Sunday, 24 July 2011

Gamekeeper turned poacher

In Cronin’s ”The Citadel”, the climax of the book is when the hero is brought before the General Medical Council. It is notable that the doctor of the story is the hero and the GMC are portrayed as a bunch of arrogant, tyrannical, pompous and ill informed fuckwits. The book is set in the 1930s. Things don’t change much do they?

The offence for which the hero has to face the panel is not one which, today, you will find mentioned in the “good practice guide”, that of “professionally associating with an unregistered person.” This was a rule at that time to ensure that practitioners of quack medicine were not endorsed by doctors.

Sadly this rule no longer exists, the closest thing now being paragraphs 54 and 55 of the good practice guide. These rules are sufficiently imprecise to enable doctors today to work with quacks quite openly, and even practice quackery themselves. How incongruous that, back then, before the days of evidence based medicine, the GMC recognised that the public should be protected from CAM practices, but these days CAM is positively embraced despite the mass of evidence showing it to be a load of bollocks.

There is even a “College of Medicine” dedicated to getting CAM incorporated into the NHS. Looking at their web site you find a nauseating combination of self important posturing with utter mendacity and ignorant rubbish. I suppose it is what you would expect from the successor to Prince Charles “foundation for integrated health”.

And guess who is the president of this absurdity. It is this man.

Yes, Graeme Catto is the president of a quack’s lobbying group. People that in the past he could have been struck off for associating with. Perhaps someone should remind him of one or two quotes from the good practice guide, such as “You must be satisfied that the person to whom you delegate has the qualifications, experience, knowledge and skills to provide care”.  And at para 3c, “You must provide effective treatments based on the best available evidence”. I personally think Catto is on very thin ice here. Wouldn’t it be nice if he were to find himself hoist by his own petard.

I think that the fact he feels it appropriate to front this organisation raises the retrospective question of how appropriate it was to appoint him as president of the GMC. He is clearly not fit to hold such a post.


  1. There are few people at the GMC that are worthy, in my view...

  2. :) :) Catto eh. How amusing.


  3. You need to read George Bernard Shaw. He describes the GMC very well.

    When you go down to Tesco - buy Allinson's bread. The man who defined infamous conduct was the first whistleblower the GMC struck off. When he was vindicated by the Doll study, the GMC did not pardon him. Great bread though...

    Rita Pal