Dear Editor, with the greatest of respect to Dr. Dunn, the submission that the “FDA is always obliged to err on the side of conservatism” as an explanation for a stated fact is purely subjective (Too early to draw conclusions, February 8, 2022).
It is simply best practice to ensure that anybody
undergoing a medical treatment gives their informed consent to the treatment
and that informed consent must disclose every risk no matter how minor: See
Montgomery v Lanarkshire Healthboard (2015) UKSC 11 which effectively over
ruled the Bolam test, a legal decision I am certain your writer will be
familiar with, informed consent being such an integral aspect of the modern
healthcare your writer promotes in advancing his views.
I am genuinely surprised that a health practitioner is
not more concerned with such a critical aspect of patient care and treatment,
even as the pharmaceutical companies are exempt from liability, as failing to
disclose the risks by subjectively deciding they are not deserving of
consideration is potentially a lawsuit waiting to happen in real life practice,
based on the Montgomery decision.
I shall resile from further comment on this discussion
but not before suggesting in closing that persons who are currently vaccine
hesitant may be more inclined to lose that disposition when those in fields of
trust, such as medicine, are as transparent as possible in the disclosure
process even where the personal opinion may be that the same is not necessary.
(Name and address supplied)
Reply – My anonymous
critic elaborates on two of the key issues central to the everyday clinical
practice of my last 30 years of surgery: consent and trust. The first implies
passivity and is an incorrect term for what is really an active request for
treatment by the patient, who is critical to the decision making.
Kids rely on their parents to make this call.
Trust is the powerful driver. As a simple surgeon
there are huge gaps in my scientific knowledge. I bow to the far greater depth
of my colleagues in epidemiology, public health, virology, molecular biology
and immunology. I rely on them to sift through the mountain of information,
misinformation and disinformation to interpret and advise. I am “informed”
mainly by their judgement.
These are people of the highest integrity and with the
hugest intellect. Michael Baker was my classmate. Ashley Bloomfield was my
student. I know and trust them. If they say the vaccine is safe and the virus
is dangerous, I actually believe them.
This is no time for armchair semantics when the threat
is real, the issue is urgent and action must be taken. That’s why I personally
requested vaccination. Without hesitation.
Assoc Prof John Dunn FRACS
I read with interest the Secretary of Justice's response
to the complaint about Company Registrations (‘Ample time’ to re-register
companies, February 10, 2022). The rush to engage with “electronic” medium
must be tempered with the written record. If we are to take the Company
Registration seriously, then if the Department is going to deregister a
company, then surely a registered letter would be sent out to ensure the owner
has signed for receipt or if unfound the Department knows he hasn’t got the
message. I don’t think it is acceptable for the Department to send out messages
in a bottle that will be delivered on the next tide.
The other issue is if you are stuck off why is the
Department referring you to a lawyer. Why is there no standard reregistration
form available from the Department? There are many small businesses trying to
survive, let alone being aware of the need to register, their priority is
paying VAT and taxes is a regular requirement, not a one-off payment
When companies are struck off, what happens then? Does
Justice own all the assets and liabilities? What happens then?