Saturday, 29 October 2011

Another miracle

I have posted before on the tendency of the religious to see miraculous appearances of their particular religious personalities in the mundane. Jesus in the Marmite, koranic verses in a courgette, that sort of thing. Well I have come across another, this time, I kid you not, the virgin Mary in a piece of bird shit

Perhaps the picture is not a very good reproduction but I can’t see anything in this that looks remotely like a human figure. And even if there was something here resembling a woman, why does it have to be the virgin Mary. Why can’t it be a coincidental resemblance to Mrs Jones of Acacia Terrace Flitwick. After all who could possibly know what Mary actually looked like, or even if she ever existed.


This story is courtesy of a friend.
Friend works in a DGH and has occasion to go onto the labour ward. In the labour ward office there is a basket containing notes of those ladies who have already delivered and been discharged. The notes here are awaiting the dictation of a discharge summary by the medical staff and the basket has a label identifying it as such. The label reads “Post natal discharges”

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Your health

The Royal College of Physicians has recently recommended a change to the, already arbitrary, guidelines on safe alcohol consumption, and have stated that we should all have three alcohol free days a week. Presumably they want us all to drink water of all things.

In the past everyone, including children, drank nothing but beer, as the water was too contaminated and unhealthy to drink, but if you think that this is the distant past then think again.

A “Which” report in the 1980s revealed that all the bottled waters then on the market in the UK, except one, had levels of bacteria far in excess of the statutory limit for tap water. Still today there is no limit for bacteria in bottled water. And if you think tap water is clean and wholesome read this article.

As it says on the NHS website linked to above, "Your health, your choices" Thanks very much, I will have another beer.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Jesus is coming

One thing religious apologists will point out is that a nation’s religious history to a great extent defines and determines the modern character of that nation. They will highlight the religious involvement in the art, history, architecture and culture of a nation. 

While that as a fact can not be denied the implication is that this would not have happened without religion and that a secular nation would not have developed art and culture and it’s modern identity. This is plainly nonsense as we would simply have developed differently, and probably for the better.

That religion is still all pervasive there is no doubt and there is no area of modern life that is free of it. The extent of this was brought fully home to me by this web site offering an unusual type of religious artefact.

I have to say that the “baby jesus butt plug” brought a tear to my eye.

Monday, 24 October 2011

An ill wind?

Possibly the main concern about the forthcoming NHS reforms among doctors (or at least those that give a shit) is that it will lead to a deterioration in patient care. That introducing the private sector will give financial considerations too much emphasis, and that the drive to provide health as cheaply as possible, driven by the need to compete and maximise profits, will put quality of care a very poor second.

There is an analogy here with the roadside assistance organisations, the AA and the RAC. I remember when these organisations were rather like clubs. When you needed them their first priority was service, not profit. Then they were bought up and became insurance companies, and my perception is that the service has plummeted. I have twice called out the RAC in the last 3 years. On one occasion I was told to expect a 5 hour wait, and on the other I was told that the problem was “not covered” 

The new bill will not really affect the delivery of primary care. It’s main effect will be on how GPs acquire secondary care for their patients and this is where the potential lies for a financially driven deterioration in service.

There could be rationing of care as contracts become filled. There could be lengthening waiting. There could be money saved by getting work done cheaply by less qualified people, increased reliance on inflexible protocol lead care, reduction in staffing levels, and less involvement of consultants, despite this being the gold standard of care.

Oh wait, we have got all that already, in the current system of the NHS. Could the new system really make things worse?

I have a little experience of working in an Independent Sector Treatment Centre. Recent evidence suggests that they actually have better results than the standard NHS, though obviously there are numerous factors at play. The main factor is that the patients are cherry picked, reasonably fit, and having very routine care. But another factor could be that they only employ Consultants to do the work. No trainees, no acting up nurses, just patient/consultant contact, from start to finish. 

There is no doubt that, like it or not, the reforms are coming. The medical profession over the years has suffered numerous NHS reorganisations, and has always managed to produce a silk purse from a pigs ear. The front line staff have always managed to make the system work for the benefit of the patients despite their misgivings. As Patton once said, “when you leave people to get on with the job you will be surprised by their ingenuity”

Ultimately whether the NHS survives or goes tits up depends, not on the politicians, but the front line staff. And that is why I am less worried than some. It is a question of where, and in whom, you put your faith.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The end

Today is Harold Camping's second guess absolutely definite, no doubt about it, no plan B end of the world day. Things look pretty normal to me and by tomorrow we can all start worrying about December 21 next year, when the next batch of deluded idiots think we are all going to die horribly.

Apparently they think this because the Mayan calendar ends on that date. I think they are wrong. I have a calendar too and mine ends on December 31 this year.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Suffer the children

Right on cue after my last post is this revelation of sheer evil from the catholic church. Do you get the impression that the major religions have some sort of secret competition to see who can outdo the others in terms of utter wickedness?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thought for the day

I thought, being Sunday morning I would emulate the BBC, and post a thought for the day.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Nothing new under the sun.

The present furore over Liam Fox, and the conclusions being drawn by many reminds me of a similar scandal, featuring a high profile liberal politician from 35 years ago. The scandal spawned a joke at the time which will go over the heads of anyone too young to remember.

Q. What is the similarity between Jeremy Thorpe and William the conqueror?
A. They were both fucking Normans.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Following my last post about doctors who deliberately mutilate their patients I have had my attention drawn to this case. Now of course it is published in the Sun, but if true, the doctor in question must have taken some considerable time and skill to achieve his aim. I can't help feeling a certain sneaking admiration.

Monday, 10 October 2011

First do no harm

I am usually pretty careful in posting, and replying, to ensure I don’t give away any clues to my identity. This even goes as far as refusing to deny specific guesses. Even though there are over 200,000 doctors on the register I am not going to narrow the field down. 

In trying to identify me it is obvious that one of the first steps would be simply to google “Dr Zorro”. Anyone who does this would be directed to my blog, but they would also find a specific individual who has been called that. I would like to make it quite clear that I am NOT Dr Allen Zarkin. Dr Zarkin has been dubbed Dr Zorro because, at the end of performing a Caesarian section, he quite deliberately cut his initials into the patient’s abdomen.

For a doctor to deliberately mutilate his patient , as opposed to causing damage by mistake or incompetence, is extremely rare, but not unknown. In fact I have only been able to find two other cases. Of the three doctors involved two were obstetrician/gynaecologists and both appear to have been mentally ill. Dr Zarkin is said to have had Pick’s disease, while the other one is clearly a raving psychopath. The last one however appears simply to have had a really bad day.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Blasphemy again

In one of my previous posts, where I highlighted the insanity of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, it was suggested by a commenter that the degree of murderous intolerant bigotry I was criticising was only to be found amongst the poor and uneducated of that country. I beg to differ.

Salmaan Taseer was a Pakistani politician who campaigned against the blasphemy laws, for which he was murdered, even though he himself had never been accused of blasphemy. His killer freely admitted the crime and, quite properly was found guilty, and sentenced in accordance with Pakistani law.

The verdict and sentence have caused uproar and the judge has gone into hiding, fearful for his life. The courtroom itself has been attacked and damaged. And who was responsible for this incensed, rabid and furious attack? Dozen’s of Islamist lawyers apparently. Now lawyers the world over have been called many things. But poor and uneducated? Hardly.

Without a trace of irony the verdict has been condemned as “a direct attack on the ideology of Pakistan”  Yes I am sure that it is.

Monday, 3 October 2011

"All things are poison..............."

Another big question mark over medicalising asymptomatic people, and another nail in the coffin of the polypill.