Ethics, a doctor and his hairt-beat

I had several envelopes like this delivered through my letter-box.

Immediately recognisable, even before opening, I felt my heart (‘hairt’ in Scottish) beat much faster.

I shall try and explain why.

hairt-beat

The envelopes from NHS Forth Valley to my home address were always from Senior Managers and nearly always officially reminded me of “Good Medical Practice” as issued by the General Medical Council.

Here is an example from a letter from the Medical Director of NHS Forth Valley, Dr Peter Murdoch, to me dated 21st May 2014. It was part of a wider letter.  The letter made references to my “behaviour”. The letter summoned me to an “informal” meeting with the Medical Director and General Manager for NHS Forth Valley:

21-may-2014

When I was off sick, due to work stress, the Locum Consultant who covered for me, had the following experience:

annoyed & demanding

The Locum Consultant concluded that this demonstrated:

disregard

This was the Locum Consultant’s experience of the Medical Director, Dr Peter Murdoch. There was no action taken here.

 


In my 13 years with NHS Forth Valley my ethical interests were in three broad areas.

(1) The FIRST was:

Timely-can-we-do-better

It is fully accurate to say that not one of my consultant medical colleagues in NHS Forth Valley shared my advocacy for a timely approach to the diagnosis of dementia. Today it is the basis to the diagnosis of dementia across Europe

 

(2) The SECOND was:
transparency1

I share the view of most ethicists and many in academia that education and research should be free of marketing. Free of any distortion created by financial incentives. I have petitioned for a Sunshine Act (or clause) for Scotland. I believe that a central, open-access register would be straightforward and not at all costly to set up.

 

(3) The THIRD was:

consent

My view is that we need to consider more fully the importance of consent. Any intervention, be it by a test, tool, or scale can lead to a treatment that has both the potential for benefit and harm.

 

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