Monday, March 23, 2009

Dissident Voices and Abuse of Psychiatry at General Medical Council, UK

Dictatorial persons do not tolerate dissent and abuse their power. Dictatorial consultant psychiatrists in National Health Service (NHS), UK abuse their power by making false allegations of mental illness amongst their colleagues and non-colleagues. General Medical Council (GMC )accepts these allegations without much thinking at all. Allegations of mental illness have been used against me many times to stop me from being heard and to humiliate me. GMC was used as a vehicle to do it. Thus GMC is nothing more than another toy for this lot. None of those psychiatrists who made false allegations have ever had the courage to tell me to my face I had mental illness when I worked with them . All the allegations came after I no longer worked with them in the same NHS trust. Remarkably, brave lot! We all have the right to privacy and when false allegations of mental illness are made this leads to abuse of that right under Article 8 of Human Rights. Unnecessary disclosures of private life, medical history, physical and psychiatric examinations are carried out on orders of GMC. When General Medical Council, UK receives insinuations of poor mental health the complaint against doctor is screened by their medical examiner. If it is decided that psychiatric examination should be ordered a letter to doctor is sent asking him/her to undergo medical examination. One has to reply within fourteen days and if there is no reply the doctor is automatically referred to Fitness To Practice (FTP) hearing by law. So, if one is away on holiday or has reasonable objections to unreasonable requests for psychiatric examinations, or doctor's reply does not reach General Medical Council within fourteen days there would be a public hearing (if doctor manages to argue for it). Generally, there would be tendency to hold it in private away from public eye. Even when allegations are completely false GMC demands to see all doctor's medical notes (from his/her GP). It is only now after very bad experiences that I realize that doctors are at very special risk when they seek medical help for themselves. There is no privacy for doctors when they see their GP because in the future the same medical notes may be copied to GMC. GMC demands to see these medical notes even when there is no reason for psychiatric examinations at all. When GMC receives medical notes the whole of one's medical history is there to be looked at by unknown number of people: secretaries, doctors, investigators, lawyers, clerks, and their secretaries at GMC . There is complete disregard for International Criteria for Mental Illness by GMC psychiatric expert witnesses and it takes years to shake them off. After years of fighting GMC doctor is completely ruined financially and emotionally. Solicitors and barristers acting for doctor advice doctor to comply with unreasonable requests from GMC or their careers would be ruined for ever. When GMC psychiatric experts are shown to be wrong at FTP hearing and good people come forward to testify for the accused, doctor then has to face the revenge of GMC FTP. This is served in the form of conditions on registration: conditions GMC places on doctor's practice that make it impossible to work at all if ever. Thus, just like in other dictatorial states, in UK there is abuse of Human Rights by use of psychiatry to intimidate doctors but also other people too. GMC punishes political dissidents and doctors who have superior knowledge in their field of work. Careerists who hold membership of the current ruling party are given special privileges of successful persecution. If the government is religious, for example, then particular groups of doctors are attacked: those who support women's rights, those who support transgender rights, atheists, critics of child abuse. There is nothing new in how psychiatry is abused. Political dissidents or doctors who criticise their colleagues are frequently accused of being mad. Those who agree to have psychiatric examinations (two at least) would find that they are at the mercy of the GMC examiners. There is no audio or video recording of the psychiatric examinations. This secrecy and abuse of power is mirrored by what happens in the British courts: no video recording exists of hearings in British Courts either. Later on when one appeals GMC decision in High Court, it is claimed the lower court had the advantage of seeing the facial expressions of witnesses and nuances in voice. The whole system is designed for that injustice. When I complained about the system and so many mistakes made in my case before GMC and High Court to one of my friends who is a lawyer he said this to me: "Helen, be careful what you say. I make a living out of those injustices". In my first case before GMC one of the examiners did not declare his conflict of interests to me during one of the psychiatric examinations ordered by GMC: he had business interests with the doctor who sexually harassed me but did not declare it to me. These two worked together on a number of projects. I talked to him about the incident of sexual harassment wihtout him saying anything to me that he knew him. As a revenge for what I said about his business colaborator he wrote to GMC that I had personality disorder. This is the most frequently abused diagnosis for people who annoy psychiatrists. Reality is extremely annoying to some psychiatrists, it would appear. Unacceptable aspects of their