Sunday, May 11, 2014
Another one of Britain's multicultural doctors at work
Four young boys left without a father
A grieving widow has won a five-year-battle and £50,000 in damages, gaining justice for her husband who died after his GP mistook his deadly bowel cancer for piles.
Christopher Goodhead died aged 41 in January 2009, four years after going to see GP Dr Asim Islam complaining of rectal bleeding.
His widow Melissa Cutting claimed Dr Islam's inadequate examination - carried out on his first day at a new practice - caused a fatal delay in diagnosing her husband's condition.
Mr Goodhead, a father-of-four, was not told he had rectal cancer until June 2007 - just weeks after completing the London Marathon.
The IT expert, originally from Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, had visited the doctor two years earlier in April 2005 at The Stansted Surgery, in Essex, near his new home near Stowmarket, in Suffolk.
Lawyers for Mrs Cutting told London's High Court that Dr Islam carried out nothing more than a 'simple visual examination' and failed to thoroughly investigate the problems.
Dr Islam denied any responsibility for the death, and his legal team insist Mr Goodhead 'would have died in any event' - even with specialist treatment from 2005.
Judge Dame Frances Patterson, sitting at the High Court, has now ruled that 'with earlier treatment Mr Goodhead would have lived for a short further period of some four months until May 2009'.
Following a five-year court battle, Mrs Cutting today told MailOnline: 'This judgement acknowledges a terrible wrongdoing that resulted in the early death from bowel cancer of my soulmate and husband.
'It can't ever right it and bring Chris back to me and our four young boys, but it highlights the failings of his GP, Dr Islam, that denied Chris a two-year window of cure from his illness and meant that from the moment he was finally diagnosed he was given no hope of beating the cancer.
'I was very pleased that the wrong that was done to my husband was acknowledged. 'In particular, that Chris was absolved of any responsibility was very, very important to me. 'He did feel hugely responsible but he had only believed what he was told. It was a huge relief for me to get that.'
Paying tribute to her late husband, Mrs Cutting, who has since remarried, said: 'Chris was a really beautiful man, both inside and out. We were married for 14 years. We met and married within the year, and three weeks after meeting him I knew he was the one.
'He was the most wonderful husband and father, he had a good job, he never invented anything, he didn't change the world. 'But he was just a wonderful, wonderful family man and we were very, very happy together. 'The only dream we had was to grow old together, losing him was just the biggest nightmare.
'He was utterly devastated to have to leave his family at such a young age and in such a terrible way.
'He endured the most horrific treatments to try and prolong his time with us and it breaks my heart to know that he lost a significant opportunity to be cured, or at the very least to gain more time with us, simply because he wasn't given the advice he should have been given.
'A partner at Dr Islam's surgery said to me shortly after Chris's death that thank goodness I had the boys, because she questioned whether I would be here without them, and I think she was right.
'I hope and pray that this ruling may help to save other families going through what we've had to endure by encouraging GPs to be vigilant to the threat of bowel cancer, especially with younger patients, and also patients with symptoms of bowel cancer to be persistent in making sure their symptoms are properly investigated.'
She added: 'Finding out he would have only survived four months longer had he been diagnosed - while I understand how the judge had to look at it from a legal point of view - I think it is hard to take.
'We all know early diagnosis is very important when it comes to bowel cancer.
'Even Dr Islam's side admitted during the case that had Mr Goodhead been diagnosed two years earlier, he would have had a 46 per cent chance of being cured. 'Our side said he would have been cured - cured - not just survived for longer.
'The trouble is, in trying to establish what might have happened to Chris, data relating to older patients was bowel cancer had to be used.
'I personally still believe the evidence given by my oncologist that said Chris would have been cured had he been diagnosed in 2005.'
Mrs Cutting said the couple's four sons, now aged 10, 13, 15 and 16, have found the last five years 'incredibly difficult'.
'They have absolutely backed me, all the way,' she said. 'They just wanted to see justice done for their dad.'
While the full settlement and costs have yet to be decided, Mrs Cutting said the £1.25million the family could receive as a result, pales into insignificance in the face of the judge's ruling.
'All the focus has been on the money but I am not someone who wants that kind of money,' she told MailOnline. 'I have a lovely life in Suffolk, we have talked about helping a charity in Uganda.
'But the judge's finding has taken the money out of the equation, this is about the right and wrongs of what happened to Chris.
'From a personal point of view I want to get across the need for people to be really vigilant to the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.
'No matter how old you are, it can happen to anybody. Keep questioning your doctor, ask for second opinions, even if your doctor sounds certain.
'There is a lot more publicity about bowel cancer now than there was when Chris fell ill. Beating Bowel Cancer is an amazing charity.
'I would also urge GPs to be vigilant too, make sure you know about the signs and symptoms.'
