Doctor’s orders

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SO “when doctors make mistakes… the safeguards are sufficiently robust to ensure that the errant parties are called to account” (Perspective, 13 December). Well, that’s alright then.

A woman loses her breast unnecessarily but it’s OK because the surgeon has been suspended – I am sure that makes her feel much better.

Much worse, however, is Michael Kelly’s attitude towards Sally Roberts. Despite admitting that she is in a heartbreaking position, knowing that radiotherapy can damage the brain and could well leave her son mentally impaired, he states that her protestations must be sympathetically but firmly ignored and ends his article by saying that “amateur opinion has simply no part to play”. How outrageous!

The doctors argue that “in general” the boy’s cancer is “likely” to return without the additional treatment. Surely these two qualifications justify Mrs Roberts doubt about treatment that she knows will damage her son with no guarantee that it is necessary or even that it will be successful.

Surely, as a mother, Sally Roberts has the right to fight for her child knowing that doctors, as even Michael Kelly admits, are not always right.

Ultimately Mrs Roberts cannot win either way but her situation will only be made worse by people like Michael Kelly pontificating about something that is none of his business.

Rosemary Shaw

Caroline Terrace