Thursday, November 28, 2013
Multicultural medicine in Britain
A neurosurgeon who lied repeatedly to a patient, falsely telling her he had removed her brain tumour, has been struck off for 'reckless and deplorable misconduct'.
Emmanuel Kingsley Labram convinced his patient and her husband that she did not need further treatment by insisting she was cured for two years after the failed operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in September 2008.
He then lied to colleagues and forged documents to keep up the deception, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has heard.
When Labram told her the lesion had ‘recurred’ in 2010 she then decided to seek private treatment, which was partially successful, but the tumour was inoperable.
Labram did not attend the professional disciplinary hearing in Manchester, which resumed today after a three month delay.
The fitness to practise panel, chaired by Dr Howard Freeman, ruled the doctor may have genuinely believed he had removed the lesion.
But he was found guilty of misleading and dishonest conduct for trying to cover his tracks when he realised this was not the case.
The panel today found him guilty of serious misconduct and ruled his fitness to practise medicine was impaired as a result.
Labram’s name will be erased from the General Medical Council’s register of doctors in 28 days, subject to his legal right of appeal, although the panel decided to impose an immediate order of suspension so he can’t work during that time.
The case had heard that after developing double vision on holiday in November 2007, the woman - known as Patient A - consulted her optician and was referred to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
An MRI scan revealed a tumour about one inch in diameter in an area in her brain known as the cavernous sinus and she saw Labram to discuss her options in June 2008.
She decided to go ahead with an operation and underwent surgery at the hands of Labram on September 2, 2008.
Giving evidence earlier, Patient A said: ‘There was something going on inside my head and I really needed to find out what it is so Mr Labram offered me that.
‘If there was a good chance of removing the tumour that’s fantastic. That’s how I felt.
‘He explained how he would open up my head and try to remove the tumour and obviously the biopsy would be taken and sent to the pathologist and we would find out what type of tumour it is.’
After the operation Mr Labram told her it had been a success and explained to her husband that he had removed ‘100 per cent’ of the tumour.
But he only removed four tiny hard pale fragments, which could not even be used to determine what the tumour was as they were ‘non-diagnostic samples’.
Patient A said: ‘He said it’s all gone. He said it was just calcium deposits. That’s how he described it.’ Labram then sent letters to the patient’s GP telling him that no further treatment was necessary.
In January 2009, the surgeon altered a pathology report and sent a forged copy to his patient in order to conceal the fact she might need further treatment.
In May 2010 he told her he did not know the tumour was present when he operated on her and gave her another doctored pathology report with the author’s signature ‘cut and pasted’ in.
Opening the case Craig Sephton QC, had earlier told the hearing: ‘This is a case where it is difficult to understand why Mr Labram initially told the patient and her husband that he had completely removed the lesion when he must have known that no such thing had happened.
‘He then lied and lied and lied in order to cover up his initial failure and the GMC will therefore invite you to conclude that is what has happened.’
Patient A made a complaint, and the hospital’s medical director ordered an investigation - but the doctor was able to continue working until October last year, when he took early retirement.
When quizzed about his actions during an internal disciplinary meeting in January 2011, Labram admitted his deception but said ‘he did not want to cause further stress to the patient,’ the tribunal heard.
Panel chairman Dr Howard Freeman said: ‘The panel considers that Mr Labram’s misconduct put Patient A at serious risk of harm, he abused his position of trust and he violated Patient A’s rights.
‘The panel is satisfied that Mr Labram’s conduct constitutes a very serious departure from the fundamental tenets of good medical practice.
‘Whilst the panel accepts that Mr Labram’s misconduct relates to a single episode it is concerned that his dishonest behaviour was persistent and covered up.
Dr Freeman said: ‘The panel considers that Mr Labram has displayed a reckless disregard for the principles set out in good medical practice.
‘The panel is of the view that patients and the public are entitled to expect medical practitioners to act with integrity.
‘It considers that Mr Labram has abused the position of trust which the public are entitled to place int he medical profession and that his behavior is unacceptable and fundamentally incompatible with his continued registration.’
Dr Freeman explained that the panel had taken into account Labram’s ‘long and distinguished career’ into account, including a period where he was the only surgeon involved in spinal intra-medullary lesions in the North East of Scotland.