Despite the anguish losing her husband has caused Mrs Cutting and her family, the mother-of-four said she holds no ill feelings towards Dr Islam, accepting everybody makes mistakes.
'I would have loved Dr Islam to have acknowledged earlier what had happened,' she added.
'The trial was horrendous for me and my family, you certainly wouldn't go through that if you didn't have to.
'It would have been great not to have had to go through it. But I don't want to ruin his reputation, he is just a man, everybody makes mistakes in life.
'I do forgive him. I have a new life and I want to look forward. The grief never leaves you, I can't even contemplate watching a video with Chris in, even now five years on.'
Feminist old bag resents an attractive woman
Legendary feminist scholar Gloria Jean Watkins ripped into Beyoncé during a panel discussion in New York this week, branding her 'anti-Feminist' and even a 'terrorist.'
Ain't I a Woman? author Gloria Jean Watkins - who goes by pen name 'bell hooks' was at a New School panel discussing the subject 'liberating the black female body' when she tackled the famous singer and her effect on young girls.
The subject was broached initially by Janet Mock, a transgendered activist and author, who wanted to discuss how inspirational she found the 32-year-old singer to be when writing her own book.
While noting she has issues with the controversial lyrics in Drunk in Love that refer to the domestic abuse between Ike and Tina Turner, for example, Mock lauded Mrs Carter for 'owning her body and claiming that space.'
But hooks disagreed: 'I see a part of Beyonce that is, in fact, anti-feminist - that is a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls.
'I actually feel like the major assault on feminism in our society has come from visual media and from television and videos.'
Queen Bey, of course, identifies herself as modern day Feminist and penned her own essay about the struggle to achieve gender equality.
Wearing a white bikini on a recent edition of Time, didn't advance the mother of one's case with bell. 'She probably had very little control over that cover, that image,' hooks said.
She added that she was adding to the 'construction of herself as a slave.'
Another panel member, Marci Blackman countered: 'Or she's using the same images that were used against her and us for so many years, and she's taking control over it and saying, "If y'all are going to make money off of it, so am I." There's collusion, perhaps, but there's also a bit of reclaiming, I think, if she's the one in control.'
She explained: 'Wealthy is what so many young people fantasize, dream about, sexualize, eroticize...and one could argue even more than her body is what that body stands for...wealth, fame, celebrity - all the things that so many people in our culture are lusting for, wanting.'
The radical voice continued: 'Let's say if Beyonce was a homeless woman who looked the same way, or a poor, down-and-out woman who looked the same way -would people be enchanted by her?
'Or is it the combination of all of those things that are at the heart of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy?'
The New Statesman on Islam: both craven political correctness and fearless dissent
There is little doubt in my mind that the New Statesman magazine is suffused with the worst political correctness and abject apologia at the success of Western, liberal, open, capitalistic society. To its great credit, however, it also often gives space to dissenters from that Guardianista orthodoxy.
Those two faces of its personality are well displayed in its issues of 2nd – 8th May.
In the leader column the New Statesman declares "overwhelmingly, most Muslims, whether as a minority in Europe and the United States or in countries where Islam is the dominant faith, are no more or less peaceful than any other people on planet". That may or may not be so.
But how peaceful do the Muslim majorities, let alone the Christian minorities, find it in countries under Muslim majority rule? How about Syria, or even Pakistan, where Christians by the hundred have been incinerated in their churches? Where does The New Statesman find Christian car bombers slaughtering the innocents in Nigeria, Afghanistan or Iraq? Is there a Christian Boko Haram in Nigeria? Yes, there was the Lord's Resistance Army but little support for it from Christians or non-believers.
Of course mainstream Christianity has its history of violence and sectarianism, but Northern Ireland excepted, those days are long gone.
The editorial's wilful blindness to reality is compounded further on by the question "So what should we tolerate here in this country, concerning the subservience of women, for example, and pursuit of an extreme agenda by violence?.' and the answer given is "The former is tolerated as a price of pluralism; the latter is plainly criminal."
I find myself wondering what would the New Statesman be saying about the sex-selective slaughter of unborn baby girls, female genital mutilation, forced marriage of young girls, divorce on the whim of husbands, but not of wives, if these were advocated and practised by The Plymouth Brethren, the Salvation Army or the Vatican.
The struggle between The New Statesman's liberal conscience is well expressed in the leading article's final paragraph: "… sensitivity to complex cultural dynamics … must not lure liberal and progressive minds into apology for unjustifiable acts or views."
Well amen to that, but it goes on to tell us to be "equally vigilant against Islamophobia and against the misogyny, homophobia and anti-Semitism of radical Muslim preachers…"
That mythical beast, the PushMePullYou, is alive and well, being nourished at The New Statesman.
