It was Sophocles (right, bust) who wrote: "Nobody likes the man who brings bad news". Well, it sounds as if he was speaking for English Establishment which has persecuted some doctors as if there was no tomorrow. But tomorrow always comes. Sophocles was Athenian Establishment darling from early on in his life. As a child he celebrated Athenian victory at the battle of Salamis wearing nothing but sandals, smeared in body oil and playing a lyre on Athenian streets. (A bit like today when the exploited young beautiful women are asked to pose naked and told to have talent!).
Sophocles wrote over 120 plays but only a handful survived to present day.
His son, Iophon, took him to court alleging Sophocles was senile and unable to manage his financial affairs when he was ninety years old and son lost the case. There were no good psychiatrists to help the court then as there seem to be not too many with integrity now when establishment men spin their tales in UK courts or tribunals (Solicitors Regulation Authority and general Medical Council, in particular). In his defense, Sophocles read in court a bit of Oedipus King, he wrote and allegedly said: " If I am Sophocles I am not senile and if I am senile I am not Sophocles". Athenian court was impressed by such words as much as the General Medical Council Fitness to Practice Committees are impressed with everything that protects those perceived to have a place in the medical establishment. It does not matter how many people died one way or another: the boys and some girls hang onto the well oiled bodies of old dodgy characters till death do part them. A good psychiatrist/psychologist today would be able to examine a person thoroughly for dementia as well as personality defects. Not to mention all sorts of scans we have today. Sophocles also had the role of Athenian Treasurer and politicians loved him so very much that at one literary competition (where his play was to be judged) the judging panel members were replaced by generals.
When Sophocles died Athena was under siege by Spartans and he could not be buried on his family plot (outside Athens) despite all the pleadings by eminent Athenian people of the time made to Spartans to allow the transfer of the body to burial grounds.
Before he died Sophocles was fond of boys in ways that today would be described as paedophilia. In his career he was very successful and popular just like it is possible to be today.
I do not know for how long in human history it has been dangerous to protect children. However, I do know that protecting children is a dangerous business today. It is also dangerous to protect adults who suffered abuse as children. Medical establishment has a profound dislike of doctors who blow the whistle on poor medical practice or wrong policy affecting children.
But one cannot fool all the world all the time. There is a campaign under way to honour all whistleblowers who were not just intelligent but had the integrity to do the right thing for the benefit of British people that they served.
One of the people is Professor Steve Bolsin British born anesthetist who studied high infant mortality following cardiac surgery in Bristol and who was disregarded by management when he raised concerns, found himself unemployable but managed to get somehow to Australia. His work on clinical governance is well recognized but British Medical Association still has not been able to get him honoured for his work. Well, it is not part of British culture to tell! However, this goes hand in hand with backstabbing of whistleblowers, for example, which is very much accepted by British medical establishments. One has to ask why this is the case. Obvious to outsiders, is the upbringing of British children that has gone wrong. It is religiously biased schooling which feminist politicians identified as the key to misogyny. As the child grows s/he moves through other institutions affected by same institutional biases. Children get messages that women are bad (the bad Eve and so on). The misogyny alone cuts out real intimacy with more than a half of the population. One learns that one cannot tell if there is something bad. How can a boy tell him mother he learned women are bad. Knowledge and truth are badness in themselves according to this infamous Bible story. Eve took apple, symbol of knowledge. She sinned according to Bible. Children come out of women, who are bad merely by being female, are inferior and seem to care about children. Therefore, logically how can one expect good things (children) to come out of bad things (women). Oh, dear.
Here is one example from gardening centre about openess. I went to look at some flowers and was very much attracted by beautiful smell of the lillies. Unable to resist them I smelled them really close. After purchasing one pot of lillies I went to the till and paid for it. Cashier looked at me and said nothing, I smiled. I left the shop in my car and went to the petrol station where again I had received a serious look from the cashier. I smiled happily. Several miles later, I looked at the mirror and caught the sight of my face. It was covered in large smeared stains of orange pollen all around my mouth, and nose. And all the good English people who had seen it said nothing to me. Very English. This is how people are expected to behave in England. Keep silent at work (seen as good manners and being professional), take the cash and go to your home, where one is also expected to keep reasonably silent.
However, things do change. and not all British people are prepared to sit in silence for ever more. Professor Steve Bolsin will be honoured even if British Medical Association does nothing and goes down in history for what they have shown themselves to be: conformist.
Dr Rita Pal, another famous whistleblower should be honoured too for her work in exposing high death rates in NHS Ward 87, exposing many corrupt individuals including one who was a head of a state Security Service. Very impressive work done. Yes, Dr Rita Pal has done things that would cause acute shortage of toilet paper both at BMA and GMC if the old boys were asked to do that sort of work. We would not even dream of asking them to attempt the same tasks even if we had oversupply of toilet paper.
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if men had better health. What if they had testosterone replacement therapy? Would they have more courage to do the right thing? I say this as when mice win their testosterone levels go up. The same applies to men. If one looks at fans of successful sports team that just won the match their testosterone level goes up. Yes, no kidding.
So, my hypothesis is that boys at GMC and BMA have experienced a decrease in testosterone levels when facing whistleblowers who arrived at their doors in shreds, so to speak. Maybe staff there should be investigated before they apply testosterone gel to their skin when investigating most whistleblowers. A kind of protective work measure. Health and Safety comes first.
What about reactions to whistleblowers who are the winners? More about it later....But I suspect that backing a winner causes, well, you guessed it, an increase in testosterone blood levels.
1. Sophocles died reading one of his long fatal sentences in one breath (from Antigone, play he wrote) and in public. He could have been reading General Medical Council list of sanctions imposed on whistleblowers! Or GMC's pseudo-reasoning for sanctions imposed. For the protection of the reputation of medical profession. Yes, 4 sure.
2. Professor Steve Bolsin left British medical brotherhood on time and before GMC could snare him at somebody's request. He did not have GMC proceedings against him. Professor Bolsin already received a number of awards abroad (Australia).