Friday, 29 April 2011
It is clear that things are no longer like they used to be and that relatives are better organized having suffered for many years stonewalling from officialdom.
It is known that some relatives had to face immeasurable amount of obstacles on their way to get any real explanation and justice for what happened to them in UK, in general.
At the same time, in UK, some of the best doctors were persecuted by their colleagues and management if they attempted improvements in health care and were perceived as critical of anything, really that matters. They were subjected to sham peer reviews before medical regulatory body. Some doctors were financially ruined.
The fact that meeting happened in Manchester reminded me of some aspects of my case because of its connection with a Manchester academic. I was working as a locum consultant in NHS hospital when my junior asked if I would be giving her educational supervision as the consultant she normally worked for was on leave (allegedly sick leave). I have done supervision for many years and when is substantive NHS posts it was automatically accepted that it was my duty to do it. However, as a locum and irrespective of the fact I had years of experience, I had to be approved by the The Royal College of Psychiatrists and the local tutor had to call them and make arrangements for the recognition. This was too much for him.
This process for locum consultants had to be repeated each time job was changed even if it was every couple of months.
Within a couple of weeks there was an accreditation visit by the Royal College of Psychiatrists were I explained that there was discrimination but nobody wanted to hear it or take any constructive action on it. When the scheme got negative marks there was reprisal before the regulatory body and their endless requests for sham peer review.
It is true that huge sums of money were invested in building better looking new hospitals and that there has been significant and obvious improvement under Labour Government in that respect. However, buildings need people to work in them in the best interests of patients and public.
Relatives do care about their loved ones and have valuable contributions to make at every stage of illness in most cases. Enormous savings can be made to tax payer by clever clinicians who know how to collaborate with families. The hospital admission rate is halved thanks to family work for some conditions e.g. in mental health.
When things go wrong as they did in Manchester, it is not possible for most people to take legal action for hospital negligence or incompetence. Years of chronic grief reaction in the state of dependency on the state system of care is not good.
I believe that necessary reforms will take place and that eventually people in England would have to accept that it is up to them really what they support and for what reasons. Sometimes, people fear changes and react with anger to proposals out of sense of inadequacy such as: there is no way that private care would work for me, I am poor. However, in different countries things work better because the arrangements between private companies and state deliver what is necessary and of higher quality.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
180 000 Germans left Catholic church in protest over physical and sexual abuse of children by clergy.
None of the offenders were prosecuted because German statute of limitation is three years.
It is already known that in cases of sexual abuse in childhood it can take many years before the victims sum up the courage and feel safe enough to speak.
In UK legal situation is better and limitation period can be from the time the victim becomes aware of psychiatric injury. Court of Appeal Judge Stedley showed compassion in his judgement which meant justice for the victims and extension of limitation period.
German people are still taxed directly and have to pay 10% of their income to church. They are not asked if they want to do it. So even those who left will be contributing to church wealth.
Meanwhile in Richmond, London, where the majority of the local residents do not want a Catholic church but council leader does, I can see problems for him.
Teen Challenge, Courts and Prison Programs
Not surprisingly, Teen Challenge relies heavily on recruitment from the court system and directly from jails. Teens who ended up in the Teen Challenge programs did not really “volunteer.” Teen Challenge gets the vast majority of its residents either directly from the jails or from courts which sentence them to a live-in program in lieu of jail. This usually happens after the judge gives the individual a choice to go to a correctional facility or Teen Challenge for year. Any student leaving Teen Challenge without completion of the 12 month program can be court ordered to a correctional facility for non-completion of the courts requirements. Teen Challenge also actively recruits right from the jails. So the combination of Teen Challenge jail recruitment strategies and extensive funding supplied by the Faith-based and Community Initiative grants along with an exemption from having to demonstrate compliance with existing standards, faith based facilities were flourishing.
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Place of qualification and outcomes of UK General Medical Council "fitness to practice" process: cohort study. CLICK HERE TO READ
The title we wish we could see would be "Ethnicity of Doctors facing GMC Fitness to Practice Procedures" with reality based conclusion that there is ethnic discrimination before, during and after GMC Fitness to Practice procedures irrespective of place of doctors' qualification. If the authors had real commitment to study the relationship between ethnicity and disciplinary procedures they would have found ethnicity (not the same concept as race) of doctors for themselves. But not bovvered . But very educated.
I note with interest the failure to declare conflicts of interests in the article published by BMJ.
However, I investigated it. I could not identify any obvious conflicts of interests for Professor Martin C Gulliford and Ms Shaista Hickman the other two authors from my research on the internet.
