Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

Possible Medical Murder at Liverpool Hospital

February 16, 2014

I received this comment on my post about the Coalition’s secret courts by Eijnar:

‘Inmates at a Soviet Gulag Many bloggers, including myself, have raised the issue of the Coalition’s increasing intolerance, …’

On Wednesday,5-2-2014 at 16.50 my 93 year old father-in-law died right in front of me. He was murdered by a hospital doctor who had administered a “muscle relaxant” 15 minutes earlier supposedly to aid in the fitting of a feeding tube. However the doctor didn’t wait for the drug to take effect and fitted the tube within a minute of the drug being injected. He admitted during the fitting of the tube that the drug would not take effect for 15-20 minutes and could not have “kicked in” yet so clearly the drug was never intended to “help” with the fitting of the tube!

I have since learnt that “muscle relaxants” are used to paralyse the chest muscles and prevent them from expanding thus starving you of oxygen and killing you. The NHS thus use the same technique as the American Correctional Department does for Death by Lethal Injection.

I reported this to the police and they took a few “notes” but no official statement, no crime number was issued and a full forensic autopsy was not performed so they can avoid finding any evidence!

When he was first admitted to A&E with a head injury and concussion the duty doctor REFUSED to give him a brain scan and insisted the injury was only superficial. It took 3 hours for them to relent and THEN when they confirmed that he had internal bleeding and swelling of the brain they REFUSED to do ANYTHING to reduce the pressure or the bleeding!!!

Despite being very seriously injured, and them finally having the evidence to prove it, he was NOT sent to Intensive Care nor to the Head Injury Unit. He was instead sent to the VASCULAR UNIT which largely contained people having elective treatment for leg veins and who were mostly self caring!

He was labeled as Do Not Resuscitate and we were told he was in his last few hours. They offered to move him to a hospice, the one thing they didn’t do was try and TREAT HIM!

Ten days AFTER being told he was in his “last few hours” he was not only now confirmed to have suffered a stroke AND a heart attack a week AFTER being admitted but was STILL getting stronger every day! The man they said was “in his last few hours” had to be prevented from getting out of bed to go to the toilet on his own and was talking and sharing a joke!

After 14 days he was keen to have a shave and felt his chin with great care afterwards to check the result, so he wasn’t a drooling vegetable in need of a quiet death!

The initial refusal to give him a brain scan and also to refuse to take the word of his own family that he was concussed and not normally confused is clear evidence of the hospital operating a system of TRIAGE whereby they ration care and deny it to the elderly so as to speed them on their way to the morgue.

Ask yourself if he had been a man in his 20’s would they have refused to give him a scan, would they make him wait 3 hours when standard medical practice stresses the vital importance of EARLY intervention and “The Golden Hour” is the one immediately after the injury occurs?

So how do I know that he was murdered, well the fitting of the feeding tube was supposedly urgent as he had not been fed anything in 14 days. After it was fitted it could not be used until an x-ray confirmed it was correctly fitted. So WHY did they not simply perform the x-ray at once using the mobile machine we had seen used many times over the previous 14 days? They calmly announced that they would send him down later in the evening, why the delay when the fitting of the tube was so urgent that they didn’t even wait for the drug to take effect?

This took place in the Liverpool Royal Hospital and it was this very hospital that pioneered the Liverpool Care Pathway, now supposedly abolished, yet the very people who invented it AND operated it for many years, are STILL there and they have the same beliefs and ethos they have always had! The LCP was an official method of “managing death” which to the layman is no different from murder.

One of the favoured methods is to fit a drip which set at too rapid a rate and thus floods the lungs.You gasp for breath and risk heart attack or stroke and thus a “natural death”, another possibility is that you might get Pneumonia and die from that, once again a “natural death”. In this case it has been put down as the original injury, you know, the “superficial” one that was trivial!

I know how he was murdered, I know how I could prove it, but he is not going to get a FORENSIC AUTOPSY so the system can remain safe as without that the REAL cause of death will simply not be found because nobody wants to even look for it.

Our family is Working Class, we have no contacts and no wealth to fund fighting this so nothing will be done. This is the same government that closed down REMPLOY and has smashed the benefit system. They will carry on screwing the poor for every penny they can until the poor eventually die out or fight back.

I don’t know how you will respond to reading about my family’s experiences but I have made myself a vow, if I am ever diagnosed with a terminal illness I will not waste the freedom such knowledge gives. I will engage in my own form of “TRIAGE” and bring a new meaning to the “Liverpool Care Pathway”!

