Sunday, February 22, 2015

Patients outraged after 'excellent' GP, 60, suspended because he couldn't touch type and struggled with 'endless admin'

Bookwork is sacred.  Far more important than patients

A patient group has defended its 'excellent' GP after he was suspended from practice because he failed to manage 'endless' reams of paperwork.

Dr Nihal Elapatha had his contract at his GP surgery terminated after a hearing found his performance was 'unacceptable'.

The 65-year-old had worked at the Rochester Healthy Living Centre for 13 years before he was suspended last March.

But a tribunal found his record keeping was 'inadequate' and that he did not arrange the appropriate treatment or tests for patients.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service also heard that Dr Elapatha was unable to touch-type and was not able to record everything that happened during an appointment.

The fitness to practise panel noted: 'He could not type onto the medical record everything that took place during a single 10-minute consultation.'

It adds: 'He had no touch typing ability and used his index fingers of both hands and one thumb on the space bar to make medical notes.'

Dr Elapatha's practice was described as 'high demand, high volume where one has to work as though on a conveyor belt'.

The panel suspended him for a year despite hearing that none of his patients were harmed in any way due to medical negligence or malpractice.

However the hearing was also told all Dr Elapatha's patient satisfaction surveys were above the Medway and national average.

Since the hearing, more than 650 people have signed a petition supporting Dr Elapatha.

Patient Mandy Richardson-Mills, 42, said Dr Elapatha 'saved her life' and that he should not have been suspended because of 'endless admin'.

She said: 'The whole situation is just disgusting and they were just trying to find a way to get rid of him.

'He literally saved my life and saved my ex-partner's life too. He was always there to support me and still is.

'He has got a whole lot of support. He is a good doctor and that should be the priority over endless admin.

'He was always there to treat his patients and he did a wonderful job. I can't praise him highly enough.

'There is a ridiculous amount of pressure on GPs. He is in his 60s and can't type, bless him. That doesn't make him a bad doctor.'

Since Dr Elapatha left the surgery last March, services for around 2,000 patients at the surgery in Rochester, Kent, have been covered by locums.

He has since taken remedial action by investing in new software, technical training and learning how to touch type.

The panel, which concluded on January 30, found that a permanent ban would not be appropriate.  Chairman Linda Buchanan said: 'The panel found that Dr Elapatha had limited insight into his failings.  'It notes that initially, Dr Elapatha did appear to acknowledge that his record-keeping was inadequate and this was noted in the panel's determination on impairment.

'However, he appears to minimise his failings and therefore there is little reassurance that he will not act similarly in the future.

'The panel has determined that, given the serious nature of the findings and potential risk to patient safety, it is necessary for the protection of members of the public for Dr Elapatha's registration to be suspended immediately.'


Villagers ordered to stop using their local phone box as a book exchange because someone could get hurt

BT has ordered villagers to remove books from a phone box which was turned into popular mini library in case someone gets hurt.

The traditional red kiosk in South Bar, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, was converted into the informal book exchange last summer after locals put up a set of shelves for around 40 tomes.

But now a notice has gone up from the telecoms giant warning that the library must be removed as it was worried it could injure someone.

Attached to the front of the phone box, the note stated that BT was 'concerned the books and shelving could cause injury if they were to fall.'

The company warned villagers they had until March 3rd to take down the tiny library, or 'we'll be obliged to remove them.'

North Oxfordshire MP Sir Tony Baldry added that he was 'at a loss' to understand the move.  'I don't actually think people are queuing up there to make telephone calls and I would be amazed if any telephone user had felt threatened by a few books,' he said.

One resident, Tom Christy, said: 'It would be horrible if all that goodwill in the community had to stop. It would be really sad. The shelf looks fairly sturdy to me. I'd have it in my house.

'My message to BT would be 'Have a little heart, think it through. Surely there is some way that they can sort it out to everyone's benefit.'

The notice goes onto say BT 'understands the good intentions' behind the project, but asks that the books, shelving and signs advertising it 'be removed as soon as possible'.

Libraries have opened in phone boxes across the country with the cooperation of parish councils, local authorities and charities. In all, 2,400 boxes have been adopted for £1 for all sorts of uses – book exchanges, heart defibrillators, libraries, coffee bars, and a pub.

But BT said no-one in South Bar had sought their permission before the kiosk was turned into a book exchange.  A spokesman said: 'The flimsy, Heath Robinson shelf was put into a phone box that is very well used.  'Unfortunately no one asked to use it for books. There were 1,093 calls made from this box in the past year.

'We then had a complaint about the wobbly shelving from a Banbury resident and we can't just ignore it. Imagine If we had ignored it and little Janet or John had been injured by a collapsing shelf and books.

'If people want to adopt a phone box in Banbury please contact us at: and we will see if we can open a new chapter in this running saga, and book worms in Banbury can review the situation and plot a new course for a library.'