To the credit of the magazine, it also contains the antidote to its own leader column in the same edition in the substantial article by David Selbourne entitled "The Challenge of Islam". Perhaps I should compromise myself with one and a half cheers for the New Statesman.
David Selbourne: The challenge of Islam
The [Leftist] author was asked by John Kerry to write a briefing paper on the Islamist threat. He explains here what he told the US secretary of state and why he feels progressives have allowed themselves to be silenced by frightened self-censorship and the stifling of debate
A beheading in Woolwich, a suicide bomb in Beijing, a blown-up marathon in Boston, a shooting in the head of a young Pakistani girl seeking education, a destroyed shopping mall in Nairobi – and so it continues, in the name of Islam, from south London to Timbuktu. It is time to take stock, especially on the left, since these things are part of the world’s daily round.
Leave aside the parrot-cry of “Islamophobia” for a moment. I will return to it. Leave aside, too, the pretences that it is all beyond comprehension. “Progressives” might ask instead: what do Kabul, Karachi, Kashmir, Kunming and a Kansas airport have in common? Is it that they all begin with “K”? Yes. But all of them have been sites of recent Islamist or, in the case of Kansas, of wannabe-Islamist, attacks; at Wichita Airport planned by a Muslim convert ready to blow himself up, and others, “in support of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”. “We cannot stop lone wolves,” a British counterterrorism expert told us after Woolwich. Are they “lone”? Of course not.
A gas facility in southern Algeria, a hospital in Yemen, an Egyptian police convoy in the Sinai – it’s complex all right – a New Year’s party in the southern Philippines, a railway station in the Caucasus, a bus terminal in Nigeria’s capital, and on and on, have all been hit by jihadis, with hostages taken, suicide belts detonated, cars and trucks exploded, and bodies blown to bits. And Flight MH370? Perhaps. In other places – in Red Square and Times Square, in Jakarta and New Delhi, in Amman and who-knows-where in Britain – attacks have been thwarted. But in 2013 some 18 countries got it in the neck (so to speak) from Islam’s holy warriors.
There are battlefields and battlefields in this conflict. Some are theatres of actual or potential civil war, most often when Sunnis and Shias are at each other’s throats on behalf, respectively, of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Other battlefields are in failed or failing Muslim states, others again where the “infidel” has unwisely intruded upon and assaulted Muslim lands. At the same time, weapons and warriors are in constant movement in Islam’s cause across dissolving national boundaries, many of them of western colonialism’s creation. And in India, with its 175 million Muslims, their mujahedin will be in action soon enough if Hindu nationalists come to power this month.
Jihadist groups, from Pakistan to the Philippines, also fight each other. But for the most part they are consolidating and expanding – often as affiliates of al-Qaeda – in the Arabian Peninsula, in the Maghreb, in Somalia and Kenya, in Iraq and Syria, in Gaza, in Bangladesh and in south-east Asia. There are separatist or secessionist Islamic insurgencies, too, from Russia’s Caucasus to north-west China, in southern Thailand, in Burma, in northern Nigeria and in divided Kashmir.
Warriors for Islam, believing that they are under “infidel” threat, today range an increasingly frontier-less world. That’s “globalisation” too. A car-bombing in New York – which failed – was planned by a Pakistani-American trained in a tribal area of northern Waziristan. Many would-be warriors from western countries learned their skills from Taliban instructors, going on to fight in Iraq as they now fight in Syria. There, ubiquitous “Bearers of the Sword” and “Defenders of the Faith” from Britain and France, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, and even Uighurs from Chinese Xinjiang, are to be found armed to the teeth in the battle against Assad while being trained for future combat in their countries of origin.
In the Islamist merry-go-round, jihadis from Libya – after the country’s collapse – went on to Syria, Tunisian holy warriors crossed into Mali, Egyptian and Canadian Muslim fighters were among the attackers on the refinery in Algeria, and Somalis from Minnesota have returned home to join al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda affiliate that carried out the Kenyan mall attack. Ugandan Islamists are in eastern Congo, and a Malaysian army captain was linked to two of the 9/11 hijackers. Beat this? No.
It is not “Islamophobia” that registers these facts. Instead, there is an objective historical need, and duty, to record radical Islam’s many-sided and determined advance upon the “infidel” world. Most still do not know what manner of force – the millions of peaceful Muslims notwithstanding – has struck it. And, with its own arms and ethics, it will continue to do so, perhaps till kingdom come.
