Sunday, 27 December 2009

APA Criticises Scientology

Scientology in UK medicine appears to be present. The most detailed investigation is listed here. The above video shows the American Psychiatric Association to be taking a robust defensive stance against the Church of Scientology.

We suspect that the General Medical Council may be used as a mode of getting psychiatrists struck off. To date, the GMC have not developed a vetting system whereby a conflict of interest and association with Scientology should be disclosed. The most damning evidence comes from the Patrick Cosgrove trials at the General Medical Council.

This is an interesting FOI request found on a website. It can be read here

Further info sent to the ICO 21 May 2009:

Dear David,

Thank you for your email in response to my first FOIA complaint against the GMC.

Here are my responses to each of your questions:

*Please inform me that you are content with the scope of the case as outlined above.

Yes, I'm happy with the scope of the case as outlined in your email.

*Please provide me with any additional arguments (besides those in your internal review request and complaint form) about why you feel that section 40(2) should not apply in this instance.

It is already in the public domain that Mr Brightmore has links with Scientology and was a Commissioner of 'Citizens Commission on Human Rights (UK) Ltd', a Scientology organisation, as detailed in the following documents:


'DISCUSSION re perceived bias of Panel Member' on page 14 ('D1/12') of the Cosgrove hearing transcripts for Monday, 19 January 2004:

2) Page 153 ('D5/1') of the same transcript, in which the Chair says:

"Good morning. Before I ask the Legal Assessor to tender his advice I would wish to report that following on from a letter which was submitted to the Panel yesterday, D17, the question was raised as to whether the Christopher Brightmore whose name featured in the left hand side of that page was the same person who originally started on this Panel on Monday of last week. As you recall, Mr Brightmore stood down.

Last night I had a telephone call from Mr Brightmore and he confirms that he is one and the same person who features on this letter. He was a Commissioner of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, but he informs me that he resigned that position on 1 January 2001. This letter is dated 28 March 2001 and the explanation that was given to me was that his name featured on that document, because the Commission was using up old notepaper, but that his name has been removed from it subsequently. It does not alter the fact that he was a Commissioner on the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. That piece of information was not known to us last week when he stood down."

This paragraph also places into the public domain the information that Mr Brightmore did not declare his conflict of interest (as a former Commissioner of CCHR) at the start of the Cosgrove hearing.

It is also already in the public domain that the Cosgrove hearing was the final hearing where Mr Brightmore sat on the GMC's Fitness to Practise Panel, as shown in Elizabeth Hiley's response to me dated 5th March 2009 at: i.e. that after the Cosgrove hearing he left the Panel.

*It would be helpful if you could inform me how you became aware that Mr Christopher Brightmore may be connected to scientology. This information may be useful when I am assessing arguments aroundthe data subject's expectations.

Mr Brightmore has spoken publicly in favour of Scientology organisations on a number of occasions. For example:

Mr Brightmore is pictured on the Scientology website, and listed as a 'keynote speaker' at their opening ceremony for their new office in Brussels:

Mr Brightmore is pictured and quoted praising Scientology in the Scientology magazine, Freedom ('The Voice of the Church of Scientology Since 1968'):

Mr Brightmore 'officially [opened] the Crime and Fraud section of CCHR's Exhibit on psychiatry' (CCHR is a Scientology organisation):

Mr Brightmore is quoted in The Guardian praising Scientology:

Mr Brightmore is quoted in a CCHR document, praising CCHR:

So, broadly speaking, Mr Brightmore's support of Scientology organisations is pretty widely documented. A Google search of his name combined with those of Scientology organisations shows 175 results:

I hope this information is useful to you, please feel free to come back to me with any further queries.

Thank you for your time and attention on this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

William Thackeray
Sadly, Patrick Cosgrove appears to have disappeared from view. We wonder how many other injustices are taking place within the General Medical Council. There has been no investigation of the Church of Scientology and its influence in medicine.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Dr Angus Thomson, De Clerembault Syndrome and Involuntary Orgasms

Recently, we read about Dr Angus Thomson's ordeal at the hands of his patient who made various allegations of sexual harassment including that he gave her leg buckling orgasms during gynaecological examination. She clearly was not diagnosed with a rare psychiatric syndrome described for the first time by the brilliant French forensic psychiatrist Gaetan Gatian De Clerembault.

At medical schools they thought us not to bother about rare medical syndromes and to concentrate on common causes of diseases. I remember not being able to resist reading Rare Psychiatric syndromes as a trainee psychiatrist. It is difficult to forget erotomania which is what De Clerembault syndrome is. There are several causes of De Clerembault Syndrome: bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, epilepsy, right frontal lobe lesions and even Alzheimers disease can cause it. Treatment is for the associated disorder. For example, there a case or erotomania caused by bipolar disorder which was treated successfully by Lithium salt.