But his misconduct was so serious, the chairman said, that it was fundamentally incompatible with him continuing to work as a doctor.
‘The panel is of the view that Mr Labram’s behaviour would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners and by the public.’
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to HHS Contraception Mandate
The Supreme Court agreed on noon Tuesday to hear a challenge to the controversial HHS contraception mandate. The mandate requires businesses to provide contraception to employees, even if their religious beliefs disagreed with contraception.
From the Associated Press:
The key issue is whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Nearly four years ago, the justices expanded the concept of corporate "personhood," saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do.
The administration wants the court to hear its appeal of the Denver-based federal appeals court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain that calls itself a "biblically founded business" and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance. The Green family, Hobby Lobby's owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said corporations can be protected by the 1993 law in the same manner as individuals, and "that the contraceptive-coverage requirement substantially burdens Hobby Lobby and Mardel's rights under" the law.
On November 1, a court ruled that requiring craft store chain Hobby Lobby to provide contraception violated the religious freedom of the owners.
The decision on this case is expected in June.
There are individual haters on the right and individual haters on the left. But there is no large-scale hatred in the United States of America today that compares with the hatred of the left for the right.
Whereas the right regards the left as wrong -- even destructively wrong -- the left regards all those on the right as evil. Sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted -- these are typical descriptions of the right made by the most respected names on the left. This hatred is what enabled MSNBC's Martin Bashir to broadcast -- reading from a teleprompter, meaning that it was not spontaneous -- that Sarah Palin deserves to have someone defecate into her mouth. (He later offered a serious apology.)
But among all of the left's hatreds, none compares with its hatred of anyone who believes that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and a woman. The left believes anyone, or any business, that supports the only gender-based definition of marriage that had ever existed should be politically, personally and economically destroyed. Recall, for example, the left's attempt to drive out of business a restaurant in Los Angeles because one of its employees donated one hundred dollars to California's Proposition 8, the left's boycott of Chick-fil-A and the left's vicious attacks on the Mormon Church.
This greatest of contemporary American hatreds expressed itself again in the last two weeks after Liz Cheney, running for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator from Wyoming, said that she believes in the traditional definition of marriage.
The comment would have probably gone almost universally unreported were it not for a Facebook post written by Heather Poe, the woman who is married to Liz's lesbian sister, Mary Cheney:
"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 -- she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."
Mary Cheney shared the message on her own Facebook page, adding, "Liz -- this isn't just an issue on which we disagree --you're just wrong -- and on the wrong side of history."
This triggered a tsunami of left-wing hate against Liz.
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni:
"Isn't there a tradition of close-knit family members' taking care not to wound one another? ... Liz and Mary aren't speaking to each other now, and there's a long shadow over the Cheneys' holiday get-togethers. Is any political office worth that? ... I'm imagining her awkwardness the next time that she goes to hug or kiss them (and I'm assuming that she's a hugger or kisser, which may be a leap)."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd:
" ... the spectacle of Liz, Dick and Lynne throwing Mary Cheney and her wife, Heather Poe, and their two children under the campaign bus. ... Dick's Secret Service code name was once 'Backseat.' Liz's should be 'Backstab.'"
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson:
"Liz Cheney is also the sort of person who would not only throw her sister under the bus but also effectively do the same to her sister's young son and daughter. ... The Cheney sisters, once extremely close, reportedly haven't spoken since the summer. What price political ambition?"
Blogger Andrew Sullivan:
"I would like to respond on behalf of Mary and Heather and the rest of us: f--k [Sullivan, of course, spelled out the word] your compassion. ... You cannot publicly attack your own sister's family and say you love her as well. It does not compute."
On Anderson Cooper's CNN program, Sullivan repeated these themes, and was echoed by fellow left-wing panelists Peter Beinart and Jeffrey Toobin.
The hatred of the left on this issue is matched only by the superficiality of their arguments.
Let's get this straight: it is not throwing people under the bus to disagree with a relative -- even if the relative lives out something you oppose.
Some questions for Bruni, Robinson, Dowd, Sullivan, Beinart and Toobin:
1. Imagine a person who opposes unwed motherhood (that is, single women voluntarily getting pregnant). Further imagine that this person has an unwed sister who did get pregnant and is now an unwed mother. Do you deny that such a person can love their sister even while opposing unwed motherhood? Or do you believe that if one loves a family member, one must cease holding any conviction that runs against that family member's behavior? That continuing to hold that conviction means throwing the family member under the bus?
