Wednesday, 15 January 2014

UN to question Vatican on 16-1-2014 in Geneva on the Rights of the Child

From SNAP (Survivors network of those abused by priests):

This Thursday, for the first time ever, the Vatican will be questioned about its record on child sexual violence by an international body. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva is holding the meeting in two sessions on Jan 16, each three hours long. SNAP and our attorneys from CCR will be there. Later in the evening (Geneva time) CCR and SNAP are hosting a report back via Livestream directly after the review to report about it to survivors, advocates and supporters. Two separate events and you can view them both on the internet.

Watch the UN review via livestream here!

The review will take place on Thursday, January 16, 2014 from 10am-1pm CET, (4am-7am EST) where the Vatican will be reviewed on their compliance with the Convention on Rights of the Child and then from 3pm-6pm CET (9am-12 noon EST) the Vatican will be reviewed on their compliance with the Optional Protocols on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
**This will be broadcast in the English language. This is broadcast by the UN.

Then two hours later at 8 pm CET (2 pm EST) we will have the “reportback” by CCR and SNAP.  Tune in here .

You can  follow the conversation on Twitter and ask questions before or during the livestream by tweeting to the hashtag #HolySeeConfess or by emailing questions to [email protected].

SNAP and CCR submitted reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child detailing how the Holy See has violated the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

If you have questions please email or call the SNAP office at: 312 455 1499 or [email protected] .

Don’t miss the chance to participate in this historic event!

All the best,
Barbara Blaine 

Barbara Blaine

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Sham Peer Review or True Concerns? Compare and Contrast

Recently on 10-12-2013 Parliamentary Health Select Committee's member Ms Charlotte Leslie MP (photo above) asked medical regulator, the General Medical Council:

Q10 Charlotte Leslie: To follow the points Sir David was making, do you recognise or acknowledge that sham peer review takes place?
Professor Sir Peter Rubin: What do you mean by “sham peer review”?

Medical regulator, now more than 150 years old,  has persecuted medical whistleblowers and other doctors on demand from some medical directors working in National Health Service (NHS) in the manner of sham peer review. While some doctors can tell the difference between sham peer review and genuine concerns, it would appear the regulator cannot tell the difference. Dr Lawrence Huntoon has described psychology of sham peer review HERE.

So, what is the difference between genuine complaints and those asking for sham peer review (backstabbing)? What are the characteristics of these two very different complaints? Table below attempts to compare and contrast Sham Peer Review with genuine concerns about  a doctor:


Sham Peer Review request

Genuine concerns about doctor

Investigation of the complaint(s)

Done poorly or not at all

Investigation done more carefully

Time pressure

Putting pressure on doctor to answer the complaint very quickly, without access to records and within a couple of days e.g. on weekend for complaint made on Friday. When this is complied with, refers to regulator anyway. Does not seek clarifications from doctor if not happy with a reply. Poor conflict management skills.
Pulls doctor out of the clinic while seeing patients for an urgent meeting to answer a non-urgent complaint because “busy” at other times.

Given reasonable period to respond

Hoarding of minor complaints

Complaints not disclosed to doctor on time but reserved to hit him/her with several complaints at once.
Habitual stacking of complaints and issues not dealt with.
Pathological avoidance of situations which may give rise to a difference of opinions.
Pathological fear of conflict.

Complaint(s) disclosed promptly to doctor to answer

Abuse of poor policy or process

On reading regulator’s faulty policy e.g. policy which has features of indirect discrimination against a group of doctors (like those who are contract workers or in private practise) decides to use this to get rapid access to the regulator

Not used

Language of serious concerns

Complaints written in a way to maximize the interest of the regulator in the absence of harm to patients: “I have serious concerns about Dr……”

Evidence of harm to patient or potential harm to public presented after thorough investigation and when other options are not feasible

Emotional abuse/humiliations

Statements as to the mental health of the doctor in the absence of any medical evidence or reference to the internationally accepted criteria. No referral to Occupational Health or any reference to doctor’s medical practitioner.

