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LETTERS: ‘Trust is the powerful driver’

Friday 11 February 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTERS: ‘Trust is the powerful driver’

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.


Nameless Citizen

(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

(Ngati Terei)

Company registration

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?

(Name and address supplied)