However, in the case of Professor Charlotte Humphrey it is different even though she did sneak in the fact that she did audit on GMC in the main body of the article, i.e. in different context. So telling but not telling and just a little bit pregnant. You can find the fact that she worked for GMC in the part of the article titled: Meaning of study. Here it is:
" Another possibility is that inquiries ( this means complaints against the doctor sent to their regulator, General Medical Council) involving UK qualified doctors are assessed as being in some way “less serious” than those involving a non-UK qualified doctor with the same inquiry details. Against this suggestion, we note that an independent audit of recorded documentation about decisions on fitness to practise taken at the request of the GMC in 2007 by a team involving one of the authors (CH) found no evidence of assessment criteria being inconsistently applied. "
We could understand from this that GMC consistently applied discriminatory criteria. Wonderful.
Contrary to Professor Humphrey's claim in her so called independent audit there are procedures within GMC which support discrimination against, for example, locum doctors the majority of whom are of ethnic minority origin as well as doctors in private practise. The GMC policy to treat locums and those in private practise differently became officially part of the GMC policy since May 2004. Do they have insight, are they bovvered?
GMC also treats complaints from NHS management more seriously compared to those from members of public. It is simply more difficult to fight an organization than a vulnerable individual patient/relative/friend.
NHS management are also more likely to retaliate against locums, foreign doctors they do not have to face up to on a daily basis unlike consultants in substantive posts and against those who have no contractual protection like e.g. NHS (National Health Service) consultants. Eventually, it may have been hoped everyone would wish to be "safe" in a safe NHS permanent jobs and not give financial headaches to the management of NHS trusts.
Locum doctors are less likely to be well connected. In old boy network which now includes women sometimes, connections and sense of obligation do matter.
However, Professor Humphrey et al in their audit of GMC claimed that Stream 2 (less serious complaints) coming to GMC are referred back to employer in the case of those in private practise and locums. Most locums and those in private practise are self employed and GMC did not refer back to locums and doctors in private practise to sort out the complaints against them. Oh, no. Instead, they were taken up as Stream 1, serious complaints and investigated by GMC with no mercy whatsoever i.e in passive aggressive stance. Investigators were forced to investigate things that could have be done by someone else.
At that time Chief Medical Officer, Ian Donaldson had the idea idea that locums were more dangerous. No, he was not hospitalized for paranoid delusions or ideation and there is no evidence have that he ever had this problem. Locums just cost more as agencies have to be paid as well. It is more work asking for more money from treasury. The feeling of lack of control led to abuse of power and influence with disastrous consequences. Doctors careers were destroyed by GMC, some were bankrupted and some died. Seventy six doctors died in recent years during GMC investigations. However, this was not the measured outcome by Humphrey et al.
Professor Humphrey acted as the auditor of GMC, and was commissioned by them. The report some forty four pages long was titled; "External audit of decisions in the investigation stage of the GMC's fitness to practice cases" July 2007. CLICK HERE TO READ THIS REPORT On page four it tells you it was commissioned by GMC as an independent report.
GMC loved the audit report produced by Professor Humphrey et al in July 2007 and said to Council on 19-9-2007 6a paragraph 4 page 2:
"4. As members are aware, we have entered into a partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to commission detailed research on medical regulation. As previously described to Council, the agreed research programme will address a number of issues relating to the GMC and fitness to practice and to the wider regulatory framework.
5. In the meantime, in December 2006 and with the agrement of the Fitness to Practise Committee (FPC), we commissioned an audit of our investigation stage decision making from King's College London (KLC) (This is where Professor Humphrey works). The aim being to give assurance to FPC and to Council that fitness to practise decisions were being made in accordance with Council's agreed policy. Some preliminary findings of that audit were reported to Council in July 2007, as part of the covering paper to the Annual Statistics. KCL's full and final report is attached at Annex A."
The paper by Professor Charlotte Humphrey et al. published in BMJ an article with the title:
Place of qualification and outcomes of UK General Medical Council "fitness to practice" process: cohort study. CLICK HERE TO READ was funded by ESRC.
Professor Humphrey worked as adviser for NCAS (National Clinical Assessment Agency), organization known to refer cases of foreign doctors to GMC without any investigations whatsoever. We would like to know what advise she could give them. This question arises especially on reading the "External audit of decisions in the investigation stage of the GMC's fitness to practice cases" July 2007 where it is claimed that doctors in private practice and locums are referred to their employer by GMC in the case of Stream 2 complaints (less serious). Impossible. Locum doctors and those in private practice are self employed. GMC, in fact, took those doctors straight up to Stream 1 serious complaints investigations prejudicing a lot of things.
The majority of locum doctors are ethnic minority doctors and they appear before GMC with increased frequency. Locums can be white race and a member of an ethnic minority and trained in UK. They could be instantly recognizable because of either their accent or surnames. This alone could be the starting point of victimization that progressed to sham peer reviews by GMC.
Researchers did not have proper ethnicity data.