R.I.P.
Henry Lang.
Born April 10th 1920.
Murdered February 5th 2014

This is extremely disturbing. I am very sorry for your loss, Eijnar. I am, however, just an ordinary layman with absolutely no knowledge of medicine. Does anyone have any suggestions on how this can be properly investigated?

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Observations on the Suicide of Jacqueline Harris

November 26, 2013

Like very many other people, I was saddened and angered to read Johnny Void’s and Tom Pride’s posts on the death of Jacqueline Harris. This lady took her own life after ATOS found her fit for work, despite her multiple disabilities and the great pain she suffered from them. This poor woman, like me, came from Bristol. I’ve also had a run-in with ATOS. Here are a few more of my observations and comments on the case. I intend to write a much deeper article attacking the pseudo-scientific nature of the ATOS assessment form later.

I don’t know if there are any other ATOS centres in Bristol, but there’s one at Flowers Hill in Brislington. This is a suburb of Bristol, which contains a mixture of light industrial buildings and former warehouses along with residential homes, and some of the most historic buildings in Bristol. It has Arnos Vale cemetery, dating from the 19th century. The funeral monuments there are impressive, with one of the most striking the tomb of Rajah Rammohan Roy, an Indian reformer and one of the founders of his country’s independence movement. He was married to the daughter of Bristol Unitarian minister, and preached in her father’s chapel. I believe there is an annual visit to his grave every year by members of the City’s Indian community. Other monuments include the Black Castle, an 18th century factory in the shape of a castle, made from black stone. There is also a 19th century mental hospital. Established by those guardians of peace and humanity, the Quakers, this was pioneering in its day for the humane treatment given to the inmates. It possessed extensive grounds and gardens for the patients’ enjoyment, as it was found that this greatly assisted their healing and recovery.

If I recall correctly, the ATOS offices are in a complex of buildings just down from a DIY centre and other stores. ATOS share the site with a complex of buildings, which include an NHS administration and a driving test centre.

When you go for an assessment, bring someone into the interview with you, or record it. It has been my experience that ATOS will lie and try and falsify your answers. You need to keep some kind of record of the interview, and that other person will remember or pick up on things that you may not notice or forget. Similarly, when going through the form it is very wise to photocopy it after you have filled it out, so you have a record of your answers there.

This poor woman’s suicide, along with so many others, raises the following points and questions.

Firstly, ATOS have tried to distance themselves from the tragedy. They state that they have no part in any decision on benefits. This is disingenuous. While the decision to end someone’s claim is taken by the DWP, rather than ATOS, ATOS clearly have the contract for the development and administration of their tests on the express knowledge that those, who fail it will lose their invalidity or disability entitlement. With this in mind, they cannot justly deny responsibility for the loss of benefits from those they judge fit to work.

In view of the number of people, who have committed suicide after ATOS declared them fit for work, it should be asked what training ATOS gives its personnel to deal with extremely distressed or suicidal interviewees. Johnny Void and the other left-wing bloggers have carried stories reporting that some Job Centres are training their staff to deal with such emergencies. I myself have seen a stack of cards for the Samaritans on the desk of one of the interview staff at the Job Centre Plus in Eagle House, St Stephen’s Street in Bristol. Are there similar items stocked by staff at ATOS? If not, why not?

Seventy-five per cent of ATOS decisions that someone is fit for work have been overturned on appeal. This suggests that either the ATOS assessors are criminally negligent when administering the tests, or that they are under pressure to falsify results to get a negative decision which will please their paymasters in the DWP. I said before that it has been my own experience that ATOS will lie in order to be able to turn down your claim. There have been revelations of secret quotas for benefit sanctions within the DWP and Job Centres, along with bonuses and gifts awarded to staff, who have the most number of claimants disallowed. Is there are a similar system operating within ATOS? What pressure are its staff under to declare someone fit for work? Are they also given financial incentives and gifts, like Easter Eggs, for so doing?

What policies and procedures does ATOS have to protect the vulnerable adults they interview? We have had reports of people with severe mobility problems forced to take their assessment in centres, which are some distance from where they or their lifts may park, or else on the upper floors of buildings. Does ATOS consider this acceptable? The ATOS form itself is heavily biased towards physical disability. It and its administrators therefore appear to have little experience or awareness of mental health issues. What procedures have been put in place to safeguard people with schizophrenia or disorders, like depression during the interview and afterwards? Shouldn’t their fitness for work or otherwise be assessed by a trained, objective psychiatrist or psychologist?

