13 Dec 2007


If a solicitor cocks your case up for you it could have major implications on your life. But still there is just one profession that literally holds the life or death of people in their hands - the medical profession! The medical profession can attract some very dangerous people who thrive on having power and control over others. Those that have serious personality disorder - like Dr Shipman - a psychopath with no moral reasoning power. His own mother tragically died so why not kill many other people's mother's and why not steal their property and jewellery as well. Such people have no emotional intelligence because they did not develop it as normal children do. So they have a callous lack of empathy that does not allow them to feel any remorse when acting violently by taking someone's life or dishonestly bv taking their money and property. Dr Shipman even forged the will of one of his victims leaving a substantial legacy in his favour. This was his undoing as this woman's daughter was a solicitor and started to investigate. ... Dr Shipman also had a serious substance misuses problem - an addiction to pethidine - a derivate of diamorphine commonly known as "heroin". People with serious personality disorders often do abuse substances to block out bad thoughts - perhaps about their own unhappy childhoods. Very early on in his career his addiction was known but still he was allowed to continue practising - producing one of the worse serial killers in history. Society was just not protected from this man as it should have been. Someone should have asked the question - why is this man addicted to pethidine - what is wrong with him? Let us get him assessed and seriously consider whether he is fit to practice. How many lives would that have saved?

We also had Nurse Allitt who seriously harmed or killed several young children on a hospital ward.

Then there is the interesting case of Blackwell, a very clever young man who had passed all A levels needed to start training as a doctor. He brutally murdered his parents and was found to be suffering from narcisstic personality disorder - see interesting link explaining :

Another very dangerous serial killer also diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder is Peter Sutcliffe who maimed or killed 13 women by hitting them over the head with a hammer (and worse) believing they were "prostitutes" - only some were. Interesting dissertation to catch a killer you have to think like one:

I suppose by now you all see the link I am making to the McCann case - how can we trust people like Kate and Gerry McCann to make honest decisions that may well involve financial consideration affecting people's health? Say Kate McCann had become a budget holder for a GP practice ? Who would have come first - her bank balance or patient health. It is the same scenario really as they displayed with little Madeleine - what comes first - our bank balance and need to go out and have fun or our own little children. And yet, these two people who cannot even prioritise care of their own children (and likewise their friends) are responsible for patient care. This absolutely terrifies me - just how many Shipmans, Allits, Blackwells and McCanns are there in the medical profession? Is it not time for all aspiring medical students to be subjected to a battery of psychological and pschiatric tests to ensure that they are suitable people to be responsible for our lives? As we have seen time and time again, pure academic intelligence does not necessarily equate with emotional intelligence, honesty and moral reasoning power. I would argue that these attributes are just as essential a quality in any doctor.



Ana said...

Hi Viv/Felicity ,

excellent post :)

Are all the doctors responsable persons ?

Be a doctor is a profession that can be very gratifying , they have the power , our lives are often in their hands .
But is not enough to have a degree for us to trust them .Every single doctor , prior to obtain a license to practise , should be submitted to a lot of tests , one of them should it be : test of responsability .
Are all the doctors responsable persons ?
I believe the majority are , but as in all others professions ,we have those in wich we do not trust our lives .
So, if we have doctors who are unable to take care of their one children, are they able to care for others ? Life of others ? Can those two be responsable doctors ?
I don`t think so .

Até a uma próxima oportunidade
Kind regards


docmac said...

Hi Viv

Just got a look in between movies my kid is playing on my computer, as our large screen is playing up and this guy has the next best speakers in the house (the computer, that is)!

Must say, when I applied to 3 different med schools in 1978 we had to write essays as to our motivation for wanting to study in this field. Furthermore those whose written work was considered to have been appropriate for a potential doctor were then invited for pretty tough interviews conducted by various professors and other members attached to the teaching hositals as well as psychometric testing (though this was not as advanced as it is today). The process was really rigorous then and has, I understand, become even more so nowadays. Does this system not apply in England and Scotland?

Cláudia said...

Olá, meus amigos Viv e Docmac. How are you?
I'm starting to get a bit sleepy. I think I'll go to bed earlier tonight. Am I getting old? ;-)
Abraços e beijinhos!

docmac said...


At 28? Are you kidding me? You are 3 years younger than my wife, and she is not even from Thailand lol.

Dormem bem, minha amiga.

felicity said...

Ola meu amigos Ana, Claudia and Docmac!

I am glad to have some responses on this because I think it is an interesting and troubling point and headlines we are reading to not break new ground in the case. They tell us McCanns are guilty of neglect - yes yes we have been saying this for months.

Ana I see you agree with what I suggest and make the point which is good one, that in all professions most are excellant but always we get the dangerous and unsuitable few.

Claudia - I know you work real hard and can understand that even at 28 you can get tired - this I can remember even though it was a long time ago LOL. It is draining to focus to hard on this case night after night and healthy to take a bit of a step back sometimes!


Thanks for your input which I was really hoping to get because you have direct experience of this. I confess I dont know anything at all about how doctors are selected. I have done two degrees and know there is selection for suitability for the course. I was also accepted on a social work degree but in the end did not take this up. There was little that I was subjected to other than the usual application form and selection interview - in fact Birmingham University accepted me without an interview for this course!