Race and ethnicity are not the same thing. There are many ethnic groups within the same race. Ethnic discrimination is a reality that has to be faced up to.
It is usual practice when there is more than one author for them to declare their conflicts of interest individually at the end of the paper. That has not happened. Instead one is provided with a link to a blank form and information that reader can obtain the copy of their report of conflicts of interests if they apply for it. Yes, busy doctors would rush to do just that. Here is what it looks like:
Competing interests: All authors have completed the Unified Competing Interest form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf (available on request from the corresponding author) and declare that they have no non-financial interests that may be relevant to the submitted work.
What about these: "In addition to her university based research she has acted as expert advisor for a number of national bodies including the National Clinical Assessment Service, the Commission for Health Improvement, General Medical Council and the Bristol Royal Infirmary Public Inquiry" as on King's College website.
In other countries foreign doctors have been found to have performance equal or better than local breed in USA and Canada, for example. But not in UK according to GMC.
British Medical Journal is published by British Medical Association which failed to support ethnic minority doctors when they looked up to them for support.
Busy doctors reading "Place of qualification and outcomes of UK General Medical Council "fitness to practice process: cohort study." CLICK HERE TO READ could just read the title of the article and the conclusion and conclude there is no racism, there is just the place of qualification that matters. Please. Here is their conclusion:
"Inquiries to the GMC concerning doctors qualified outside the UK are more likely to be associated with higher impact decisions at each stage of the fitness to practice process. These associations were not explained by measured inquiry related and doctor related characteristics, but residual confounding cannot be excluded."
GMC receives complaints. It is supposed to conduct an investigation. Language does matter.
Paragraph 18 of this GMC document shows GMC treated locum doctors and those in private practice differently. Please click Here to read it.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
This may have wider implications for marijuana users and doctors who refused to prescribe it for medical reasons when requested to do so even for conditions where there is evidence that it could be beneficial.
Many psychiatrists would despair at this decision knowing that cannabis may precipitate psychotic episodes in more vulnerable patients. However, it is not a simple matter at all as some bipolar patients have claimed it actually helps them and have been taking hemp seed oil.
Please, click on the photograph to read more about the case.
Medicinal use of Cannabis remains controversial in many parts of the world. Read HERE for more information on medicinal uses.
It has been known for some time that brain functioning determines how decisions are made including those in politics. Click HERE TO READ MORE.
Therefore, one could conclude that wrong political appointments in medical regulation could be completely disastrous for public, patients and doctors because regulators have to deal with very complex matters at times.
The research has shown that the brains of liberal and conservatives tend to be different. Researcher pointed there was some overlap but with 75% certainty just by looking at the MRI brain scan he could predict if the person is likely to be liberal or conservative in their persuasion.
According to the latest research by Ryota Kanai et al liberals tend to be better at dealing with complex matters (conflict situations such as when there are errors in the messages presented to them) judging by their performance in tests which correlated with their larger amount of gray matter in Anterior Cingulate Cortex compared to conservatives. Conservatives have been found to have larger brain structure (right amygdala) that responds to fear (threat) when compared to liberals.
Liberals are known to be more open to new ways of looking at the situations with element of uncertainty. They are more open for example, to new social, scientific and religious ideas. Anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region is larger and more active in liberals. This is the brain area used in decision making, empathy and emotion. Read more about the function of Anterior cingulate cortex HERE.
Right amygdala function click HERE.
To read more on the latest research published in Current Biology: Research by Ryota Kanai, Tom Field, Colin Firth, Geraint Rees please, click HERE.
Genetic influences do play a part in how brain develops but so does the experience. Brain growth does depend on emotional experience and other environmental factors. Please, click HERE to read more.
Even giving birth causes some brain areas to grow. It appears their midbrain regions have grown as the result of pregnancy. Read about it HERE. Brain of new fathers is also changed reducing fear, too.
Politics and neurobiology are very interesting subject and clearly are the new growth area in itself. With increasing diversity in politics one can expect to see the benefits of different environmental influences on brain development and therefore decision making.
Brain is plastic and how cingulate cortex develops depends on emotional experiences. Read more HERE.
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Investigation procedures dictate that a complaint made against locum doctor (mostly ethnic minorities doctors) or doctor in private practice is immediately investigated and treated as serious one unlike complaints made against doctors working for state National Health Service. This has resulted in mostly ethnic minorities (this includes white Europeans) being subject of punishment as in scapegoating and doctors in private practice finding themselves persecuted for years under Labour government.
The result could be that some of the best doctors would be removed from circulation if they upset NHS crowd. Complaints sent to The General Medical Council by NHS Medical Directors have been given a special status despite the fact that we know some of those guys are really corrupt.
