You will all have seen reports in the media about the report showing the increased mortality in patients admitted to hospital at the weekends. One of the factors is said to be a lack of Consultant presence in the hospital at weekends. Well who would have thought? Many of the commenters to the news articles place the blame for this at the feet of the Consultants themselves. It is of course that we are all spending time at the golf course or the private hospital when we should be in the NHS hospital. The thought that we may simply be off duty doesn’t occur to these twats.
From the inside it is obvious that the reason the consultants are not in the hospital at the weekend is because of the increasing trend for trusts to have medical care provided not by doctors but by the chiropodist’s assistant’s mate’s aunt, because it is cheaper.
I have ranted about this before. (1)(2)(3). If trusts want care provided by pretend doctors rather than those who have the skill, training and experience to know what they are doing, then the outcome is going to be pretty fucking obvious, isn’t it?
I have every sympathy for my younger colleagues whose pension schemes are about to be used as a form of extra taxation by stealth. My sympathy also extends to other public sector workers who are being similarly screwed.
However I also think, bearing in mind what has been happening to pensions in the private sector over the last few years, that slogans like this are a little insensitive, and indicate a degree of tunnel vision.
I think this poster unlikely to generate sympathy and support in private sector employees
One of the many, to me, strange and pointless hang-ups displayed by the ultra religious is an obsession with hair. Whether the faithful should grow it, or cut it, whether it should be covered, whether or not you should shave. One of the religious groups who have this hang-up is the Amish. Which is why, when a breakaway group of dissident Amish wanted to hit back at the community, they had left they kidnapped some of their former friends and cut their hair. This was an act designed to deeply humiliate their victims.
I can think of far worse things that could happen and you may wonder why I am finding this noteworthy. What amused me was the name of the dissidents’ ringleader, one Samuel Mullet.
The Streissand effect has taken off spectacularly with regards to Stanislaw Burzynki's quack clinic, with blog articles springing up all over the web. I have not had any threatening communication from Marc Stephens and the sheer volume of sites now involved makes it increasingly unlikely that I will. That is a shame really as I was quite looking forward to using Jack of Kent's advice and referring Mr Stephens to the case of Arkell v Pressdram.
Those unfortunates who suffer from type 1 diabetes mellitus have a lot to put up with. Lifelong dietary restriction, daily injections, hypoglycaemic attacks and all the complications that go with the disease. It’s also unfair in that even the best control of blood sugar levels is no guarantee against these complications.
So you would have thought that diabetics have enough on their plate. But no, throw human ignorance and prejudice into the mix and things can be even worse.
I have posted on paragraph 58 of the good practice guide before. “You must inform the GMC without delay if, anywhere in the world, you have accepted a caution, been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence.”
The underlining is mine and illustrates the fact that you could be brought before the GMC for allegations of actions which are not even criminal offences in this country. This has got me thinking about what you might get done by the GMC for, if it suited them, under para 58, such as
There are no depths to which some doctors will not sink in the pursuit of riches. Readers of other blogs will be familiar with Stanislaw Burzynski, and his quack clinic. These articles by Andy Lewis and Prof Colquhoun explain the details fully.
Children with serious conditions will always pull on the heart strings, and loosen the purse strings of the most stone hearted miser, but those who are contributing to this child’s fund in good faith are surely being scammed. And that pales into insignificance compared with how the child and his desperate family are being used and conned.
In his post Prof Colquhoun calls for maximum exposure of this story to create a Streissand effect to counter the legal threats emanating from Burzynski’s clinic and other bloggers have already responded. I don’t suppose I have a fraction of the following enjoyed by Lewis, Colquhoun and others. I expect my followers are already fully aware of the story, and I think it unlikely that my little blog will be noticed by Burzynski. That is not the point. I have copied both articles, and in the unlikely event that they disappear I will repost them here.
On a recent post on JD’s blog an anonymous commenter has made the comment, “my GP is crap, what can I do about it”. Well I suppose the simple answer would be simply to change his GP. But if we don’t know why he perceives his GP as crap it is possible that he may be equally dissatisfied with his new one.
If you take your car in for a new tyre these days you find, when you go back for it, that while they were replacing the tyre they found other things that needed replacing, brake pads, shock absorbers etc. You have to take their word for it in the interests of safety, but do you ever have a sneaking suspicion that you are being had? And aren’t you just a little irritated that they did not just replace the tyre as requested and not snoop into the other bits?
