Thursday, August 10, 2006

No Malice Intended

Doctors may have been arrogant and insensitive in the practice but there was no malice or ulterior motive. (Dunne Report on Organ Retention Scandal, 2006)

Clearly the blankpaige is on some kind of depressing downward spiral of rants. I promise I'll snap out of it shortly. In the meantime, is it just me or does everyone think that we didn't need a judge, a barrister, 5 years and €13 million to tell us what we already know?

Paternalism, benign or otherwise, has been the overwhelming feature of our medical profession since, well actually, forever. Our doctors enter college having been selected as the brightest and best of our children, they spend six or seven years being told how wonderful they are, and if they are really good they get to play at being really important consultant - an individual who has a higher intellectual capacity than most, is the best at everything he/she turns their hand to, and gets paid about 15 times the average industrial wage. (They are so intellectually endowed, of course, that they are unable to wash their hands properly, but that's another rant altogether!)

I once listened to one such doctor being interviewed on the radio about how difficult it is discussing intimate sexual dysfunction with patients. You see the problem is that while the patient may have been sitting (patiently?) in the waiting room for 2 hours, the clock sort of restarts for them when they are seen by the doctor. They take ages to 'warm up' and won't come right out and tell the doc their problem. Sometimes the 6 minute consultation is up before they even begin to hint at what the issue is. Word of advice to such consultants. In future don't have your patients sit waiting to see your 2 hours and then only give them 6 minutes of your time. Medicine is supposed to be patient-focused!

I had a particularly traumatic experience of one such Consultant. After sitting in wait for 4 hours on a hard chair in a public corridor for 'my results' to find their way from the lab to his desk, he burst out of his office and down the corridor. He interrupted briefly his mobile phone conversation to shout at me from some distance that generally speaking everything is okay but that I'd be unlikely to ever become pregnant. He didn't even break stride or pause for a reaction as he delivered this news in the most matter of fact manner. He had resumed his telephone conversation (meeting someone on a golf course in an hour) before he had even come to within the socially acceptable distance for conversation. I was too stunned to even react.

Had anyone asked I could have saved the State €13 million!


Blogger KnackeredKaz said...

God that's terrible Paige! He really shouted that out in the corridor?! That's dreadful.

I thought I'd heard it all when I was in hospital last year and a doctor came to the poor woman opposite me and told her she had to go for an emergency liver biopsy "because there's a tumour and it's probably very cancerous. Sign this right now. See you in an hour" and then swept out of the room.

He didn't even bother trying to find a private room, sitting down to speak to her or even drawing a curtain. He just bellowed it from the bottom of her bed in front of the whole ward.

And to think they claim our doctors are second to none? Arrogance, that's all it is.

5:40 p.m., August 10, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

Oh my god. Now I know why you don't play golf.

This is madness. Is there any way other than name & shame that could put a stop to such awful behaviour by those two consultants?

I hope you both wrote to the Irish Medical Association (or whatever its name is). If you didn't, and I think you'd have mentioned it if you had, I hope you don't think it's too late to write now.

At least those named individuals would have a file opened on them and you never know there might already be a letter or two on record about similar behaviour towards others.

I cannot believe it. No consultant would dare treat a man like that.

When I used to be much less charitable, I'd have said knee-capping would be in order.

The few consultants I've met in UK have been very civilized.

6:23 p.m., August 10, 2006  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

I'm not sure who claims that our doctors are second to none. Most probably the doctors themselves!

As for the Medical Association, it is evident from the various inquiries that no doctor is going to criticise a colleague.

There is an interesting footnote that I didn't add. Some days after my experience, I was chatted up by a guy in a night club. He seemed quite charming. Until, trying to impress me, he told me he was a doctor. He was quite surprised when I told him to fuck off!

8:17 p.m., August 10, 2006  
Anonymous Damien Mulley said...

And there's your new cause there. We have overheard in Dublin, why not ""?

Allow people to document complaints in public and then send them into the medical council. While a good deal of dcotors are arrogant jumped up shits, they do give a damn about patients and treat them with respect. I'm sure they good ones whi I would say are the majority would just as much like for the bad ones to be pointed out and made mend their ways.

9:39 p.m., August 10, 2006  
Anonymous Claire said...

That's shocking Paige and Karen, although sadly not surprising.

1:20 a.m., August 11, 2006  
Blogger KnackeredKaz said...

No Omani, I didn't write to anyone, but I should have added that myself and all of the other women on the ward complained immediately to the matron (I think they're called directors of nursing now!) and she brought it to the attention of the consultant in charge of this lady's case.

The doc that came in to her wasn't actually the head guy and as I understand it when the consultant found out what had happened he ate the other while it's nowhere near the trouble he should have got into, at least he got a bollocking.

I will add that my own experience at the same hospital, which I still attend, was totally professional and the care I received was second to none and still is. My consultant always shut a door or at least drew a curtain and spoke in a low tone to respect my privacy. So I can't complain myself, but I thought the way the lady opposite me was treated was appalling.

10:23 a.m., August 11, 2006  
Blogger parnellpr said...

What a wanker.....excuse the swearing but really! Did you complain? You could have so easily had him up for professional misconduct or something like that.

P.S U know who would know all about meaningless rants, he writes them!

2:15 a.m., August 12, 2006  
Blogger Curly K said...

Some doctors are so beyond arrogant it beggars belief. What a shame for those doctors who genuinely care and treat people with respect.

With regard to tribunals and enquiries, as far as I can see, all the recent tribunals have been a complete waste of time and money. They have simply confirmed what every dog on the street already knew, allowed those who have done wrong not be prosecuted as the evidence cannot be used and kept a lot of legal people earning a substantial living off taxpayers money that would be better spent improving our health and education systems.

10:50 p.m., August 13, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

I'm glad to hear you did that much. This battle against arrogance by professions, it continues... Eventally they'll learn, drip by drip.

11:23 p.m., August 13, 2006  

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