Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Primum non nocere...

...or "first, do no harm."

I would be grateful if someone could explain the following to me:
Steph Brennan, former Harlequins physio, buys a bunch of fake blood capsules from a joke shop which he then uses, on instruction from his employers, to cheat by faking blood injuries to certain players. Following a disciplinary hearing yesterday he was struck off by the Health Professions Council.
Meanwhile Dr. Wendy Chapman, former Harlequins doctor, not only took part in the fake blood capsule subterfuge but also went to the extraordinary lengths of actually cutting the inside of a player's mouth with a scalpel to perpetuate the scam. Following a disciplinary hearing a couple of weeks ago she was given a warning by the General Medical Council that her conduct had been "unacceptable and should not be repeated" but was allowed to continue practising.
The question surely must be who actually did harm here? Steph Brennan clearly participated in Quins' cheating and is rightly banned from the game, but his actions had nothing at all to do with his ability or fitness to practice as a physiotherapist.
How galling must it be for Brennan to see another medical practitioner, who clearly committed the more serious act and whose medical judgement must surely be questioned as a result, walk away with her career more or less intact while his lies in tatters.

1 comment:

anne bebbington said...

As a mother of a rugby playing daughter who is about to start a physiotherapy degree later this month I too was totally nonplussed by the difference in the reactions of these two professional bodies - perhaps the Health Professions Council has more scruples than the General Medical Council or they are more draconian - who knows but I do feel a bit sorry for Steph Brennan and feel he's been made the scapegoat in all this