In Defence of the British Empire

On Thursday the 19th February 2015, Sean Gabb and Keir Martland, both members of the Libertarian Alliance Executive Committee, spoke at a debate organised by the Manchester University Student Union on whether the legacy of the British Empire should be regretted. Both spoke against the motion.

Sean Gabb said that empires are a regrettable fact of history. The British Empire was not the first or last, and not at all the worst. Rather than condemned for its faults, which were common to all empires, it should be praised for its virtues, which were unique to our own country.

Keir Martland elaborated on the virtues of the British Empire – the suppression of the slave trade and slavery, the suppression of banditry and piracy, the spread of English law and science and the English language to formerly benighted regions of the world.

Their speeches were not always well-received by the audience, but were not greatly disrupted. Sean did his usual impersonation of a Soviet tank, not stopping even when someone began to shout obscenities. Top marks to Keir, who was brought in at the last moment for his first public debate, and who was steady under enemy fire. A fine debut.

SOURCE. Audio file at link

Three Myths of Rape That Need Sunlight

By Wendy McElroy

A pivot point occurred within feminism on the issue of rape in 1975 when the book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape by Susan Brownmiller appeared. In its pages, Brownmiller attempted to chart the history of rape from the Neanderthal through to modern man, placing great emphasis on periods of war and crisis. Against Our Will reportedly gave rape its history. It became a founding document of the "rape culture," which further propelled the feminist movement from liberalism to political correctness, which has also been called gender or radical feminism.

In her book, Brownmiller maintained that rape is the primary mechanism through which men subjugate women. "Man's discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to generate fear must rank as one of the most important discoveries of prehistoric times, along with the use of fire, and the first crude stone ax. From prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function. It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear." [Emphasis in the original.]

Some of today's most prevalent myths about rape were cemented into the culture by Brownmiller. In particular, Brownmiller presented three interrelated myths:

1. rape is a part of patriarchy;

2. men have created a 'mass psychology' of rape; and,

3. rape is a part of 'normal' life.

I dispute each one of them.

[Note: This article addresses the origin of myths and terms that still wield great influence within feminism, academia, politics and our culture. Some concepts have evolved or expanded in meaning. "Patriarchy" is an example; there is currently a debate on whether all men benefit from "white male culture" or whether the "patriarchy" refers to internal social structures that can oppress people regardless of their gender. Other concepts have not drifted far from their origin. In both cases, it is not possible to understand the current expression of ideas without some understanding of their roots.]

Rape is a part of patriarchy.

The word "patriarchy" is Greek and means "rule of the father." Adrienne Rich – a key philosopher of PC feminism – offered what has become a fairly standard definition of "patriarchy" in her book Of Woman Born (1977): "Patriarchy is the power of the fathers: a familial – social, ideological, political system in which men – by force, direct pressure or through ritual, tradition, law, and language, customs, etiquette, education, and the division of labor, determine what part women should or shall not play, and in which the female is everywhere subsumed under the male."

The definition is often expanded to include capitalism as an aspect of patriarchy. This reflects the input of highly influential theorists like Catherine MacKinnon who referred to PC feminism as "post-Marxist." She meant that PC feminism largely accepted the Marxism context but not its claim that economic status determined class affiliation. Gender was the salient factor. Men, as a class, had constructed institutions, such as the free market and the traditional family, which needed to be deconstructed.

Refuting the concept of a North American patriarchy needs its own book; this column deals with patriarchy in passing and points to more plausible causes of rape. Regarding patriarchy, suffice it to say, those who promote the concept need to ignore many facts. For example, men and women are victims of domestic violence at virtually the same rate; men constitute the vast majority of prisoners; if prison populations are included, men and women are probably raped at virtually the same rate; they are far more likely to be murdered or die in war; anti-male violence by women is accepted in the popular culture and often causes laughter.

If not patriarchy, what does explain rape? A casualty of this myth has been research. Studies on the causes (plural) of rape have almost dried up because – as any right thinking person knows – there is only one cause: patriarchy. During the heyday of liberal feminism and sexual curiosity, Research was more sophisticated. In their book, The Crime and Consequences of Rape (1982), Charles W. Dean, Mary de Bruyn-Kops, Charles C. Thomas, reported, "The Kinsey study, begun in the 1950s and completed after Kinsey's death by Gebhard and associates, classified seven types of rapists: assaultive, amoral, drunken, explosive, double-standard, mental defective and psychotic ..."

People murder for money, for love, out of jealousy or patriotism – the rationalizations go on and on. Rape is every bit as complex. Men and women rape because of sexual hunger, a need to prove themselves, hatred of women or a desire for revenge, as a political statement or from peer pressure (as in gang rapes). Men and women rape from a constellation of complicated motives, which become further blurred when there is alcohol or drug use.

