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Medical Negligence and “Doctor X”

In January 2008 we reported the publication of a book by an anonymous Irish doctor, detailing the failings of the Irish hospital system. See a report HERE. The doctor was running a website and was featured speaking on national radio. The website is now not to be found and the book is not readily available. Medical errors happen everywhere; they are not unique to Ireland. In the USA and the UK, the responsible authorities collect statistics to find out why […]

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News, fit to print?

It is easy to become tired. Tired of bad, inadequate newspapers advising us how to choose and buy from a range of corkscrews, or baby buggies, or, inevitably, houses. Then we get quality information, if we search for it, HERE Timothy Snyder, the source of the information, is the author of “Bloodlands”, a history of the part of Europe that lies between Germany and Russia. Of the Ukraine he writes: “The country, Ukraine, was in effect an oligarchy, where much […]

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Smoke and Mirrors

The Minister for Health is planning to restrict the advertising of cigarettes. There are good reasons to think he is not moving fast enough. Read this letter of September last from the Association of Attorney Generals (of the USA) asking the Food and Drug Administration to control the promotion of e-cigarettes. This is reminiscent of the great tobacco litigation of the USA beautifully represented by the Statement of Claim of the Minnesota Attorney General. See the documents in that case […]

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Irish Water; tears ahead?

I think “public procurement” is the ruling idea currently in the Irish Water revelations. The company is changing the description of the subject of the contracts which it first said were “consultancy” contracts. Now, it says they are “provision of services” contracts. In either event, those contracts are, clearly, of great value and easily qualify for mandatory use of public procurement procedures. It is illegal to award contracts without using the proper and appropriate public procurement procedures. The Department of […]

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HSE CTIF

The title means “Health Service Executive Clinical Trial Indemnity Form”. In Ireland a clinical trial (which covers the testing of proposed pharmaceutical products) must be approved by an Ethics committee (of a hospital, say) and the Irish Medicines Board. Because of the legal complications of supplying products on which, effectively, no assurances of safety can (or will) be given, it is standard practice for “the Hospital”, “the Authority”, “the Investigator” and “the Sponsor” to sign a Health Service Executive Clinical […]

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Irish Foreign Policy

It would be really nice and reassuring if we could know what Ireland’s foreign policy is on some important matters. Recently, I heard the minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the radio; he asserted he was working very long hours and working hard. He said it was a privilege. I was immediately concerned. The assessment of his work is not his to make; it is ours. He should, instead have reported on the issues, not on his workload. With […]

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Scientists

This office will be attending the BT Young Scientist of the Year exhibition in the RDS. I can remember seeing the work of one of the early winners; he had constructed a (working) model of the human digestive system, in glass and chemicals. I was incompetent to judge the work because there was in those days a bias against biology. Biology was not real science. Consequently, I cannot say if the model had a colon or not. I believe it did […]

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Eye-Watering

Who remembers the three Rs? They are (or were) a political idea, or phrase. So, you went to school and, at a minimum, school would teach you “Reading, Riting and Rithmetic”. (School often fails at this), It did not fail this writer. So, here is some of my arithmetic; Irish Water paid €50,000,000 to consultants for, “reports” (I think), in one year. Days in one year = 365. Hours in one day = 24. Total hours in one year, 365 […]

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Mistakes

What does it mean to make a mistake? To make a mistake is to be wrong. Luckily, there’s a book on that. I recommend that book; in fact it’s some time since I read it and it’s time to read it again. However, being wrong is not the subject of this post. There is a sub-set of being wrong; it is to be ignorant. So, the re-formulated question is; what does it mean to be ignorant? It means you are […]

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Judging judges

There are two big ideas current in modern law. One is expressed in the law of the EU; it is the freedom to do business. The other is the law generated in response to the Second World War; it is the law of human rights. There has been an effort to bring them together (and an effort to keep them apart). The effort to bring them together is in the Treaty of European Union and the Charter of Fundamental Rights […]

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