I very rarely visit my GP, but recently had to see him for a very minor simple problem. I sat down with the GP, who, to me, looked about 14. He dealt with the problem quickly and efficiently, so about 90 seconds after I sat down I rose to leave. Not as simple as that is it? I was sat down again and subject to a whole lot of stuff I had not gone in for. Yes, I do know what my cholesterol is, and no I don’t think it would be a good idea to go on a statin. No I don’t want my BP taking, I do it at work and it is fine. And when asked my alcohol consumption I managed a polite response even though I was thinking ”mind your own fucking business”
Now I know full well that this was done because it is part of the tick box approach that has been forced onto my GP in the name of preventative medicine. But it still irritates me that my GP is having to act like a Kwik-fit fitter. And if that is how I feel just think how the lay punters feel.
Two posts recently have generated a considerable degree of interest and debate. There are still unanswered questions and gaps in the information relating to these events. There are also a number of facts which I feel are now indisputable, but see no good reason to further aggravate the situation.
I have been informed that the photograph on this post is subject to copyright, and a request has been made to remove it. Initially it had been my intention to therefore remove the photograph, but leave the post intact.
However, although I do not currently have comments moderation in place I have kept a very close and regular eye on the comments and there have been today a number of comments placed anonymously which I think have been excessively abusive and misogynist. Had they been directed at me I would have let them stand. I have a thick skin. These posts were deleted promptly. The fact that they are being written leads me to the view that the posts are no longer generating just heated debate and their continued presence is becoming counterproductive.
I have therefore decided to introduce comments moderation, and remove the posts. Apologies to those whose comments have made cogent points.
I once light heartedly rebuked a married male friend for making an appreciative comment about an attractive young lady. He responded “Just because a man is on a diet does not mean he may not admire the beautiful food” This, I think epitomises the cultural attitude in the secular west, that women can dress as they please, and be admired for their beauty, secure in the knowledge that their person should be respected. The attitude, usually encountered in the religious, that women who dress attractively are fair game and bring unwanted attention on themselves is contemptible. A particularly vile example is featured here.
Equally contemptible is the religious attitude that, for a man to see a woman’s body is so inflammatory, that the man can not be expected to control himself, and that the woman must therefore conceal herself entirely in a sack, with just a slot for her eyes, so that she looks like an animated black post box.
Well apparently even this is too much for some religious zealots. When all that is visible of a woman is her eyes, even these become erotic, and therefore have to be covered. So how are they supposed to see where they are fucking going? Would it not be equally effective to cover up the blokes' eyes?
It is clear that I have recently had a lot of visitors over the last couple of days who have not been here before. They are most welcome but, if they are expecting things to be this interesting on an ongoing basis they are going to be disappointed, as a browse of my old posts will testify.
Fuddled medic has now announced he too is leaving the circuit. Nothing sinister or untoward, he has simply tired of it. He is at the start of his career and I wish him farewell and all the best for the future.
I have been castigated after my last post for changing the subject. Apparently we “need to talk about the GMC just now” I make no apology. I have broader interests and would not like to be thought of as having only a single string to my bow.
Regular readers will know full well that I have no time for that collection of scum and villainy that calls itself the GMC. I would argue that we need to talk about the GMC, not just now, but constantly until something is done to bring them under some form of supervision and control.
I would also argue that at the moment we do not know if the GMC has done anything, on this occasion, that should concern us. Dr No has now confirmed that two doctors have been reported to the police and under paragraph 58 of the good practice guide that means the GMC must now be involved. What matters is not their involvement but their response. What I would expect of any fair regulator is that if the police feel there is no case to answer then there should automatically be no further action from the GMC. I have previously published this communication from the GMC.
"In January 1999 the Standards Committee of the GMC met to consider issues involving the behaviour of doctors who comment in the media. It was their view that the GMC should not attempt to curtail doctors' rights to express their personal opinions. Doctors, like anyone else commenting in the media, are subject to the same constraints imposed by media regulatory bodies, and the libel laws. Furthermore, the committee considered that the professionals reputation depends principally on the standards of care and conduct provided by doctors to their patients, and not on personal opinions as put forward in published letters or articles. Whilst you may disagree with the comments Dr Y has made, we cannot take action against a doctor who is expressing a personal opinion".
If the GMC choose to respond contrary to their own policy then that would be cause for concern. As yet there is no evidence that they have, or will.