Here US and western defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq – what else were they? – weigh heavily in the scale of things. In Afghanistan, despite the loss of many thousands of lives and at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, with huge waste and corruption by military contractors and with reliance on unsavoury local satraps, the Taliban remain active throughout the land. Even the US-trained Afghan army is riddled with their supporters. Yet American illusion has seen victory in the coming retreat, and in defeat a “mission accomplished”, in David Cameron’s absurd judgement.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan, set to recover from yet another western incursion into its land, has entered a long-term security pact with Iran. Similarly in Iraq, years of death and destruction and billions in reconstruction grants mostly lost to local and US corruption have left no stable government nor a reliable western ally. Instead, there is an intensifying Shia-Sunni civil war, with thousands of dead in 2013, while al-Qaeda insurgents have reconquered areas in western Iraq previously “captured” – another illusion – by US marines.
The complexities (and double-games) of the Islamic world are a labyrinth for the “infidel”. It is a labyrinth that western reason, such as it now is, has never mastered, and that it cannot master now with hellfire missiles and unmanned drones.
After all, the political wing of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood calls itself the “Freedom and Justice” party – well, yes and no, and it certainly offers little freedom or justice to women. Again, some of the Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia included, pose as western allies and host US air and naval bases but give covert support to selected jihadist groups. And what does the western illusionist make of the fact that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and are said to have had covert financial and logistical support from Saudi diplomats and intelligence officials?
There is little in all this for “progressives” to cheer. Yet the left continues covertly to celebrate US foreign policy blunders and defeats, while the naive see jihadists as a minority of “fanatics”. It is not so simple. To add to the confusion, President Obama’s stances, however well intentioned, have made their own contribution to the Islamic renaissance. Or as he expressed it in a speech in Cairo in June 2009, America and Islam “share common principles . . . of justice and progress, tolerance” – tolerance? – “and the dignity of all human beings”.
In Shia Iran, memories of the historic Persian empire are quickening as Tehran’s foes flail around in the face of its ayatollahs’ ambitions and wiles. Above all, Iran has got the west on the ropes with its nuclear programme. The interim “freeze” to its uranium enrichment activities was not what it seemed; on Iranian TV on 21 February Behrouz Kamalvandi, of the national Atomic Energy Organisation, declared that the country’s nuclear commitments were “temporary and non-obligatory”. Iran still has a stockpile of enriched uranium, and still has tens of thousands of centrifuges, with nuclear research continuing, including on new advanced centrifuges. A “freeze” on further enrichment up to weapons grade, and a “downgrading” of some of its existing stockpile to less potent levels, were more tokens than substance. It left Iran usefully on the cusp of producing a nuclear weapon within a very short time, if (or when) it chooses, while it can continue to develop and test ballistic missiles.
With more than 500 executions, including for “waging war on God”, since the “moderate” Rowhani came to office – more per capita, one might say, than any other country – with its new pact with Afghanistan, its joint naval manoeuvres with Pakistan, its growing influence in Iraq, its behind-the-scenes accords with Russia, its improving relations with Islamising Turkey (and even with Jordan and Morocco), its dominance over Damascus, its ambitions to rule the Gulf and with two warships despatched in January to the Atlantic, Iran’s present course is clear. Moreover, the true secret of the nuclear “deal” was that Iran does not yet need a nuclear weapon, but it did urgently need sanctions relief. With its Revolutionary Guard shipping arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to Hamas in Gaza, it will move on to nuclear weapons in its own good time.....
To the aid of Islam has also come the betrayal by much of today’s left of its notionally humane principles, as Christians are assaulted and murdered (shades of what was done to the Jews in the 1930s) and their churches desecrated and destroyed from Egypt to the Central African Republic, from Iran to Indonesia, and from Pakistan to Nigeria. Islam can kill its own apostates, too; in many Muslim countries denies reciprocity to other faiths in rights of worship; and seeks to prevent reasoned discussion about its beliefs by attempted resort to blasphemy laws.
So where is the old left’s centuries-long espousal of free speech and free thought? Where is the spirit of Tom Paine? The answer is simple. It has been curbed by frightened self-censorship and by the stifling of debate, in a betrayal of the principles for which “progressives” were once prepared to go to the stake. And just as some Jews are too quick to call anti-Zionists “anti-Semites”,
so some leftists are too quick to tar critics of Islam as “Islamophobes”.
To add to such falsehoods come the illusionists of every stripe, with their unknowing, simplistic or false descriptions of Islam as a “religion of peace”. Even today’s Pope – as the Christian faithful were being harried, persecuted or put to the sword in Nigeria, Syria, Iraq and beyond – told the world in November 2013 that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence”. But read the text yourself, and you will see that jihadists can find plenty justification for the acts they commit, even if most Muslims are pacific.
Karl Marx was wiser than the Pope. In March 1854, he wrote that for “Islamism” – the word was already in use – “the Infidel is the enemy” and that the Quran “treats all foreigners as foes”.
The present renaissance of Islam, additionally provoked, as ever, by western aggressions against its lands, is an old story of swift movement and conquest, as in the 7th century. Is something like it stirring again? Perhaps; you decide. In 50 years’ time the world will know for sure.
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.