Johnny Void and the others have also reported that many of the employees administering the test are not doctors, but nursing staff. This is unacceptable. However, the medical qualifications of ATOS’ assessors are, in my experience, superfluous and irrelevant. They do not examine you themselves under their own initiative, but simply ask you the questions on the form. Presumably medical staff are employed in case a physical examination, such as to confirm some of the claims made by the interviewee, is necessary. Mostly I think it’s just to provide a pseudo-professional medical gloss to the proceedings.

The interviewing staff do at least have some medical qualifications. What are the medical qualifications of the decision-makers? Are they doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists? Or is that an entirely risible question, and they are really just another bunch of faceless bureaucrats? Again, from the procedure it seems that no proper medical experience is required or needed. All the decision makers do is go through the form, tot up the answers and then declare a person fit, even if that person is in a coma or possibly dead. This is no exaggeration. These things have happened. If the decision makers are medical personnel, have any of them expressed reservations or criticisms about the tests? Or resigned? What mechanisms are in place to assure that any criticisms or complaints they have about the test are passed on and accepted?

The ATOS assessment has also led to violations of British disability law, and contravenes the Hippocratic Oath. This was for centuries taken by British and European doctors. It has now been discarded, but is, I believe, still held in great respect by parts of the profession. At its heart is the stipulation that the doctor should ‘first do no harm’. Clearly this lies at the heart of all medical practice. If you can’t cure something, then for heaven’s sake don’t make it worse. But ATOS does make it worse. Clearly the individuals who have suffered heart attacks due to the stress of their assessment, or mentally ill people who’ve taken their own lives, have been made worse by the procedure. Private Eye a few years ago ran a story about one woman, who had already frequently attempted suicide. Tragically, she succeeded after ATOS told her she was fit for work, and no longer eligible for benefits. ATOS broke the law. According to the Eye, it is explicitly against the law to force the mentally ill to undergo such tests if this will exacerbate their condition. Has ATOS ever been prosecuted for one of these incidents? Were staff disciplined for such legal and medical negligence? What procedures were set in place to stop this ever occurring again?

Well, it seems to me that the answer is obviously none, but the question still needs to be asked.

Ordinary doctors, nurses and other medical professionals can be sued for malpractice. They have medical insurance to provide for this, and practice under the knowledge that they are responsible for the care of the patients and may be sued and convicted if they abuse or criminally neglect this sacred trust. The Coalition are considering passing legislation that will further criminalise and inflict severe penalties for negligent hospital staff. The question must be raised here of whether similar procedures are in place to discipline and try ATOS staff generally – the interviewers and decision makers – for similar negligence and malpractice in or through the administration of the test, quite apart from the horrific incidents mentioned above.

These are a few of the questions I feel still need to be answered. I believe strongly that the ATOS assessment form and process does not constitute proper, valid medical practice but a form of pseudo-medical bureaucratic quackery to provide a professional gloss to what is at heart an entirely bureaucratic procedure. Science is meant to be objective. According to Popper, the essence of science is falsification: the experimenter arranges his tests not to prove a theory, but to disprove it. If this occurs, new theories must be devised, and further experiments conducted. This is how science has progressed, and it has resulted in astounding advances in nearly all areas of endeavour, including biology and medicine. The ATOS test is the exact opposite of this. It has been devised and administered according to a narrowly and ideologically driven pre-conceived notion of what constitutes ‘fitness for work’, regardless of the personal needs and abilities of the individual to whom it is administered. It has been expressly designed to get as many people off benefit as possible according to the Neo-Liberal imperative of reducing government spending (but only on the poor). In this, it is strongly reminiscent of other pseudo-medical and pseudo-scientific fads, such as monkey glands, the removal of vestigial organs in order to make us more evolved, and the Stalinist ‘proletarian’ science of Lysenkoism. The only proper solution to this is to have ATOS shut down immediately, its wretched assessment permanently expunged from responsible, ethical medical practice. Oh yes, and the prosecution of Thierry Breton and his minions for culpable negligence and serious malpractice.

From the Skwawkbox: National media: Keogh says 13k NHS deaths! Keogh: er, no I don’t

July 16, 2013

There’s currently a lot of media coverage about the claim by the medical director of the NHS, Sir Bruce Keogh, that over 13,000 people have died in 14 NHS hospitals. The Telegraph led with this story yesterday. There is an excellent critique of it and the extremely flawed statistical system on which the claim is founded, over at the Skwawkbox. It begins

‘Please share widely, as this is huge and needs to become well-known before the report is published tomorrow.

As I wrote yesterday, the national media is running massive headlines claiming that a report by Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS, will state that 13,000 people died ‘needlessly’ in the 14 NHS hospitals currently under special investigation for supposed high mortality rates.