In their naivety ethnic minority doctors went to Equality and Human Rights Commission only to find the door firmly slammed in their faces. Equality and Human Rights Commission told doctors they do not take up individual cases but only look at the systemic abuse. When evidence of systemic abuse was sent to Equality and Human Rights Commission of racial discrimination as discovered in various policies, they would not say for a year if they were investigating or not. Instead a nebulous word enquiries was used in replies to doctors. In fact, they did nothing that would result in action to stamp out discrimination. They were asked many, many times to answer in a straightforward way if they were investigating or not the complaints made to them, but they carried on in the same way. This meant that doctor would run out of time to make a complaint to the courts under Human Rights Act 1998 if she/he waited for Equality and Human Rights Commission to help them first.
When the new government reduced funding by 60% to Equality and Human Rights Commission there were voices raised by some of their staff that the government was trying to shut them down. Why did they not think they were fined? Alternatively, having assisted in the destruction of so many livelihoods why did they not consider something called karma affecting them now?
Finally, doctors realized that they were stitched up thoroughly and reported both Equality and Human Rights Commission as well as The General Medical Council to European Commission for breaches of Directive 2000/43.
Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin
Official Journal L 180 , 19/07/2000 P. 0022 - 0026
Council Directive 2000/43/EC
of 29 June 2000
implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community and in particular Article 13 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament(2),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(4),
(1) The Treaty on European Union marks a new stage in the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.
(2) In accordance with Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, the European Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States, and should respect fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community Law.
(3) The right to equality before the law and protection against discrimination for all persons constitutes a universal right recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination and the United Nations Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, to which all Member States are signatories.
(4) It is important to respect such fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of association. It is also important, in the context of the access to and provision of goods and services, to respect the protection of private and family life and transactions carried out in this context.
(5) The European Parliament has adopted a number of Resolutions on the fight against racism in the European Union.
(6) The European Union rejects theories which attempt to determine the existence of separate human races. The use of the term "racial origin" in this Directive does not imply an acceptance of such theories.
(7) The European Council in Tampere, on 15 and 16 October 1999, invited the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with proposals implementing Article 13 of the EC Treaty as regards the fight against racism and xenophobia.
(8) The Employment Guidelines 2000 agreed by the European Council in Helsinki, on 10 and 11 December 1999, stress the need to foster conditions for a socially inclusive labour market by formulating a coherent set of policies aimed at combating discrimination against groups such as ethnic minorities.
(9) Discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin may undermine the achievement of the objectives of the EC Treaty, in particular the attainment of a high level of employment and of social protection, the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, economic and social cohesion and solidarity. It may also undermine the objective of developing the European Union as an area of freedom, security and justice.
(10) The Commission presented a communication on racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in December 1995.
(11) The Council adopted on 15 July 1996 Joint Action (96/443/JHA) concerning action to combat racism and xenophobia(5) under which the Member States undertake to ensure effective judicial cooperation in respect of offences based on racist or xenophobic behaviour.
(12) To ensure the development of democratic and tolerant societies which allow the participation of all persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, specific action in the field of discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin should go beyond access to employed and self-employed activities and cover areas such as education, social protection including social security and healthcare, social advantages and access to and supply of goods and services.
(13) To this end, any direct or indirect discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin as regards the areas covered by this Directive should be prohibited throughout the Community. This prohibition of discrimination should also apply to nationals of third countries, but does not cover differences of treatment based on nationality and is without prejudice to provisions governing the entry and residence of third-country nationals and their access to employment and to occupation.
(14) In implementing the principle of equal treatment irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, the Community should, in accordance with Article 3(2) of the EC Treaty, aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality between men and women, especially since women are often the victims of multiple discrimination.
(15) The appreciation of the facts from which it may be inferred that there has been direct or indirect discrimination is a matter for national judicial or other competent bodies, in accordance with rules of national law or practice. Such rules may provide in particular for indirect discrimination to be established by any means including on the basis of statistical evidence.
(16) It is important to protect all natural persons against discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin. Member States should also provide, where appropriate and in accordance with their national traditions and practice, protection for legal persons where they suffer discrimination on grounds of the racial or ethnic origin of their members.
(17) The prohibition of discrimination should be without prejudice to the maintenance or adoption of measures intended to prevent or compensate for disadvantages suffered by a group of persons of a particular racial or ethnic origin, and such measures may permit organisations of persons of a particular racial or ethnic origin where their main object is the promotion of the special needs of those persons.
(18) In very limited circumstances, a difference of treatment may be justified where a characteristic related to racial or ethnic origin constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement, when the objective is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate. Such circumstances should be included in the information provided by the Member States to the Commission.
(19) Persons who have been subject to discrimination based on racial and ethnic origin should have adequate means of legal protection. To provide a more effective level of protection, associations or legal entities should also be empowered to engage, as the Member States so determine, either on behalf or in support of any victim, in proceedings, without prejudice to national rules of procedure concerning representation and defence before the courts.
