Thursday, 28 July 2011


I recently posted about a lactating woman in the USA who resisted arrest by spraying the police with breast milk. Gross as this sounds it could have been worse.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


"Infamy! Infamy!, They've all got it in for me!

Kenneth Williams

Catholic priests

I was reading this newspaper article today on the swing towards secularism sweeping Ireland as a result of the Vatican attitude towards their priests abusing children. 

And then I came to this line; politicians were falling over themselves to kiss bishops’ rings”

Old habits, learned in childhood, die hard I suppose.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A rock and a hard place again

Jobbing Doctor has brought this article to my attention. The pompous shite uttered by the GMC through that shit encrusted stoma of a mouth belonging to Niall Dickhead makes my blood boil. 

So the GMC are now investigating doctors for NOT whistleblowing. They must be rubbing their hands with glee. Bearing in mind what generally happens to whistleblowers at the hands of their employers, might it not have been a good idea for the GMC to promise some sort of assistance to these doctors, rather than just threatening them into an impossible position.

But then, who needs carrot when you have got a big fucking stick?

What a bunch of cunts.

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.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Death penalty

Judicial execution is not something I would associate with a progressive, modern, civilised society. The whole concept is something I find thoroughly abhorrent and I find the continued significant public support for this in the UK incomprehensible.

That said, I would quite happily flick the switch on this bastard.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Obesity again

And the last word on obesity.
I have no idea where this is located. If I were forced to make a wild  guess I would plump for Australia somewhere.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

How to make skiing interesting



To finish this little series of posts I would like to recommend one of my favourite books, "Of whales and men" By Dr R B Robertson. 

Whaling gets a very bad press these days and with good reason. There is no product from the whale that can not be obtained from alternative sources, and it is simply unnecessary today.

But this was not always the case. The book is the account of a ship’s doctor on a whaling ship in the early 1950s. The author makes a point that many today will not have considered. In the years after the second world war agriculture in Europe was so ravaged that Europe was incapable of feeding itself. It took years to recover and in the UK rationing only ended in 1954, within my lifetime. At that time the whaling industry contributed significantly, through a wide range of products, to the nutrition and health of the population.

The book was published in 1956, and the author, Dr Robert Blackwood Robertson, has been dead for some years. It is still a good read.


I suspect that most will have viewed the suggestion in my last post that human corpses be used to produce biodiesel, as in very poor taste. However I was not entirely joking. Think about these points.

We live in a society where we acknowledge that we should recycle dwindling resources as much as possible.

Vegetable biodiesel diverts huge areas of agricultural land away from food production, often in countries that desperately need to produce more food.

We already accept the concept of organ donation, in effect recycling of human body parts.

The established methods of disposal of cadavers is highly unsatisfactory. Burial takes up valuable land that could otherwise be used for agriculture or housing. Cremation requires a great deal of energy, produces large ammounts of CO2, and contaminates the atmosphere. Both methods are in effect elaborate methods of discarding the body.

The religious of course would object very strongly, but then they also once objected to cremation, and islam still does. Once dead our bodies contain much that could be recycled, not just oil, albeit on a much more mundane level than organ donation. I am sure many, especially atheists would have no objection to this means of disposal. Is it really such a dreadful idea?

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Mystery object

Those suggesting that the object was a lawn edging tool are wrong, though I see the similarity. The object is remotely medical though more of a post mortem instrument than a therapeutic one. And you have to think big. 

It is in fact a flensing knife, used by 19th century whalers to strip the blubber from a dead whale. It was also known as a blubber spade. In those days the entire whale could not be lifted onto the ship and the flensers had to do their job on the whale while it was still in the water. The instrument had a secondary use, that of fending off sharks attracted to the carcass.

This has a relevance to my last post. If you could get 3 litres of biodiesel from liposuction you could possibly get ten times that much by flensing and rendering a deceased obese person. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

Mystery object

Have not had a mystery object for some time. Any guesses what this is.

Fuel crisis

One of the burdens faced by the modern NHS is the enormous morbidity associated with obesity. The prevalence of obesity among British adults is now estimated to be 25%, or of the order of 12.5 million individuals. 

Bariatric surgery is now increasingly available as an NHS treatment adding yet more expenditure to an over stretched service, but as yet liposuction can not be obtained and is only available privately. This is a shame as there is a way in which this procedure could in fact generate some money for the NHS, as this enterprising doctor in the USA has shown.

When I read this article I started wondering just how much potential motor fuel is currently being carried on the thighs, bums and bellies of British fatties. What follows is a back of an envelope calculation which is unlikely to be terribly accurate but is probably within the right order of magnitude.

Liposuction typically removes about 3 litres of human fat. My internet research indicates a biodiesel yield from animal fat of up to 90%.

So 3 litres multiplied by 12.5 million comes to 37.5 million litres, which could yield 33.75 million litres of biodiesel. With diesel currently selling at £1.40/l at the pumps that 33.75 million litres has a value of almost 50 million pounds.

