.
Previous posts on this blog have highlighted the gradual erosion of clinical autonomy endured by the medical profession. The rise of guidelines, protocols, trust formularies etc that has taken away the professionalism from doctors and turned them into box ticking technicians.
Since I have been doing some agency work I have seen that this continues to a staggering degree. Micromanagement is rife and rigid control is the norm. I recently worked at a place where the management dictated what needles are used for various mundane and common procedures.
Many of these rules are introduced in the cause of risk management. The needle rules start with the premise that medical professionals can't be trusted with sharp objects!
What they have failed to take into account is a phenomenon first described in the field of motoring. I've been unable to find the reference, but I remember reading a study that showed that, if you increase the safety features within a car, the driver tends to drive less safely. Seatbelts, airbags and the like increase the driver's feeling of confidence and security, and he consequently drives faster, and takes more risks.
In the clinical setting, clinicians who work with sharps that have safety features to reduce the likelihood of needlestick injuries are unlikely to develop the level of care and discipline in their handling of sharps that my generation learned, and in the long run there is no improvement in safety as the one cancels out the other.
As an illustration of the principal I quote Jeremy Clarkson.
"If you want people to drive more safely you have to get rid of seatbelts, airbags and all the other things that make things safer for the driver, and replace them with a six inch spike on the steering wheel pointing towards the driver's chest. Now that would make you drive fucking carefully, wouldn't it!"
One of DZ slight worries about the NHS is that, the way things are going, it will finally turn into a fully privatised bag of shit just about the time he is likely to start needing it. At the moment I am in good health but inevitably that will change one day. In the meantime I steer well clear of my GP. Went once about two years ago just to have my ears syringed and ended up having the third degree as my GP went about ticking his boxes. Listen boys. When I have a problem rest assured I'll come & see you about it.
When I say I'm in good health, that's almost completely true. I do have Type 2a hyperlipidaemia, or familial high cholesterol, and my serum level of 8 seems to agitate my GP somewhat, and his futile efforts to get me on statins get to be verging on the hysterical.
Still, it does place a certain nagging doubt. So when I stumbled across this site I thought I would give it a try, much in the same spirit as the numerous pointless quizes you find on facebook. And apparently my risk of having a cardiovascular event in the next ten years is just 12%. Not bad really for someone my age. You have the option at the end of having a revision of risk assuming you rectify your risk factors and I thought I'd check that & see. So If I go onto long term statins and reduce my cholesterol what is my revised risk. Still 12% apparently.
Until DZ retirement his registration with the GMC was very much in the background. The money got taken, unnoticed, from his account on a regular basis but that was about it. He does remember back in the 90s when, due to an error in the GMC itself his direct debit was cancelled, by them and the fee not paid. In their usual style when they discovered their own error their response was to write to me aggressively and rudely threatening erasure if I didn't pay up. As if it was my fault. Arrogant pigs!
So for the entire duration of his career, DZ had no idea what his GMC number was. No-one ever asked for it. It was not in his memory.
So when he started doing agency work he was a little surprised to find the number of times he was required to put his GMC number on various forms, including prescription forms and various other records.
A month ago I mentioned another line I've been wanting to use for some time. The opportunity hasn't arisen yet, but it's only a matter of time.
The disembodied voice in this clip I think sounds a lot like the GMC would sound, if it had a voice.