Thursday, August 27, 2009

Libyan Bomber's cancer diagnosis by a GP?

Chalk up another win for both the British National Health Service and British Realpolitik.

New row over 'non-expert' cancer diagnosis of Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi
The furore over the release of the Lockerbie bomber intensified today over the medical advice given to the Scottish government on how long he has to live.

It emerged that the prognosis that Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi had a life expectancy of only three months or less was supported by an unnamed doctor who had no expertise in terminal prostate cancer.

The final report on al-Megrahi’s condition which went to Kenny MacAskill was drawn up by Dr Andrew Fraser, director of health and care with the Scottish Prison Service.

The three-month time limit is important because Scottish Prison Service guidance says that compassionate release from prison “may be considered where a prisoner is suffering from a terminal illness and death is likely to occur soon. There are no fixed time limits but life expectancy of less than three months may be considered an appropriate period.”

Dr Fraser’s report says: “Whether or not prognosis is more or less than three months, no specialist ‘would be willing to say’.”

Dr Fraser’s report, however, also contains a reference to the “opinion” of an unnamed doctor - thought to be a GP - who, says the report, “dealt with him (al-Megrahi) prior to, during and following the diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer”.
In other words, a doctor who was quite likely medically unqualified to give a diagnosis gave one that was awfully convenient in timing for releasing this terrorist and helping the UK with Libyan oil deals.

Having underqualified doctors handle the diagnosis of cancer patients - so much for the superiority of British government healthcare.

Update: The Smoking Gun has a copy of at least one of the medical reports recommending his release. (Thanks to Lagniappe's Lair for the email with the tip)

In the medical report are such gems such as Megrahi is not remorseful but "simply wishes to return home to be with his family, including his elderly mother," and he is feleing isolated religiously and culturally. Yes, really. Absolutely sickening.

More importantly, it states that specialists when asked "Whether or not prognosis is more or less than 3 months, no specialist "would be willing to say" but then has the unknown doctor stating that the prognosis is 3 months (see page 2 of the report).

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