(20) The effective implementation of the principle of equality requires adequate judicial protection against victimisation.
(21) The rules on the burden of proof must be adapted when there is a prima facie case of discrimination and, for the principle of equal treatment to be applied effectively, the burden of proof must shift back to the respondent when evidence of such discrimination is brought.
(22) Member States need not apply the rules on the burden of proof to proceedings in which it is for the court or other competent body to investigate the facts of the case. The procedures thus referred to are those in which the plaintiff is not required to prove the facts, which it is for the court or competent body to investigate.
(23) Member States should promote dialogue between the social partners and with non-governmental organisations to address different forms of discrimination and to combat them.
(24) Protection against discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin would itself be strengthened by the existence of a body or bodies in each Member State, with competence to analyse the problems involved, to study possible solutions and to provide concrete assistance for the victims.
(25) This Directive lays down minimum requirements, thus giving the Member States the option of introducing or maintaining more favourable provisions. The implementation of this Directive should not serve to justify any regression in relation to the situation which already prevails in each Member State.
(26) Member States should provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions in case of breaches of the obligations under this Directive.
(27) The Member States may entrust management and labour, at their joint request, with the implementation of this Directive as regards provisions falling within the scope of collective agreements, provided that the Member States take all the necessary steps to ensure that they can at all times guarantee the results imposed by this Directive.
(28) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as set out in Article 5 of the EC Treaty, the objective of this Directive, namely ensuring a common high level of protection against discrimination in all the Member States, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale and impact of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community. This Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,
HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
The purpose of this Directive is to lay down a framework for combating discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, with a view to putting into effect in the Member States the principle of equal treatment.
Concept of discrimination
1. For the purposes of this Directive, the principle of equal treatment shall mean that there shall be no direct or indirect discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1:
(a) direct discrimination shall be taken to occur where one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on grounds of racial or ethnic origin;
(b) indirect discrimination shall be taken to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons of a racial or ethnic origin at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.
3. Harassment shall be deemed to be discrimination within the meaning of paragraph 1, when an unwanted conduct related to racial or ethnic origin takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. In this context, the concept of harassment may be defined in accordance with the national laws and practice of the Member States.
4. An instruction to discriminate against persons on grounds of racial or ethnic origin shall be deemed to be discrimination within the meaning of paragraph 1.
1. Within the limits of the powers conferred upon the Community, this Directive shall apply to all persons, as regards both the public and private sectors, including public bodies, in relation to:
(a) conditions for access to employment, to self-employment and to occupation, including selection criteria and recruitment conditions, whatever the branch of activity and at all levels of the professional hierarchy, including promotion;
(b) access to all types and to all levels of vocational guidance, vocational training, advanced vocational training and retraining, including practical work experience;
(c) employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay;
(d) membership of and involvement in an organisation of workers or employers, or any organisation whose members carry on a particular profession, including the benefits provided for by such organisations;
(e) social protection, including social security and healthcare;
(f) social advantages;
(h) access to and supply of goods and services which are available to the public, including housing.
2. This Directive does not cover difference of treatment based on nationality and is without prejudice to provisions and conditions relating to the entry into and residence of third-country nationals and stateless persons on the territory of Member States, and to any treatment which arises from the legal status of the third-country nationals and stateless persons concerned.
Genuine and determining occupational requirements
Notwithstanding Article 2(1) and (2), Member States may provide that a difference of treatment which is based on a characteristic related to racial or ethnic origin shall not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of the particular occupational activities concerned or of the context in which they are carried out, such a characteristic constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement, provided that the objective is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate.
With a view to ensuring full equality in practice, the principle of equal treatment shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or adopting specific measures to prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to racial or ethnic origin.
1. Member States may introduce or maintain provisions which are more favourable to the protection of the principle of equal treatment than those laid down in this Directive.
2. The implementation of this Directive shall under no circumstances constitute grounds for a reduction in the level of protection against discrimination already afforded by Member States in the fields covered by this Directive.
REMEDIES AND ENFORCEMENT
Defence of rights
1. Member States shall ensure that judicial and/or administrative procedures, including where they deem it appropriate conciliation procedures, for the enforcement of obligations under this Directive are available to all persons who consider themselves wronged by failure to apply the principle of equal treatment to them, even after the relationship in which the discrimination is alleged to have occurred has ended.
2. Member States shall ensure that associations, organisations or other legal entities, which have, in accordance with the criteria laid down by their national law, a legitimate interest in ensuring that the provisions of this Directive are complied with, may engage, either on behalf or in support of the complainant, with his or her approval, in any judicial and/or administrative procedure provided for the enforcement of obligations under this Directive.