personal, professional or social life are turned into hostility towards the examined doctor. The doctor who is being examined would not have the slightest idea that he/she is pushing the wrong buttons in the mind of the examining psychiatrist. This is what happened to me. Psychiatrist who sexually harassed me when I was a junior doctor was asked by Division of Psychiatry to apologise to me after they received the petition from a group of women doctors training to be psychiatrists. He never apologised. He just smirked and said: "So, what is that you would like me to say? " The nurse in charge who told me of the way in which he undermined my authority at work was dismissed. Here is the sequence of events: A female patient was admitted to psychiatric ward with symptoms of blindness. There were no symptoms of mental illness. She had a similar episode about fifteen years ago and was admitted to psychiatric ward because doctors could not understand why she could not see when there was nothing wrong with her eyes. My Senior Registrar (also training to be a psychiatrist, but senior to me) thought the diagnosis was Hysterical Blindness. I thought that it could be Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disorder which can present like that by the way of lesions in visual cortex in the brain. These lesions in the brain remove conscious perception of visual stimuli even when eyes are working properly. I asked a Consultant Neurologist to see the patient and give us his opinion. Investigations showed she did have Multiple Sclerosis and this explained her loss of visual perception which was episodic with many years between the two episodes. Recovery and relapses make the chronic course of this illness. Several days later it was time to do a ward round, patients review with our consultant. However, he was on leave. I entered nursing office to find out if we were to have a ward round with our Senior Registrar instead. The nursing office was full of people. It was handover time between two nursing shifts. I apologised for interrupting them to ask if we need to do a ward round with Senior Registrar. The charge nurse told me in front of everyone: Do you know what he thinks you need? No- I replied. A good fuck to sort you out- the charge nurse told me. There was no denial from my Senior Registrar. The charge nurse was dismissed, Senior Registrar is now Professor of Psychiatry. I am unemployed doctor with fifteen conditions attached to my practice. General Medical Council would not investigate complaint against this doctor. But GMC did investigate when a Catholic nun was offended because I pointed uniforms are not warn in psychiatry. She was a Catholic nun Social Worker who worked with seriously mentally ill people. The fact that I pointed that uniforms were not worn in psychiatry was Serious Professional Misconduct and GMC broadcast it to the rest of the world. It was not professional observation, but misconduct. Although GMC went to Court of Appeal to claim it can discipline Medical Expert Witnesses, I think this was just public relations exercise after Professor Meadows exposure to criticisms following his expert witness reports which led to wrongful imprisonment of solicitor Sally Clark. It would be normal practice for Court to see Medical Expert Witness Reports but at GMC, FTP refused to see 60 (sixty pages) psychiatric report by their yet another expert Psychiatrist who has never, never seen me and never had my GP notes by my permission. GMC FTP refused to see this report report and continued to insist I undergo physical, and mental examinations as well as performance assessments. How can one write sixty pages psychiatric report on somebody one has never examined? Quite easily, GMC expert witness copied the notes from one of my patient's medical notes concluding that right treatment was administered by me. He argued that I possibly had mental illness because so many people complained about me. The number of people complaining about somebody has never been a symptom of mental illness and he always knew that and so did everybody else at GMC. Ultimately, the whole thing is about power and abuse of power. There are psychiatrists who continue to abuse their status as psychiatrists by sending false allegations to GMC. I have never heard that any doctor has ever been found guilty of wrongdoing following their false allegations. GMC should tackle those who abuse other doctors and GMC procedures. UK courts must be reformed so that there is video recording of the hearings and psychiatric examinations by experts. GMC should consider using truly independent psychiatric experts. Would somebody from another country be better? Would GMC use Iranian religious extremist psychiatrist for me in that case? Or American religious right psychiatrist? What are the criteria used for selection of experts? The only way forward I see is to expose all of those experts who have attitudinal problems and fail to perform professionally. The irony of my case is that at my FTP hearing one person sufered from alcohol addiction. What goes around comes around. Atheist intervention. So, now GMC please, examine yourself.


Andy Press said...

Should patient's health come before religion for all professionals?

Yes and no. Although medical prefessional are trained to treat a ptient's medical condition regardless of other factor.
Religion will most likely dictate decision a patient make regarding his health.

Anonymous said...

You should always refuse to be examined by a GMC appointed psychiatrist.