“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

Starship Doctors slammed

Hilary Butler - Sunday, October 31, 2010

In the Sunday Star Times today, Judge David McNaughton delivered a swift message to Starship doctors about predictive and substandard medical care, and the presumption of guilt without good cause.  The Judge found Famaile Lino not guilty of abusing his six month old child after Starship jumped to conclusions, and robustly defended their own preconceived mindsets.  The Lino's lawyer said, " "It's a very important case. It shows how suddenly a person can be at home with their feet up looking after their children, and a nightmare commences."  Here's the rub though.  Court cases like this USUALLY only happen to people like the Linos or the Kahuis.  Starship doesn't usually go after people who know what's going on; the limitations of the medical profession; and how to defend themselves.    Starship are of course, scuttling into a "risk management" position, by defending the indefensible:

Kay Hyman, the Auckland District Health Board's general manager of clinical services for women's and children's health, said hospital management would meet with the Crown Solicitor for Auckland to discuss the case.

"We want to understand the implications of the decision, which are potentially far-reaching." She would not elaborate on the implications.

Hyman said the hospital had a robust clinical process for handling potential child abuse cases and she stood by the assessment of its doctors. "Our view was not formed without a comprehensive process of independent expert advice and review," she said.

She said the primary interest of Starship staff was protecting vulnerable children and staff did not question whether abuse had occurred without good reason.

Why am I so positive that mainly unsuspecting parents are targetted?  Because of situations I've seen with my own eyes, or cases I've been involved in.

The New Zealand Medical system is so small that someone may know everyone else. If you go for a second opinion, it's likely to be a person who plays golf with the person you saw in the first place.  Worse, there is a well established, very comfortable core group of people who have created an ethos within the system which can work against the ordinary person.  These medical people have never really been challenged in their tenure.  Most of the really creative New Zealand thinkers have gone elsewhere to broader horizons, leaving the rest to rise to the top. Not only have the current "experts" in the medical system been there a long time, but the longer their tenure, the less likely they are to have their mindset ruts challenged.

In 1998, TVNZ invited me to appear on a breakfast programme. The hosts were Mike Hosking and Susan Woods.  Even today, when I watch that tape, there are certain things I'm still incredulous about.  The first is the aggressive hostility by both Hosking and Wood towards me.  The second is something which doesn't appear on that tape.  It's a moment I still "see", when Susan Wood leaned towards Nikki Turner before shooting took place, and quietly mentioned that she was going overseas and had just had her diphtheria booster.  The third was, that once the programme got rolling, not only was everything possible done to stop me from contributing by gifting Nikki Turner most of the floor, but that Nikki Turner's tenor was of a country about to be gripped by the medical equivalent of twin-towers USA.

The unspoken message was "How dare negligent parents not vaccinate their children, bring in diptheria and threaten everyone else?"  It was impossible for me to factually counter her buttered monologue, because the only thing I knew from a journalist, was that the tests done showed two organisms and that the clinical symptoms were not compatible with diphtheria. I did not have the proof of that until many weeks later.

There was another event from that day etched into my mind.  Quickly figuring that I was the token backdrop, I sat back and studied just how Turner "worked" Hosking and Wood.  You know when the system has "cultivated" a way "in", resulting in journalists who no longer think, and act like acquiescing automatons.  I walked out of that room in disgust, thinking that if that was the calibre of TVNZ stuffed dummies, then we are truly a nation of idiots.  I was surprised to be met by a crowd of very angry journalists and other fronts people who took me aside into an empty room, and apologised to me for being "done over". 

Over the next week, I read the carefully crafted pre-written Starship press releases, and watched the turning of this event into an orchestrated political vendetta against the non-vaccinated by many in the medical system.  In turn, I weighed in on radio programmes where at least some people still had their brains in gear, and defended parents I didn't know, purely on a gut feeling.

The parents, who were in hiding but listening, heard several of my interviews, and came to see us.  They then obtained all the hospital files, gave me copies, and permission to use anything, in any way I saw fit. 

The problem was that by the time Starship released all their files (another typical delaying manoeuvre !!!), the dust had long settled on that issue.  Any prospect of getting justice for this family was firmly in the "never" basket.

After going through the files with a toothcomb, I became extremely angry at how key people within the meidcal system, including one of the clinicians on the case, had - over the previous weeks - deliberately and with intent, "screwed" the family. The media really had no option but to do the same - after all, since when does the medical system, systematically lie?  There could be no other conclusion that the parents were 'screwed', since the evidence was right there in the files, that this child had NEVER had clinical diphtheria at all. 

A positive sample, does not diptheria make.  After all, both my son and I had returned positive diphtheria bacterial swabs when he was born in 1981, and nothing was done.  I had talked to lab technicians about that test at the time, and they laughingly told me that it came up all the time, and they just ignored it.

What was different about this child's sample, was that it was purported to be "toxic".  The parents asked that the New Zealand system send their child's suspect sample overseas to have it typed for the geographical "fingerprint" of the particular strain, in order to prove doctors' persistent allegations in the media, that these parents had brought the diphtheria back from a Bali holiday. Another unanswered question was, "Is the sample actually a laboratory contaminant?"

A few months later, after being told where the sample had been sent to to be tested, all doors silently slammed shut in the family's face.  No correspondence was answered, and Dr Michael Baker wrote an article in the Public Health Surveillance magazine, describing a raft of imaginative symptoms in this case, which never appeared in the child's hospital files.

Both the family and myself took Dr Baker to task, but not only did he not correct the article, he didn't reply to either the family, or myself.

Even back in 1998, we knew that some in the medical system had a dubious sense of either decency or justice.

In 2010, the medical system's injustice has grown exponentially, and the brainwashing of many in the media, has expanded to embrace most in the political and legal system as well.  So we now live in a society where most people believe that the medical system has an unassailable, unquestionable monopoly over both truth and proof.

It's just as well for the Lino family, that Judge David McNaughton didn't acquiesce to the medical system or Starship Hospital's expectation of automatic obesiance, and was prepared to listen to an overseas expert, and ask the hard questions. 

What a shame that the Chief Coroner on the Kahui Inquest wasn't cut from the same cloth. 

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