2. Do you believe that it is morally acceptable for all gays to stop speaking to their siblings -- one of the worst things a person can do to a sibling and to one's parents -- solely because the sibling believes in the man-woman definition of marriage? Or do you only defend Mary Cheney's decision to cut off relations with her sister because you hate the Cheneys?
3. When a Jewish or Catholic parent or sibling speaks out against interfaith marriage, should the intermarried member of the family stop speaking to that parent or sibling?
I have received numerous emails from parents and siblings of gays who have completely cut off communications with their parents and siblings solely because those parents and siblings oppose same-sex marriage. In my view, this decision to shatter one's family over this issue is the real immorality here.
The support of Bruni, Robinson, Dowd, Sullivan, Beinart and Toobin for this shattering of families by gay family members is not only morally wrong. It is frightening. Clearly, for them it is not enough for parents and siblings to show their gay family member love -- and even celebrate their gay relative's family -- they must also permanently shut their mouths.
This is not only left-wing hatred. It is left-wing totalitarianism: Your good and kind behavior is completely insufficient. You must also speak and think as we do. Or we will destroy you.
Sydney conference hears Australian Muslims experience higher rates of racism
And that will continue while senior Muslim clerics preach hatred of Australian society. It is the Mullahs who make it hard for other Muslims -- JR
An international conference on what it means to be an Australian Muslim has heard that most Muslims experience much higher rates of racism than the average Australian.
The two day conference has been organised by Charles Sturt University's Centre for Islamic studies and Civilisation, along with the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia.
The Centre's director, Mehmet Ozalp says the inaugural conference is needed to examine what it means to be an Australian Muslim in the 21st century.
He says there is a focus on young people, including the impact of the internet and radical forces.
"There is an identity crisis that always comes with being young but also being a young Muslim makes it even deeper and more profound", he said.
"There are people pulling in different directions but what we found in our research is that by and large Muslims want to integrate into Australia."
One of the speakers, Professor Kevin Dunn from the University of Western Sydney says while most Australian Muslims have the same issues as everyone else in Sydney about housing, jobs and education, there is one difference.
"In one important respect Muslims are extraordinary or the Muslim experience is extraordinary in Sydney and that is their rates of experience of racism," he said.
"So for instance we know from the "challenging racism" national surveys that about 17 per cent of people will have experienced racism in the workplace, but for Muslims our surveys are showing that's as high as 60 per cent."
He says it is important Australia's political, social and religious leaders acknowledge the damage such racism can do to social cohesion.
"It's why it's very important for our leaders, for our public documents and proclamations that this is a multicultural and multifaith nation."
Sarah El-Assaad, 24, who is a student of Islamic Studies and NSW lawyer, says she never questioned her identity as an Australian until comments were made to her, especially when she decided to wear the Muslim headscarf or hijab.
She said some of the comments involved a client, as well as colleagues.
"I've had a few confrontational moments in my life where it has sort of shocked me to feel that I wasn't a part of what I thought I was a part of," she said.
Mr Ozalp says while there a small minority of Australian Muslims become radicalised because of overseas events and other issues, generally such events actually bring the broader Muslim community together and help them find their place in Australia.
"It pushes other Muslims to define who they are as Australian Muslims - it has ironically a galvanising effect," he said.
Roy Morgan poll
Meanwhile, the anti-islamist group the Q Society has published the results of its commissioned survey done by Roy Morgan research.
The Q Society was responsible for bringing right wing anti-islamist Dutch MP Geert Wilders to Australia earlier this year.
The poll found 70 per cent of those questioned believe Australia is not a better place because of Islam.
The survey, completed in late October, found 50 per cent of those questioned also wanted full face coverings banned from public spaces.
A spokesman for the Q Society says around 600 people were questioned nationally in the poll.
The poll included questions asking participants' opinion about statements such as: "Australia is becoming a better place as a result of islam" to which 70 per cent responded "no".
Other questions included: "As you may be aware, some countries' governments have implemented bans on wearing clothing in public that fully covers the face, like the islamic burqa. In your opinion, should Australia introduce similar laws?"
53 per cent responded "yes".
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.