Dr Thomson's patient described involuntary orgasms and was described as oversexed in the press. Some time ago, I read an article in The British Journal of Psychiatry about involuntary orgasms caused by a very rare form of epilepsy. I wondered if Dr Thomson's patient had something like that.

I have a great deal of sympathy for Dr Thomson as I suffered for years at the hands of an ex-patient of mine who terrified me at times. She once tried to set fire to a psychiatric ward with twenty eight in-patients. At other times she would pretend that she was a doctor, a GP, who was in the process of referring a private patient to me and hospitals gave her my private telephone numbers. She was very plausible as a doctor and spoke with an upper class English accent. Three times I had to change my telephone numbers. Not very convenient at all having then to inform everyone about the change. For years I received unwanted presents from her which I would return to the hospital where she was hospitalized under care of a different psychiatrist. I complained many times to the hospital management about unwanted mail and would collect a bunch and send it to the Chief Executive there.
Harassment stopped when I said I was going to sue the hospital for not using their powers under Mental Health Act 1983 to stop her from sending me the post.

Dr Thomson and his family have been going through the hell of harassment, legal proceedings and will not forget it for a while. Patients who have De Clerembault Syndrome are convinced that a person of a higher social standing is in love with them. Sometimes they are dangerous. Less often they attempt suicide. For the victim of their delusions there is a long path to safety and I do not think one ever forgets the ordeal.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings

Andrew Carnes, the co-author of this book is often unhelpful but I think he often feels that he is a barrister and we are all mere mortals. Well, to be fair, he may not be unhelpful to everyone but he was fairly shut down when I approached him. He curtly wrote

"I regret I am unable to assist you or enter into correspondence on this matter"

Of course not, because time is money and money is time. No doubt Andrew would happily enter into correspondence if he was paid a handsome sum of money plus VAT plus enhancements and refreshers - isn't that what barristers do - provide their view in exchange for money? Money certainly makes all barrister's wigs twist at warp speeds. The more they are paid, they better their arguments.

Nevertheless, the book produced is exceptional so we can forgive Andrew for his wig flying episodes. His colleague Brian Harris is a decent chap who appears to be fairly reasonable. Both have created a leading textbook in the field of regulatory law.

A member of Doctors4Justice is of the view that this should be on every doctor's shelf. The General Medical C0uncil is clearly after a few medical necks as target practice and what better way to defend yourselves than to understand regulatory law better than your defense union.

Their website which is also fairly useful exists here.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Recently, there has been more media interest in mortality rates in UK NHS hospitals. The reasons may not be obvious to everyone. We know that dead people do not pay taxes. Government lives of taxes but it also has to make sure that NHS performs. Government has seen a dramatic fall in taxes due to many reasons some of which are due to unemployment.

Statistical arguments are flying around about the mortality rates in some NHS hospitals. A little about the history:

Babylonians, Egyptians and the Chinese were the first ones to use statistics to determine the taxes. Romans and Greeks also conducted censuses.

In Christian times clergy took on the role of counting people. In Florence beans were used: black for boys, white for girls.

However, as we know sooner or later we all run out of beans.

Estimates have been used at times to predict the population in England eg by Gregory King in England in 1695. This was necessary in order to estimate the forthcoming taxes.

Thomas Cromwell, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII (1491-1547) ordered clergy in every English parish to record baptism, weddings and funerals. The result was predictable: some people disappeared from the register. Faith is one thing and purse another. Having such discriminatory powers has been life saving for some people to present day.

John Graunt (1620-1674), a merchant , used parish records to write "Natural and Political Observations upon the London Bills of Mortality". His friend was one called William Petty who invented the expression : "political arithmetick" to describe the work. Graunt used mercantile bookkeeping method and Francis Bacon's Natural History to derive his method.

The Life Table or Table of Vitality was constructed at the suggestion of John Graunt in 1693 by Edmond Halley (1656-1742) who is, of course, famous for his comet.

When the country is at war the coffers are emptied quickly as generally speaking people are not too keen to go into the battlefields and die but can be lured by cash. When king has to borrow the money to fight wars it is important to know what money from taxes will be coming in. Thus estimates based on population size and mortality rates can become very important. It is like like getting an overdraft from a banker because one knows what would be coming in. The banker likes the security.

Mortality rates have been complicated by other factors such as manipulation of data. Florence Nightingales observed that some hospitals discharged terminally ill people to other hospitals and it gave worse mortality rates to the second hospital where patients died within days. Patients can be discharged to die at home or in hospice. All of these methods can improve hospital mortality rates.

Poor people also have worse medical treatment for a number of different reasons. One is that they have limited resources to fight injustice. They do not have the choice to find the best doctors and keep them. The system does not allow it.