3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 are without prejudice to national rules relating to time limits for bringing actions as regards the principle of equality of treatment.
Burden of proof
1. Member States shall take such measures as are necessary, in accordance with their national judicial systems, to ensure that, when persons who consider themselves wronged because the principle of equal treatment has not been applied to them establish, before a court or other competent authority, facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination, it shall be for the respondent to prove that there has been no breach of the principle of equal treatment.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not prevent Member States from introducing rules of evidence which are more favourable to plaintiffs.
3. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to criminal procedures.
4. Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall also apply to any proceedings brought in accordance with Article 7(2).
5. Member States need not apply paragraph 1 to proceedings in which it is for the court or competent body to investigate the facts of the case.
Member States shall introduce into their national legal systems such measures as are necessary to protect individuals from any adverse treatment or adverse consequence as a reaction to a complaint or to proceedings aimed at enforcing compliance with the principle of equal treatment.
Dissemination of information
Member States shall take care that the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive, together with the relevant provisions already in force, are brought to the attention of the persons concerned by all appropriate means throughout their territory.
1. Member States shall, in accordance with national traditions and practice, take adequate measures to promote the social dialogue between the two sides of industry with a view to fostering equal treatment, including through the monitoring of workplace practices, collective agreements, codes of conduct, research or exchange of experiences and good practices.
2. Where consistent with national traditions and practice, Member States shall encourage the two sides of the industry without prejudice to their autonomy to conclude, at the appropriate level, agreements laying down anti-discrimination rules in the fields referred to in Article 3 which fall within the scope of collective bargaining. These agreements shall respect the minimum requirements laid down by this Directive and the relevant national implementing measures.
Dialogue with non-governmental organisations
Member States shall encourage dialogue with appropriate non-governmental organisations which have, in accordance with their national law and practice, a legitimate interest in contributing to the fight against discrimination on grounds of racial and ethnic origin with a view to promoting the principle of equal treatment.
BODIES FOR THE PROMOTION OF EQUAL TREATMENT
1. Member States shall designate a body or bodies for the promotion of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin. These bodies may form part of agencies charged at national level with the defence of human rights or the safeguard of individuals' rights.
2. Member States shall ensure that the competences of these bodies include:
- without prejudice to the right of victims and of associations, organisations or other legal entities referred to in Article 7(2), providing independent assistance to victims of discrimination in pursuing their complaints about discrimination,
- conducting independent surveys concerning discrimination,
- publishing independent reports and making recommendations on any issue relating to such discrimination.
Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that:
(a) any laws, regulations and administrative provisions contrary to the principle of equal treatment are abolished;
(b) any provisions contrary to the principle of equal treatment which are included in individual or collective contracts or agreements, internal rules of undertakings, rules governing profit-making or non-profit-making associations, and rules governing the independent professions and workers' and employers' organisations, are or may be declared, null and void or are amended.
Member States shall lay down the rules on sanctions applicable to infringements of the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are applied. The sanctions, which may comprise the payment of compensation to the victim, must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. The Member States shall notify those provisions to the Commission by 19 July 2003 at the latest and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent amendment affecting them.
Member States shall adopt the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 19 July 2003 or may entrust management and labour, at their joint request, with the implementation of this Directive as regards provisions falling within the scope of collective agreements. In such cases, Member States shall ensure that by 19 July 2003, management and labour introduce the necessary measures by agreement, Member States being required to take any necessary measures to enable them at any time to be in a position to guarantee the results imposed by this Directive. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.
When Member States adopt these measures, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. The methods of making such a reference shall be laid down by the Member States.
1. Member States shall communicate to the Commission by 19 July 2005, and every five years thereafter, all the information necessary for the Commission to draw up a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive.
2. The Commission's report shall take into account, as appropriate, the views of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, as well as the viewpoints of the social partners and relevant non-governmental organisations. In accordance with the principle of gender mainstreaming, this report shall, inter alia, provide an assessment of the impact of the measures taken on women and men. In the light of the information received, this report shall include, if necessary, proposals to revise and update this Directive.
Entry into force
This Directive shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Luxembourg, 29 June 2000.
For the Council
(1) Not yet published in the Official Journal.
(2) Opinion delivered on 18.5.2000 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(3) Opinion delivered on 12.4.2000 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(4) Opinion delivered on 31.5.2000 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(5) OJ L 185, 24.7.1996, p. 5.
Complaints made against locum doctors are not more difficult to investigate than complaints against suspended NHS doctors. The same applies to private practitioners.