I have been subjected to an "assessment centre" and submission of written work which was fairly rigorous but still I do not think this would have picked out a clever psychopath determined to get through. Not of course to train as a doctor but when wanting to change career to probation officer. Who carried out the psychometric testing? This does not sound quite the same as what I was proposing so that we could root out potential doctors who are unfit to practice - I appreciate things may have moved on and Shipman may well have had an impact. I am tired tonight but may well do a bit of research around this. Do you agree in principle the nature and importance of the profession means that we should perhaps be even more rigorous than we are for others, and at a very early stage. My experience of the Law Society is that you can register for training providing you are not bankrupt, seriously convicted and have the cash! but they clearly do not have quite such a momentous impact on peoples lives - lots are kicked out every year for dishonesty but I am sure nowhere near as many as should be!

Regards to you all
and boa noite Claudia!

docmac said...

Who carried out the psychometric testing? I had to spend an hour with 3 different psychologists appointed by the universities, Viv. I remember the probing questions even now. At an early stage? This was conducted during mid term in my final year at high school. Those who failed these tests and interviews were not admitted. Why do you think doctors from SA are held in such high regard and are sought after worldwide? Those admitted wanted to be doctors, not rich people.

I was inspired from a very young age by my dad's mum. She was born in Burma (of all places) and was the very first woman to graduate from Edinburgh University medical school. She still did GP locum work in her 90's here in Cape Town, though she had been a surgeon in her prime.

By the by, my ex father in law was born and raised in the Sudan! I really picked them didn't I!

Cláudia said...

Sleep tight, my wonderful friends viv and Docmac.
I'm 28 but might be suffering from early aging! :-)Not on the outside, but on the inside!
Sweet dreams! Beijinhos!

Ana said...

Hi Viv ,

has has knowledge of this ?

it is in french



"Affaire McCann : Gordon Brown persiste et signe…"

Une fois encore, le Premier-Ministre britannique, Gordon Brown, s’est servi de sa présence à Lisbonne pour aborder José Socrates, son congénère portugais, à propos de l’affaire McCann. La conversation à eu lieu en marge de la signature du Traité de Lisbonne, ou le Royaume-Uni s’est fait également représenter par David Miliband, ministre des Affaires étrangères.

Le contenu exacte de la conversation n’a pas été révélée mais, une source proche du Premier-Ministre portugais, à confirmée que Gordon Brown à pris l’initiative d’aborder le sujet. "Officiellement, cette conversation sera probablement démentie mais, le fait est la : C’est bien Gordon Brown qui à pris l’initiative d’aborder la question", confirme la même source rajoutant encore : "Quand iront’ ils comprendre qu’il s’agit d’une affaire qui concerne la police et la justice. La politique n’a rien à y faire".

Duarte Levy


well it seems to me , that Gordon Brown is in action again ...

felicity said...

Hiya Docmac, so in SA you were subjected to proper vetting at a very early stage. Yes I do know that doctors in SA are held in very high regard internationally. If I recall Shipman also qualified in the 70s although earlier than you I think. He lost his mother, I think at 17 years and so was definitely a very disturbed young man. HIs relationship with her and losing her at this time seemed to have a large role to play in the monster he became. Things could be a lot better, it would seem in the UK. The Tapas bunch and two of them in particular would certainly seem to suggest we can have a number of doctors who do behave in the most appalling and irresponsible way, even though their role may involve judging other parents!

Your nan sounds a most wonderful and inspiring lady!

Boa Noite meu Amigos Docmac and Claudia

Ate amanha!
Sleep well (cant remember Pt)

Luv Viv xxxxxxxxxx

Ana said...


"....Whatever crimes that threaten to alienate and divide two countries, whose shared beliefs, mutual respect and loyalty is, since 1373 the oldest alliance in the world, must NOT be allowed to remain unsolved; for the sake of both countries, for Madeleine McCann and for us all."

by , Joana Morais

Good night


felicity said...

Ola minha amiga Ana

I have got the French translated:

"Case McCann: Gordon Brown persists and sign…"

Once again, the British Premier, Gordon Brown, has used his presence in Lisbon to discuss Jose Socrates, the Portuguese woman, in connection with the case McCann. The conversation took place on the sidelines of the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon, and the United Kingdom was also represented by David Miliband, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The exact content of the conversation was not disclosed, but a source close to the Portuguese Premier, confirmed that Gordon Brown has taken the initiative to address the issue. "Officially, this conversation is likely to be denied, but the fact is: It's good to Gordon Brown who took the initiative to address the issue," confirms the same source adding: "When will they understand that this is a matter that concerns the police and the judiciary. Politics has nothing to do. "


Jose Socrates is actually the male PM right! I would have been surprised I think of McCann case had not cropped up during their meeting.

I am sure Mr Brown does now appreciate this is a legal matter best left for the judiciary but nevertheless there are concerns for both PMs to address including the political issue of handling this matter, hand over and media announcements perhaps showing a united front and ensuring good relationships.

Viv x

CKH_formerly_of_DE_forum said...

Stupid question for DocMac:

I've repeatedly seen you refer to "SA" on the DE forum, as well as here and I'm dying to know what it stands for! At first I thought it might be an abbreviation for Scotland (! based on the context it was used in) and now I'm thinking SA is South Africa -- please, won't you put me out of my misery?!

docmac said...


Cape Town, South Africa. Am Scottish born but have lived here for a long time (and I'm not going back!). Aberdeen appears on my profile on the DE as no choice of SA cities is available on the MyExpress login page, though there is actually an Aberdeen here in SA about 1500km away from Cape Town. It's nice to read you here and I see you contributing very occasionally on the DE forum again too.

Viv, what's the new article!

felicity said...

Hiya Doc

As often seems to happen lately at the DE there is no new article and even when there is seems to be re-hashed or what the DM printed the day before. There is an interesting article in the Guardian though that Anon has referred me to from Jeremy Wilkins wife and I have done a fresh post on that !

Viv x

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in Mike Hitchens blogs re McCanns.