« back · www.benzo.org.uk »

Tranquilliser Blunder

Letters, The Oldham Chronicle
December 21, 1998
Barry Haslam

Health ministers in the Labour Government are to invoke powers to rewrite legislation so that incompetent so-called professionals in the medical profession can be named and shamed, without waiting for formal complaints to the General Medical Council.

Alan Milburn, the Health Minister, is quoted as saying: "There will no longer be any hiding place for those doctors or managers who fail to acknowledge the seriousness of problems inside their own organisation."

He further added: "Teams will be sent in to investigate any future case of malpractice as soon as it comes to light."

Can Mr Milburn use these powers retrospectively and send in teams to investigate the 10,000- 11,000 deaths in this country attributed to Benzodiazepine drugs since 1960?

Can Mr Milburn investigate the one million hardcore, long-term users of Benzodiazepines in this country when, in 1988, the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) gave its views of efficacy of these drugs as two to four weeks only?

Can Mr Milburn investigate the tens of thousands of brain damaged victims of these drugs who are coping in horrendous situations, caused by involuntary addiction due to repeat prescriptions which were not monitored adequately by the medical profession?

The doctors who have allowed this situation to arise, due to their negligence and incompetence, should not only be struck off the Medical Register, but should have their pension rights stopped, including doctors who have retired, and be made to pay back all pension money they have received.

The medical profession has been party to the biggest medical blunder and scandal of this century. As the next millennium draws near this legislation is too late to help us innocent victims already damaged, but it is a welcome step in the right direction.

For far too long, doctors have had too much power, too much arrogance and not enough humility, compassion and honesty.

"Physicians pour drugs of which they know little to cure diseases of which they know less, into humans of whom they know nothing." Voltaire (1694-1778).

Barry Haslam
Uppermill, Oldham

« back · top · www.benzo.org.uk »