Basic human decency would be to complain to the doctor first so she/he can answer the complaints promptly. Emails travel fast and can reach doctors anywhere in the world. Doctors check their emails even on holidays. Instead of expecting reasonable behavior from complainants, GMC and EHRC allowed scapegoating and this led to many deaths of both doctors and patients. NHS Medical Directors protected the NHS doctors who really made bad mistakes in order not to be implicated themselves as poor managers. As blame could have easily fallen on them for neglect of their duties easy targets were identified and used to direct the attention of medical regulator and discredit scapegoated person, usually a locum of ethnic minority origin.
Labour government did not like locums because they had to pay not just locum doctors but also the agencies who supplied them and this meant more money had to be found (at least 15% more). When money comes from taxes, it becomes a bigger problem as raising them makes government unpopular. Therefore, Chief Medical Officer Donaldson decided to make life difficult in order to force locums into permanent NHS positions or out of medical profession. To meet the shortage of slaves, immigration rules for doctors were relaxed and more doctors came from other continents and these doctors took permanent positions in NHS. At the same time doctors jobs became mostly clinical work with less research and doctor's leadership role was extinguished. The political jargon for this was: "New ways of working".
If doctors were caught not doing as ordered by less qualified/competent NHS staff they became the subject of complaints to medical regulator and eventually the victims of "cut and paste" judgements by GMC Fitness to Practice Committee who found inevitably evidence of poor team working.
The next step would be for doctor to show insight (agree to injustice being justice) and agree to pseudo psychiatric monitoring of his team working methods and if not in agreement with medical regulator the next step would be for him to be struck off medical register. It is really , very simple.
Saturday, 9 April 2011
No More Amnesty for Scott Bloch - Judge rules he will spend 1 month in Jail
Judge Deborah A. Robinson denied Scott Bloch’s motion to reconsider his guilty plea on the criminal contempt of Congress case USA v Scott Bloch. Scott Bloch was the former Special Counsel for the Office of Special Counsel and dismissed hundreds of whistleblower cases without investigation. Scott Bloch in the face of a federal investigation asked Geeks on Call to wipe his computer clean of all digital files thus destroying evidence that the FBI was seeking in the US Congressional investigation. On March 30, 2011 Scott Bloch was sentenced to one month in prison by a D.C. federal court. The former Bush administration head of the Office of Special Counsel, Bloch had pleaded guilty in connection with his use of 'Geeks On Call' to scrub his government computer but then when realizing he would be facing mandatory jail time, he tried to withdraw his guilty plea. DC District Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson instead decided that Scott Bloch would spend time in jail. In addition to the prison time, Bloch was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and 200 hours community service. Scott Bloch’s attorney indicated that he would be filing a motion for a stay of the decision pending appeal.
See additional information regarding Scott Bloch and Teen Challenge & Faith-based and Community Initiatives Program
Editors note: He will remain free pending an appeal
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Yet another male police officer has been raped. Ms Amelia Hill wrote an excellent article in Guardian about the case of a raped police officer who dealt with sexual crimes for many years before he became a victim. He does not think he was drugged (I think it is possible and needs to be investigated because hair samples when analyzed can show up drugs used to facilitate sexual assault/rape) and cannot remember all the details of what happened to him which does occur in some cases of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder as the result of rape. Please, click on the photograph to read the story in the Guardian.
Despite the fact that he thinks he had good counseling, it appears to me he should have seen a psychiatrist as well because he has features of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and requires further treatment. One of the symptoms of PTSD is avoidance of the reminders of the trauma. He now thinks that police officers go too far in persuading victims of rape to press charges. Unlikely, I would say. Victims of trauma avoid reminders, thoughts, situations and people that remind them of traumatic event because of the emotional pain. Even doctors and lawyers as well as court and police trying to help act as reminders and sometimes victims miss appointments or avoid it altogether. In other words, professionals have significant communication barriers to overcome when dealing with victims of trauma. Some victims are physically sick (vomiting) and have sleepless nights before their appointments with doctors as the memories flood back. Severe cases have hallucinations and paranoia. Usually, patients told me this starting with an apology: "It is not your fault doctor, but I vomited last night thinking of meeting with you. It is just thinking about it that makes me sick".
Several years ago, I was Expert Witness in a case of a Fire Brigade Officer who was raped at work in London. When the Psychiatrist, Expert Witness acting for the Fire Service said there is no difference in mental state between the person who imagined the rape and the one who suffered it, the patient vomited in court and was taken out by her husband to recover a bit before coming back into the court for the rest of the hearing.
What happened to this raped police officer, Guardian wrote about is so traumatic that he has lost confidence in his work and who knows if he would be able to continue working as a police officer. There are victims who retire on medical grounds. It is early days for him to even realize how he has been affected.
It can take many years for some victims of rape to make allegations and press charges.
When children are raped it can take a life time in some cases before they speak about it to anyone. Without social and family support it can become an impossible task to recover.