Image (of the Daily Telegraph’s page showing hospital)

As I pointed out, the death claims are completely unfounded and based on the misuse and misrepresentation of a deeply-flawed statistical system, and would still be completely unfounded even if the system were not deeply flawed. For more details of why, read here.

Well, it turns out that the report’s author, Sir Bruce Edward Keogh, KBE, FRCS, FRCP himself, also disagrees with the headlines about his own report….’

The full piece can be read here:
http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/national-media-keogh-says-13k-nhs-deaths-keogh-er-no-i-dont/

The Skwawkbox takes the line that this is another piece of Tory propaganda designed to soften the public up for the privatisation of the NHS. I strongly agree with his diagnosis. The Spectator has run a number of pieces arguing that American private health provision is far better than the current care in the NHS. I can also remember being told that one of the columnists in the Daily Mail, known for their attacks on the NHS, was married to a Tory advocate of privatisation. Roy Porter, the historian of medicine, in his book Blood and Guts also describes how the American doctors ran a propaganda campaign in the 1920 to prevent nationalisation over there. Private Eye published a report a little while ago showing how the Private Finance Initiative was the result of Tory plans for private firms to gain access to the NHS. The privatisation envisaged by the Tory health service reforms, and this piece in the Telegraph now going national, is part of that process and the falsified news spun to support it. The Skwawkbox has done an excellent job in tackling this.

Albrecht von Haller: 18th Century Scientist, Poet, Novelist and Church Planter

June 11, 2013

I’ve mentioned the great s18th century Swiss scientist and anatomist, Albrech von Haller, several times on this blog. Von Haller came from Berne in Switzerland, and was a pupil of the great Dutch scientist and doctor, Boerhaave. He was a student at the universities of Tubingen and Leyden. After graduating, he moved to London and Paris before finally accepting a post of Gottingen University, which had only recently been founded. He simulataneously occupied the chairs of anatomy, botany and medicine there for 17 years. It was under his management that Gottingen university managed to become one of the leading centres for medical research and teaching in Germany, so that it was compared to Leyden in the Netherlands. While at Gottingen he wrote 13,000 scientific papers. He also established botanical gardens, wrote a flora of Switzerland, and the first textbook solely devoted to physiology. This was in turn greatly expanded into the eight-volume edition published in 1757. This has led some historians of medicine to see von Haller as the founder of modern physiology. He also wrote novels and poetry. He was a man of deep religious faith. He founded churches, and his best-known poem, Die Alpen (The Alps) of 1729, considers God’s glory in the grandeur of the Swiss mountains. He was an evangelical Protestant with inclinations towards Pietism, but could also be strongly rationalist, so that he has been described as ‘thinking like a rationalist, and believing like a sincere Christian’. Clearly von Haller was a man of deep faith and a scientific and literary genius, who managed to combine literature, science and a deep commitment to Christianity in his career.

The Contribution of Roman Catholic Medical Missions to Health Care in the Developing World

June 6, 2013

The Roman Catholic Church has come in for a great deal of criticism recently for the apparent impact of its doctrines on the health of the peoples of the developing world. The Church’s prohibition on contraception and its doctrine of sexual abstinence except within marriage have been attacked by its secular opponents. They have accused the policy of allowing the spread of STDs and AIDS, and for contributing to these nations’ problems of overpopulation. In fact several non-Roman Catholic researchers have pointed out that the Church’s doctrines in these areas are not to blame for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Traditional African culture is strongly opposed to contraception, to the point where one joke states that they are the only things you can send through the post in West Africa that won’t be interfered with.

Irish Roman Catholic Opposition to President Reagan for his Support of Contras

It also needs to be pointed out that Roman Catholic charities are amongst the most active organisations working to combat disease and poverty in the Third World. Their members and supporters in the Developed World have criticised and denounced their leaders, when it has seemed that their policies have worked to harm and brutalise the very peoples for whom the charities work. When Ronald Reagan paid a state visit to Dublin in the 1980s, and went to speak at the University, many of the students at the great centre of learning boycotted the event, or led protests against him. The Irish were particularly involved with the Roman Catholic charities in the Third World, and particularly in South America. They were outraged at Reagan’s support for the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The Sandanista government was an undemocratic dictatorship, and its supporters also committed atrocities. However, most of the atrocities in that terrible conflict were committed by the Contras. They were responsible for massacres and mutilation on a truly horrific scale. Reagan’s administration not only supported the Contras, the president himself went as far as to call them the moral equivalent of America’s Founding Fathers. The result was widespread anger, and the boycott and protests by Irish Roman Catholics.

