Paterson's victims react on the steps of the courthouse / BBCA British surgeon who operated unnecessarily upon hundreds of patients after exaggerating or inventing the risk of cancer has been jailed for 15 years. Ian Paterson was found guilty (see earlier BioEdge story) of harming nine women and one man, but it appears that there are hundreds of victims. Even after the trial, Paterson’s motives were unclear, although they may have included supporting an expensive lifestyle.
In sentencing Paterson, Justice Jeremy Baker said, “"Without any regard for the long-term effects, you deliberately preyed on their long-term fears. You can be a charming and charismatic individual but you deliberately used those characteristics to manipulate your patients."
Crown prosecutor Pamela Jain said that: "He knew the procedures were not needed but carried on regardless, inflicting unlawful wounds on his patients. The impact of Paterson's actions on his victims has been devastating, from the unnecessary distress of undergoing procedures they did not need, to the scars that will always serve as a physical reminder of what their doctor, Ian Paterson, did to them."
There were a number of complaints about the surgeon, but they were ignored for several years by the National Health Service. He stopped operating in 2011.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Now that President Donald Trump has backed out of the Paris Climate Change agreement, employment prospects for bioethicists may pick up. Let me explain
The boundaries of bioethics are very elastic, and on some maps they take in care for the natural environment. I would predict that in the measure that scientists lose faith in a political solution to global warming, some will back geoengineering projects to cool the planet.
These include tactics such as injecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere, dumping iron filings into the sea to promote algal blooms, and machines to capture carbon dioxide. These involve significant risk and place great power in the calculations of technocrats. They need to be studied very carefully. As University of Chicago climate scientist Raymond Pierrehumbert said a few years ago, “I see lots [of geoengineering ideas] that are feasible but they all terrify me.”
A 2010 conference on the ethics of climate intervention at Asilomar, in California, addressed some of these issues using principles drawn from the famous Belmont principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-malificence and justice. And who knows more about these than bioethicists? Dust off those resumés.
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