In 1999, I raised the issue of the wearing of religious uniforms by a social worker who was a nun when working with mentally ill some of whom could have suffered abuse at the hands of clergy as I knew how off putting reminders (religious uniform) would be for the men. There are now over one million men raped by clergy alone world wide.
All medical institutions in UK that I approached for support at least ten years ago have refused to consider the issue of wearing of religious uniforms when working with mentally ill up to present day and quite simply allowed my victimization and persecution as the result. Rather than concentrating on the real issue The Royal College of Psychiatrists and The General Medical Council did not. Self justification of religious bias took priority.
If the police officer whose work was to deal with sexual assaults/crime for many years cannot summon up the strength to press the charges against his rapist what would happen to mentally ill people who often have more than one psychiatric diagnosis e.g. PTSD plus depression plus substance/alcohol misuse? How likely are they to speak up of what happened to them if raped by clergy and facing a professional dressed in religious uniform/habit?
Religious privileges must be eliminated in health care in UK and patients put first. In cases of rape there are already symptoms of PTSD such as avoidance by the victim. The cases doctors deal with are very difficult to start with and one does not need more obstacles and barriers in communications. Patients find it hard anyway to talk about traumas. The case of the raped police officer who even specialized in sexual crimes illustrates this only too well when he avoids dealing with the crime through the courts.
Please click HERE to read more about religious uniforms in mental health.
People traumatized in car accidents also have avoidance symptoms and it does not surprise me that many people never make any claims for psychiatric and physical injuries suffered from e.g. insurance companies simply in order to avoid the painful reminders of the trauma. They often do not get any treatment and there are serious consequences: social, occupational and health wise. Sometimes there are quarrels and divorce because of car accident and PTSD even if there are no serious physical injuries. Children suffer a lot when there is arguing in the family and separations. The consequences of not dealing with PTSD go well beyond the victim.
So why do medical institutions avoid having clear and protective policies in the interests of the patients? Possible reasons are fear of offending the religious, and of course not caring for the mentally ill patients. Other major interest is personal power and ego of ADMINISTRATORS.
Stigma of mental illness means that regulators look down on mentally ill as well as those who are associated with them i.e. psychiatrists. Many jokes exist in which psychiatrists are mad people.
In politics, it is important to some to humiliate some psychiatrists more than others so that what they say can be disregarded. I certainly know about that. The stereotype of mad psychiatrist is still common even amongst doctors. Even psychiatrists do use this "card" to manipulate others (e.g. medical regulator) to get rid of critical colleagues (whistleblowers). All psychiatrists know of the stigma of mental illness. Oh, yes, they do.
Here watch a Professor in Politics speak on use of psychiatry to eliminate political dissent.
Every time a victim of rape who like this police officer decides not to press charges public is at risk as the rapist is free to commit crimes again. Therefore, police must make a decision to investigate/prosecute in some cases where the victim is too traumatized to make a rational decision. With time and healing he would get better.
Anger that results from trauma can lead to what appears as anti-social behavior sometimes. It is as if the person was thinking: There was no one to help me so why should I help anyone/prevent further cases of rape? A skilled psychiatrist can help victim turn anger into constructive outlet of energy such as helping police and the court. Learned helplessness is destroyed in the process and closure can take place. Avoidance is not closure.
In cases of rape by clergy it is embarrassing for institutions who have religious bias to deal with it as if they had to defend themselves. Something like guilt by association. Scandals within religious institutions become scandals within medical institutions when medical institutions refuse to act responsibly and instead chose the path of punishing and silencing those doctors who notice the religious privileges and speak up against it. Allowing religious uniforms or any uniforms in mental health is just so wrong.
CLICK HERE to sign the petition to Ban Religious Uniforms in Mental Health.
Monday, 4 April 2011
Congratulations! Her courageous and progressive work could be inspiration to many in UK Parliament. And we do hear more voices now from MPs being raised against religious privileges and some voices recently in the House of Lords.
Click on the photograph to read more about Ms Sophie in't Veld work and prize.
The prize is funded by Dr Michael Irwin who was erased from General Medical Council register because of his work on voluntary euthanasia. Dr Michael Irwin and I are founding members of Secular Medical Forum.
Ms Sophie in't Veld has been the outspoken critic of the recent ECHR judgement in the case of Lautsi v Italy.
Friday, 1 April 2011
Click on photo to watch Media Award winning documentary
Kevin is in Toronto with Thahoketoteh of Kanekota (Project for Peace) talking about the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. History seems to be repeating itself with Kevin calling for a Republic of Canada that is truly independent of the Crown of England - a union of people nations. Common Law courts of the land to replace the existing corrupt system and public airways to be kept public. Kevin is interviewed about the story on the Hamilton Police, how he was given the name Eagle Strong Voice and much more.
Click here to watch:
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