So let’s not be so scathing about our pie eating lardbucket population. They could be part of the answer to our energy crisis.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


In the early days of anaesthesia, before the advent of dedicated anaesthetists, it was common practice for a patient's anaesthetic to be administered by the surgeon's houseman. The houseman acted as a technician, the surgeon telling him how to give the anaesthetic, while at the same time operating. There are still a few old diehard surgeons who still try to do this, even with career anaesthetists.

In dentistry it was common practice until the seventies for a single handed dentist to administer an anaesthetic and then perform the dental work.

This concept of a single handed anaesthetist/operator has now long been consigned to the bin marked "unacceptable practices". However the practice has not been abandoned in the DIY sector.

Monday, 11 July 2011

International day against stoning

Today is international Day against Stoning. I was initially thinking of embedding that stoning clip from "the life of Brian", but then decided that this is actually no laughing matter, bearing in mind that there are people in captivity awaiting this barbaric punishment for doing something we take for granted, freely expressing themselves.

You would think wouldn't you that if some deity were so offended by someone's utterances he would be perfectly capable of delivering his own retribution. But then of course religion is just an excuse for sadistic mysogynists to satisfy their own peculiar lusts.

Sunday, 10 July 2011


This blog is about as apolitical as I can make it. I rarely make any political comments. But you can only bite your lip for so long.

The shambolic excuse for democracy we are lumbered with is a disgrace. Despite the illusion of a democratic process the one thing we know at each election is that we are going to be governed predominantly by public school educated, oxbridge graduates, who are unlikely to have ever held down a real job. Left, middle or right we always end up with these ruling class clones, and in this respect nothing has changed in the UK in 200 years and more.

And as for the upper house, this is nothing less than an affront to the concept of democracy. The appointment of the Lords, without any say by the electorate is nothing short of a gesture of contempt, and disdain towards the voting public.

Successive events have now made it clear that we have a Prime Minister utterly unsuited to his position, and I despair when I look at the alternatives. Most of our politicians are career chasing, image sensitive, self serving empty husks, with an insufferable attitude that they are somehow born to rule.

It could be worse I suppose. When you look at some of the choice of possible future incumbents of the White House you could be forgiven for thinking that the advance of human civilisation is going into reverse.

Britain has tens of thousands of individuals who are honest, hard working, selfless, intelligent, experienced people of integrity. I know some of them personally, so do you.

Why are so few of them in government?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Facebook Fox

Dr Zorro is now on Facebook as Diego Fox. Not quite sure as yet what I am going to do with this account but anyone who wishes to drop by is most welcome.
In fact DZ has been on Facebook for some time as his real self but that identity he is not prepared to divulge.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Right on

Why is it that one of the few publications these days that prints any sense on medical matters is the Daily Mash?

And to know what is really going on you have to turn to news thump.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The last President

Many thanks to Grumble for answering my question in the previous post. The reason I can't find a GMC President is because the title has been changed to that of "Chair of the Council" The incumbent is Peter Rubin. This means that Catto will have been the very last President of the GMC.

The original post was part of a series illustrating how knighthoods are automatically granted to people who acquire certain positions regardless of whether they actually do anything notable in that position. Rubin was knighted less than a year after becoming Chair.

Where's the president?

In the early days of my blog, in June last year I wrote a post about the President of the GMC, Sir Graeme Catto. I was unaware at that time, and have in fact found out only recently, that Catto resigned as president of the GMC in 2009, so was not president at the time of writing. Since no-one commented on that error I can only assume that no-one else noticed his departure either.

Now you would have thought that it would be a simple enough matter to find out who the current president is, but after an hour searching the web today I am still none the wiser. The GMC has it's own web site, an unbelievably poor and amateurish site, which makes no mention that I can find of a president.

Does the GMC currently have a president? Who is it? Can anyone enlighten me?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Breast is best

We have come a long way since a woman could be arrested for breast feeding in public. There is a general consensus now that breast feeding is to be encouraged and considered a perfectly acceptable thing to do anywhere. There is always somebody who will kick the arse out of it though isn't there.

Wanking again

If masturbation really did prevent prostate cancer, there would be no such thing as prostate cancer.


In a comment to my last post, Single Female Doc said...
“To be fair, they're probably shitting themselves in fear when you come near them”

So, is this how DZ comes across on his blog then?

Attention span

What is it with some patients these days, particularly the younger ones, who are attached to their electronic devices like siamese twins. In the last few weeks I have had;

A patient on the ward whose gaze remained fixed on her TV screen while I was talking to her. Not once did she look at me.

A clinic patient who texted constantly during her consultation.

A patient who kept his earpiece in and the music playing while I was trying to elicit a history. 

Is it too much to ask these ill mannered fuckers to give me their undivided attention while I am trying to provide them with health care that they have sought?

What do you suppose would happen if I gave them the slap they deserve?