Like many blogs mine has attracted a troll, and mine has been with me intermittently from very early on. She usually comments anonymously, but has also commented as Sam or ZI. For simplicity I have christened her George. We disagree fundamentally on free speech, particularly when it comes to religion, and George has become mildly abusive and has on one occasion made a threat. However compared to some of the trolls afflicting other blogs mine is relatively benign and our disagreements I think stem from her strong views rather than a desire to offend. Despite our disagreements I bear George no animosity, and in what might be considered a variant of the Stockholm effect even have a slight affection for her.
From what I understand George is currently located in a place where there is considerable unrest and danger. I sincerely hope that George is taking care and comes to no harm. Look after yourself George.
There is a lot of speculation going on about the disappearance of some of our fellow bloggers, but no actual information. It may be nothing. The most obvious potential villain, given their obvious desire to regulate our private lives, is the GMC but there is no evidence that I have seen that they are involved. I certainly intend to carry on if for no other reason than to exercise my right to freedom of speech. The rest of us should stick together, and exchange any information that comes our way, either openly on our blogs, or, if appropriate, by the back channel of email. To repost something I wrote very early in my blogging days; We few, we happy few, we Band of Bloggers. For he who shares his blog with me this day shall be my brother.William Shakespeare ("King Henry V")
I recently posted about the French magazine “Charlie Hebdo” suggesting that the animosity they have attracted from militant islamists might be neutralised by the “make love, not war “ philosophy. Well someone else has had this idea. As part of an ad campaign Benetton had produced a number of photoshopped pictures depicting pairs of mortal enemies snogging each other. Of the four pictures 3 featured political adversaries and the last one had a religious theme, featuring the pope and sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, who are apparently not the best of friends.
None of the politicians involved seem to care greatly, a thick skin comes with the job, but the pope is said to be very upset at being depicted in a man-love embrace and Benetton have pulled the ad. The vatican has protested strongly about the picture and would obviously like this picture to disappear completely, saying that it wants the image removed from all media, including websites. Well we can’t have that can we, so here it is.
A vatican spokesman has said that the picture shows a serious lack of respect for the pope. Yup. Sure does.
Now and again you hear colleagues grumbling about the job, planning to retire at the earliest opportunity, as if they were caught in a job that might feature on Tony Robinson’s “worst jobs in history” You even occasionally hear them contemplating doing some other job and quitting medicine altogether. They never do though. Most of us acknowledge that, although the job, like any other, has it’s ups and downs, we are in fact privileged. We have jobs that are secure, interesting, challenging, gratifying, and rewarded, not just by excellent pay, but also status and respect.
There are far far worse jobs than being a doctor. For example you could be a street cleaner in the village of Elsa in Bavaria. I suppose that there are jobs that in one respect or another might appear more appealing than medicine but I suspect if you spoke to someone in that employment you would find the grass not as green as you thought. As an example working in Cadbury’s sounds all right, but would you soon sicken of chocolate? I am sure even that being a detective in Spotsylvania, Virginia must have it’s down side, though after reading this report that is an alternative job I might actually consider.
I am fully aware that my blogging is likely to upset some people, that is inevitable for any blogger. I don't suppose that the GMC is too happy about some of the things I have written about them either. However it never occurred to me that blogging could get you killed. Another good reason to stay anonymous I think.
The Independent newspaper seems to be turning into the Daily Mail, if this article is anything to go by. If this study were to be believed one in six people is allergic to something in their own homes. What a load of cock. The figures were derived from a poll of people canvassed by the charity “Allergy UK” so is really nothing more than a collection of anecdotes.
As anyone involved in healthcare knows the general public have very poor understanding of what an allergy is. If you closely question people who claim to have an allergy a considerable proportion clearly have no such thing. Firstly there are those who claim to be allergic to substances which are actually found normally in the body, and which are often essential. I have had a patient tell me he was allergic to water, which is obviously absurd. Monosodium glutamate is another which might sound feasible but for the fact that glutamate is an amino acid.
Then there are the ones who claim allergy to drugs when what they have had is a simple side effect, Allergic to Morphine doc, (It makes them feel sick). Antibiotics, (They give me thrush) and so on.
And then there are the ones who will blame any malady of any description on “chemicals” and call it an allergy. And even those who claim allergy to substances which are universally toxic.
I don’t know if my experience is shared but I find that older patients are far less likely to report allergies than younger ones, and if they do it is far more likely to be the real thing.
This survey was a pointless waste of time. The results it vomits up are absurd and of no value whatsoever. What were the Independent thinking when they published this drivel.