But it is no longer proper to suggest that there could be as many motives for rape as there are for other violent crimes. Other explanations for rape are defined out of possibility.

Men have created a 'mass psychology' of rape.

Brownmiller's second myth is that men have created a mass psychology of rape. Throughout the book, Brownmiller dips in and out of history, selecting whatever supports her statement. Some references have little to no connection with reality. For example, she quotes from fiction works. She also points to historical evidence that is difficult to credit. When Brownmiller speaks of prehistoric man as the beginning of man's use of "his genitalia ... as a weapon," for example, the reader is left to wonder where she acquired her amazing knowledge of Neanderthals and their sexual attitudes.

Contradicting references are dismissed in passing, if mentioned at all. At one point, Brownmiller notes, "People often ask what the classic Greek myths reveal about rape. Actually, they reveal very little ..." Yet these myths are widely held to be archetypes of human psychology. If Brownmiller wishes to argue for a continuum of male oppression, she cannot chose only the fiction, historical tidbits and anecdotes that favor her.

Yet, even with a careful sifting of history and fiction, Brownmiller's evidence does not support her conclusion: namely, that rape "is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear." To punch up the argument, she introduces statistics that allegedly 'prove' the mass psychology of rape. (For a refutation of high statistics, especially the "1 in 4 or 1 in 5 women will be raped" figure, please see my earlier Daily Bell column "The Proofiness of the Politically Correct Rape." Many sources on the flawed data used by PC feminists are in the commentary thread.)

But let me take the inflated statistics at face value. A rape rate of 25% means that 75% of women will not be raped. Even assuming a one-to-one correlation between victims and rapists – that is, assuming no serial rapists – this means 75% of men will never rape. Indeed, many men would come to the defense of an attacked woman.

The foregoing math may seem obvious. But the claim of a "mass psychology of rape" or a "rape culture" makes it necessary to state the obvious. And it raises a question. What other group in our culture could be castigated in this manner without a backlash? If all blacks or bisexuals were accused of being sadists or benefiting from sadism, people would howl in protest.

And lest a single man escape rape accusations by pleading that he had never contemplated committing the act, Brownmiller explains how good intentions and good behavior do not exonerate him. "Once we accept as basic truth that rape is not a crime of irrational, impulsive, uncontrollable lust, but is a deliberate, hostile, violent act of degradation and possession on the part of a would-be conqueror, designed to intimidate and inspire fear, we must look toward those elements in our culture that promote and propagandize these attitudes, which offer men ... the ideology and psychological encouragement to commit their acts of aggression without awareness, for the most part, that they have committed a punishable crime, let alone a moral wrong." [Italics in original]

Brownmiller is correct. If we accept her position "as basic truth," then her conclusions follow. But such a theory allows for no contradictory evidence. There is no possibility – through action, thought or word – for a man to escape the charge of rape. It becomes axiomatically and ideologically true.

Rape is a part of 'normal' life.

Brownmiller's third myth is that rape is part of normal life. To reach this conclusion, Brownmiller makes great leaps of logic. For example, chapter after chapter of Against Our Will dwells upon rape during times of war and severe societal turmoil. Because men rape in times of war and upheaval, she concludes that rape is part of 'normal' life. But the very circumstances highlighted are not expressions of normal life but evidence of its breakdown. Arguing from the extreme, Brownmiller draws conclusions about the normal. This is a fallacy. It is akin to concluding, "men kill in war; therefore, peacetime murder is the norm."

Against Our Will arrives at the third myth via ideological bias, not empirical research. Although Brownmiller's book is sometimes taken for a chronicle of historical fact, a strong political slant underlies the presentation of those cherry-picked facts. Consider Brownmiller's opinion of private property: "Concepts of hierarchy, slavery and private property flowed from, and could only be predicated upon, the initial subjugation of woman."

In her book Sexual Personae, the self-identified 'dissident' feminist Camille Paglia offered a more plausible relationship between society and rape. Paglia writes, "Generation after generation, men must be educated, refined, and ethically persuaded away from their tendency toward anarchy and brutishness. Society is not the enemy, as feminism ignorantly claims. Society is woman's protection against rape."

I dispute whether men or women have a natural tendency toward Hobbesian brutishness. But I believe normal society protects against violence of all kinds, including rape. For one thing, normal society enforces rules against violence, which often penalize perpetrators through imprisonment, social sanctions, reparations or restitution.


Myths about rape harm men, women and the victims of rape both male and female. Goodwill between the sexes has been replaced with rage or resentment, and for no productive purpose. Rape is not a part of patriarchy; like all crime, it is a lamentable choice that some people make for their individual reasons. Men have not created a 'mass psychology' of rape; PC feminists have created a mass fear about rape. Rape is not a part of 'normal' life; normal life helps to protect men and women against rape.



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


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