This site is intended for health professionals only

Silence is not the answer

Quietiapine – the name says it all. Doctors prefer the docile, respectful – not to say subservient – patient.

Those doctors who really can’t tolerate any patient other than quiet ones become anaesthetists. What is worse, is that doctors also prefer other doctors to be quiet. Who is going to shout aloud after, for instance, Sir Roy Meadow and Dr Marietta Higgs, both of whom expressed their respective clinical opinions. Right or wrong, professional opinion is medicine.

Surely you can’t be pilloried, demonised, initially struck off and cast into the wilderness for expressing your opinion at the behest of the Court? Well yes, Sir Roy was. There is more to it than I know. His stats were rubbish, but the penalty he paid was harsh. This was a man who proved to the world that mothers murder their children and fought his colleagues to make it known. No doubt he was told – keep quiet, Roy.

Dr Higgs fervently hunted for signs of abuse, and parents were separated from their children and locked up. What happened to her? Oh, she is a paediatrician in Kent. Her clinical opinions were deemed wrong. Just be quiet, Marietta.

Dr Stephen Bolsin, whistle-blower at Bristol, had to emigrate to escape the ire of the profession. His clinical opinion was deemed correct. Shut up, Stephen.

Wakefield? Well, he cheated and he can go hell. We have all witnessed butchers at work and kept quiet. Don’t lie to yourself.

We don’t want to know uncomfortable truths, but we do know. What are you going to do about it?

From a GP in a large London practice
Name and address supplied