I expect most of the medical bloggers will be commenting soon about the latest move by the government to privatise the NHS. I think that the “Cockroach Catcher” has done an excellent job of summarising the situation so I will simply link to him.
And even before it has actually happened it is apparent that there are sleazy and distasteful aspects. Mark Simmonds MP apparently gets paid £400/hr to advise Circle, the company taking over the management of Hinchingbrook Hospital. Until now of course that money has come from the funds of Circle. Once the contract is implemented it will be coming out of your pocket, and mine.
Simmonds and Circle are like hyaenas. They will kill the NHS and feast off it’s carcass. And when the carcass is picked clean they will move on with their bellies full.
I have had my attention drawn to the fact that the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo"has already resumed publishing, despite having it's offices burned down after publishing a cartoon of mohammed. There is an article in the latest magazine commenting on the attack. Now I don't speak much French. Like most Brits I take the view that to get Johnny Foreigner to understand me I simply speak to him in English, as if he is deaf and stupid. I could be wrong but the impression I get in this article is that what they are suggesting is that they can reconcile their differences with the moslem extremists by employing the "make love not war" philosophy, as illustrated by this cartoon.
Somehow I get the feeling that a cartoon of mohammed wetly snogging a bloke is not going to bring the two sides any closer.
A question that must go through every bloggers mind is “why am I doing this?” I suppose there are as many different answers to that as there are bloggers. Occasionally though you get a little unanticipated reward that makes the effort worthwhile.
One of the free services I get with this blog is a stats package, so I can see how many view my posts, and where they come from. This is a two edged sword as it can reveal periods of disinterest. Also you sometimes get a surprise with very high numbers, that turn out to be referrer spam, and thus illusory.
My second most viewed post of all time is this one where I wrote about scams, with the post specifically about the Finitro Forte scam not far behind. This is quite gratifying. If just one person of all those who have viewed these posts has been deterred from giving his credit card details over then that would make all the effort worthwhile. I do hope that there are one or two out there who have not been swindled as a result of what I wrote. The thought there might be gives me a nice feeling of satisfaction.
This post is still a long way behind my most popular post of all time. I don’t suppose I can finish without saying which one that is. Perhaps it says a lot about those who view my blog, but my most popular post to date has been that picture of a little boy giving jesus a blow job.
A while ago I posted about a study that showed an inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence. To see a few examples of the mind numbing stupidity shown by some ultra religious just take a look at some of these clips, and listen to the callers to this Texan atheist TV channel.
But it is not just stupidity that seems to correlate with religion. Paradoxically (?) religious types are more likely to approve of torture of their fellow man. Historically this should come as no surprise. The Salem witch trials, and the Spanish inquisition are just two examples.
This mindset persists today as is shown by this survey. In true 1984 style however the old fashioned term “torture” now seems to be unfashionable, probably due to it’s negative connotations. The practice has now been sanitised by calling it “enhanced interrogation.” There, doesn’t that sound better?
I have previously highlighted the prevalence on blogs of adverts for products that are scams, and specified one or two examples, the most recent being for Finitro Forte. Well the ads for Finitro have all disappeared although the company web site is still there, and still making the same claims that the Advertising Standards Authority have forbidden them from using. The site shows another identifying characteristic of these scam sites, which is that nowhere on the site can you find a contact phone number, despite a picture of a smiling young lady wearing a telephone headset.
But even better, nowhere now can I find any ads for any of these scam products at all, though again their web sites are still out there. I assume that Google, and the other companies that have processed these ads have had many complaints, and have finally taken appropriate action. And not before time.
Several of my posts in the past have focused on people seeing religious figures or texts in random objects. My recent post on the virgin Mary in a bit of bird shit is an example. Something I did not know is that there is a word for this. Pareidolia. You learn something new every day don’t you. Many thanks to Orac for the education.
The media are reporting the deliberate burning down of the offices of the French satirical magazine that put a cartoon of mohammed on it’s front page. I don’t think you have to speculate too hard to conclude that this was done by fanatics following the religion of peace.
Once again however these idiots have not thought things through very well. Had they ignored the magazine it would probably never have been noticed outside France, and even in France it would have faded out of memory fairly quickly. Their actions have now ensured that this image will be accessed and reproduced by millions around the world. The arsonists have ensured that this picture has acquired a certain notoriety and fame, not somehow what I think they set out to achieve.
The caption, translated, reads “one hundred lashes if you don’t die laughing”