Two Examples of Roman Catholic Medical Missions: The Order of the Sisters of Mary and the Medical Mission Sisters

Some idea of the size of the Roman Catholic contribution to medical care in the Third World can be gained from the statistics for the Order of the Sisters of Mary in 1967. This order was founded in Drogheda in 1939. By 1967 the Order had sent 41 doctors, two dentists, 15 sister-tutors and 159 nurses to the Developing World. The Order had treated 946,647 patients. 131,647 of these were maternity patients. A further 13,909 people were treated for leprosy. Fourteen years later in 1981 the Medical Mission Sisters, otherwise knkown as Anna Dergel’s Foundation, based in Rome had 697 doctors working in the Third World. The Church and its charities have clearly made an immense contribution to medical care in teh Developing World, a fact deliberately overlooked by its fashionable secular opponents.

Ronald Ross: Christian Doctor who Discovered that Mosquitoes caused Malaria

June 6, 2013

One of the great medical discoveries has been that malaria is caused by mosquitoes, and specifically the microscopic parasite they carry. Before this discovery in the 19th century, it was believed that malaria was caused by bad air caused by rotting or filthy material. Hence the name of the disease, mala aria. The doctor who finally discovered that malaria was spread by mosquitoes was Ronald Ross, who was also a man of devout Christian faith. He went out as a young doctor in the Indian Army to find the parasite’s vector – the disease’s carrier – in the late 19th century. He worked, examining samples of mosquitoes for the parasite. Finally, on 2oth August 1897 he found the parasite in the stomach tissues of the anopheles mosquito. He had in fact nearly finished his research for the evening, and had frustrated by his apparent lack of success. His identification of the parasite in that mosquito made its identification as the disease’s vector certain. Ross was keenly aware how much this would improve the lives of millions of people in the future. He therefore wrote a series of verses praising the Lord for the discovery in a letter home to his wife.

Sadly, malaria is still responsible for millions of deaths throughout the world, and there are real concerns about the emergence of strains that are resistant to the current drugs. Nevertheless, it is doctors and researchers like Dr. Ross, whether they are Christians are not, who have saved many lives that would otherwise have been lost to the disease, and who are our best hope for combating it in the future.

Benjamin Rush: Quaker Medical Pioneer and American Revolutionary

May 25, 2013

One of the founders of American medicine is the Quaker, Benjamin Rush. A signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Rush was also a major figure in the temperance movement. He also advocated the abolition of public and capital punishment and the education of girls. His educational views also recommended that greater freedom be given to children. He was also a pioneer in American medicine. He was one of the founders of the first American medical school in Philadelphia, and was the first to hold the chair of the Institute of Medicine. He drew attention to focal sepsis, and his descriptions of yellow and Dengue fever are regarded as classics. He became increasingly broad in his denominational views in the later years of his life, but still remained deeply religious. In Rush, America had both a leading physician and an advocate of political freedom and enlightened government.

Girolamo Fracastoro: The Christian Father of Modern Pathology

May 15, 2013

Until the 19th century the favoured explanation for the origin and spread of disease was the miasma theory. This followed the ancient authors, who believed that disease was caused by bad smells. It’s the reason malaria has its name – mala aria, bad air. The germ theory of disease only became dominant in the 19th century, when medical science was able to confirm that disease was spread by micro-organisms. It is nevertheless a surprising fact that some physicians from the 16th century onwards came very close to a germ theory of disease. One of these was the classical Humanist and polymath Girolamo Fracastoro.

Fracastoro became a student at the University of Padua in 1501, the same year as Copernicus also enrolled at the university. He was interested in a wide range of scientific subjects, pursuing research and writing on medicine, pathology, physics, geology and astronomy. He also had good relations with the Church. In his long poem De Contagione et Contagiosis Morbis (Concerning the Contagion and Contagious Disease), published in 1546, Fracastoro advanced a modern theory of the spread of epidemics. He believed they were spread by little particles or seeds, and identified three different types of illness.

The first were those spread by person to person contact, such as leprosy, scabies and respiratory tuberculosis. The second were spread by utensils, beclothes and other items, with which infected people had come into contact. These were the vectors – the causes of transmission – of some of the fevers. The third type were diseases such as smallpox, that could travel great distances.

A similar explanation for the spread of disease was later advanced in the 18th century by the French Academy of Science to explain outbreaks of plague. These later physicians considered that it was spread by small spores. In this instance Fracastoro was clearly far ahead of his time.

Apart from his medical writing, he was the first to recognise and describe the magnetic poles, and one of the first to propose the modern origin of fossil beds. He can thus be considered a true Renaissance Christian man of science.