Refer doctor if ill to Occupational Health promptly without referral to regulator and ensures right questions are asked and answered. Patients protected by use of locum doctor to cover absence due to illness


Preservation of own reputation takes precedence over lives of others.
Sham peer review serves as a cover up of own wrongdoing

No gain from making a referral to the regulator



Prepared to lie on oath. Tries to cut a deal so to avoid giving evidence on oath if written statement is accepted

No need to make false allegations has evidence to back the complaint

Staff turnover

Higher than average staff turnover and a more frequent user of regulator’s services

Normal staff turnover

Culture of bullying

Over the period of years bullies tend to surround themselves with bullies. Authoritarian approach, dislike of dissent

Complaint politely submitted outside the culture of bullying

Manipulation and status seeking

Infiltrate medical establishment as additional means of self-protection. This may involve the regulators themselves i.e. starts to work for them.

Has no need for self-protection from within the regulator

Outcomes for patients after dismissal of doctor

Deterioration in the outcomes for the patients when excellent doctor is dismissed and not replaced

There can be an improvement in the outcomes for the patients when incompetent doctor is removed even temporarily

Chronology of referral
to the regulator

Referral follows after whistleblowing, or threat to the egos, or fear that disclosure may occur more widely outside the organization, or due to business rivalry or dispute, or after a court case taken by the doctor complained about

Referral follows from events related to poor patient care

Concerns about conduct of the doctor

More likely to be concerned about the conduct of the doctor, claims disruption. Provokes disruptive behaviour by doctor in a variety of ways such as frustration caused by passive aggressive behaviour of hospital administrator or others

Concern about patients’ welfare


False and numerous, gossip, hearsay. Witness Statements that get withdrawn because witnesses unwilling to give the evidence once the process is in full swing and about to be heard in public

True complaints backed by Witness Statements

Person who makes false allegations

Sham peer review complainer is protected by medical regulator. Determinations by medical regulator do not give the names of, for example, medical directors who made false allegations to regulator and initiated the process of sham peer review. The names of the witnesses who gave evidence for doctor are published.

No backtracking  on Witness Statements or secret allegations or little chats with investigators at the regulator that accused doctor never hears about

Wish to do harm

Despite all the bad intentions that started the complaint process, at the disciplinary hearings before the regulator the accusers feign surprise that things got that far for the accused doctor. “I did not mean it”. Denial in contrast to the actions taken and the knowledge what the outcomes of those actions could be.

Patients are real concern


Protects either himself/herself and/or other colleagues he/she thinks cannot live without-feels compelled to work with them

Protects patients

Medical records

Withholds medical records and even when asked by the regulator sends only bits of the medical records at the time. Disclosure of one single medical file can take years. Regulator despite their powers to order immediate and complete disclosure is complicit with delay.

Sent promptly to regulator and doctor


The accusers may be involved in fraud, sometimes widespread.
Prepared to send even completely different patient’s records from the case complained about to the regulator.

No evidence of financial or other gain to be made by discrediting the doctor


Engages a crowd of people to act as complainants in order to hide behind them. Creates impression of widespread concerns to engage the regulator.

No need to have numerous witnesses to misconduct

Concealment of evidence

Documents missing, denies existence even when one document states another one is attached to it and staple marks are present.

No need to conceal the evidence

A User of others

Prone to prejudice and could use those considered inferior to write the complaints so as to avoid personal responsibility. Hides behind others. Divide and rule.

Not present

Phoning around to get more troops

Telephones previous employers to get them to complain as well.

Not present

Pseudo consultations

Engages in pseudo consultations to get the “green” light to make the complaint to the regulator. For example, telephones National Clinical Assessment Authority for advice but actually trying to find if there are other complaints there already against the doctor. Calls other employers who also engage in pseudo consultation with Clinical Assessment Authority

No hostile dependency on other public bodies to get the support to report to the regulator.

Personality type

Snakes in suits

Unremarkable, no delight in harming others

Psychiatrists and Whistleblowing

In her excellent article Dr Jean Lennane explores how psychiatrists treat whistleblowers. It is just so true.
If they are denied access to whistleblower this does not stop them from making demands for such evaluations and allegations of dysfunctionality in whistleblowers.