Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, April 29, 2017

When In Doubt

"The procedures carried out by Ian Paterson on vulnerable patients were unnecessary and caused physical suffering, scars and wounds to the patients."
"Also, as a result of his greed and arrogance, many of the patients have suffered psychologically, believing they needed to undergo the procedures because they were at risk from breast cancer."
"Of the 11 victims he was charged with in relation to this case, none had breast cancer, and yet he led them to believe they were at risk. This was cruel and unnecessarily led to many people suffering and living in fear."
Chief Superintendent Mark Payne

"I think he's a psychopath. Why would anyone in their right mind do operations to people knowing that they didn't need them?"
"[I hope he] rots in hell."
Frances Perks, mastectomy patient

"I, for one, trusted him with my life."
"To realize that I was betrayed makes me question my own judgment and I feel like I cannot trust any doctor."
Carole Johnson, surgical patient
Marian Moran, a GP and victim of Paterson testified in court against the rogue surgeon
Dr Rosemary Platt, a GP and victim of Paterson testified in court against the rogue surgeon telling the court she was left in agony following the pointless surgery  SWNS SouthWestNewsService

It is elemental, isn't it, that patients whose diagnosis leads to surgery are so often cautioned that they would do well to seek a second professional opinion before agreeing to proceed. It makes good sense, after all, before proceeding to surgery, to take all steps necessary to determine that the original diagnosis was correct and the doctor that will perform the surgery is correct, through the simple enough expedient of requesting a second opinion. None of Dr. Paterson's patients, it seems, went to the trouble. The amazing thing is that one of his patients was herself a general practitioner.

It would seem, therefore, that this health professional held the trust of his patients. His word as a professional examining them and diagnosing them with the dread word: cancer - was all they needed to fall into line and meekly accept his verdict that they required surgery. Of course the very diagnosis of cancer, that dread, deadly disease, is enough to strike fear into anyone's consciousness, and with that fear follows a decrease in executive autonomy, the transfer of decision-making agency to the individual with the professional certification whom you trust.

Eleven women trusted too unrestrainedly. And they have all suffered grievous harm for their naivete, an all-too-human failing to place belief and trust and hope into the capable hands of someone you believe will solve your problem. But 59-year-old Dr. Paterson, a breast surgeon with an obvious reputation as reliably dependable, may also have had an impulse to control and to do harm to others; if indeed such was his ambition he succeeded very well indeed. And now he will pay the price. Of course, 'paying the price' in another way entirely might also have been at stake here.

He is the owner of a luxury home in Birmingham. Properties in Cardiff, Wales, in Manchester and the United States as well, clearly a cosmopolitan jet-setter, a surgeon who is capable of infusing fear and hope in vulnerable women for whom a diagnosis of "breast cancer" fulfills the dread of their worst nightmares. Concerns relating to unnecessary or incomplete operations occasioned hundreds of his patients to be recalled in 2012. Nine women and a male testified during his succeeding trial relating to surgeries that took place between 1997 and 2011.

He was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and with three counts of unlawful wounding, by the Nottingham Crown Court jury. His skills in persuading patients to whom he outright lied to deliver false diagnoses, then persuade that they should undergo surgery, must have bee considerable. The sentence for his crime has not yet been handed down, but it is conceivable that he will face a life sentence after his recent conviction. Some of his victims had undergone four and six surgeries by their trusted surgeon.

Breast surgeon Ian Paterson has been convicted of performing needless operations on women in his care
Breast surgeon Ian Paterson has been convicted of performing needless operations on women in his care  SWNS SouthWestNewsService

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