Wednesday 7 December 2016

Arrogance has no place inside our hospitals

When patients or their parents speak out, doctors should listen carefully, but they rarely do, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 12/09/2010 | 05:00

The disciplinary process has run its course. The Fitness to Practise Committee of the Irish Medical Council has spoken. The conclusion being that a "series of catastrophic errors" occurred in the case of the young boy who had a wrong kidney removed but that this did not amount to professional misconduct.

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Publicly then, the matter is at an end; but the central question in all of this remains unanswered: Why did nobody listen to the parents when they told medical staff at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin that they were about to remove the wrong kidney?

The parents, after all, were right. The hospital was wrong. Which is why there's now an eight-year-old boy out there with only one kidney with nine per cent functionality. Doctors can argue amongst themselves as to who bears most responsibility for that -- the consultant who specified the wrong kidney in his notes, or the junior surgeon who carried out the operation without looking at the boy's X-rays before proceeding with surgery. Once they've answered that riddle to their

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