Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No Peace For The Dying In Madrid

Last summer I wrote a post about the shameful persecution of a group of doctors working at the Severo Ochoa hospital in Leganés, near Madrid. As a result of a witch hunt launched by the regional government, these doctors had been removed from their posts and at one time faced the possibility of going on trial for murder because they had administered palliative sedation to the terminally ill. The courts threw out the accusations which amounted to involuntary euthanasia, finding no evidence to back them up. Yesterday, they went one step further and left it completely clear that there was no suggestion of any kind of malpractice by the doctors concerned.

That should be the end of it, and any of the professionals concerned should be reinstated to their posts. We could even expect a public rectification from those responsible for this sad situation, notably Manuel Lamela who was responsible for health in the regional government and who did so much to promote the accusations against these doctors. Lamela has since been moved to transport and so far at least no bus driver has been falsely charged with attempting to murder his passengers. But the doctor in charge of the casualty unit at Severo Ochoa, Luis Montes, has still not been permitted to resume his duties, and is now forced to consider what other legal options are open to him.

Esperanza Aguirre, questioned yesterday on the issue, claimed that she was glad that there was no evidence of malpractice. However, her stony faced expression didn’t suggest that happiness was what she was feeling, and she brushed aside any questions on reinstatement of Dr Montes by saying her administration would do “whatever needed to be done”. The man currently in charge of the health service in Madrid made it clear that Montes would not be reinstated because they had lost confidence in him. This is presumably because he committed the heinous crime of successfully defending himself against false accusations that he murdered his patients?

Aguirre and her crew are never satisfied with the routine political knockabout, they seem to feel a compulsive need to drag in some innocent bystanders. In this case, doctors and their patients; in another case those victims of the Madrid bombings who refused to support the conspiracy theories promoted by Espe and her chums. It is probably difficult for people like Aguirre, with their hatred of all things public, to understand why doctors would want to simply treat the sick and dying without asking for anything in return or having an ulterior motive. In the meantime, they have successfully smeared the good name of some dedicated professionals who have to deal with the rough end of health care. As if that wasn’t enough, they have installed a climate of fear in the region’s hospitals where doctors are still scared to administer palliative sedation to those who dying in agony; because it could cost them their jobs.


Keef said...

Espe sounds like an evil b*tch. By the way, do you have any idea what the manifestación outside the Madrid PP HQ last Saturday was about?

Graeme said...

Yes I do. There has been a big civic revolt in Salamanca (the city, not the pijo barrio of Madrid) against huge price and tax increases imposed by the PP mayor. This individual, true to the best traditions of his party, has more or less told those protesting to get lost. So some of them decided to bring their protest to his party's headquarters.

Keef said...

Hehehe, I saw all these coaches nearby - all from Salamanca. And I thought 'the lazy gits - it's just up the road'!