I took away the cradle and I left you the play-pen, said Dr Michael Neary, when informing a woman six weeks later that he had carried out a hysterectomy on her.
They’re covering the Drogheda hysterectomy scandal in a two-part docudrama on RTE at the moment and I recommend it to you, with a warning that you’ll find it harrowing.
Michael Neary, the consultant obstetrician at the centre of the disgrace, is one arrogant bastard. He’s a classic example of the untouchable god-like consultant, while the junior staff who exposed his actions were nothing short of heroic in standing up to him. But by the same token, a lot of so-called professional people stood by and did nothing as Neary mutilated one woman after another, while others continued to show him the exaggerated deference he thought he deserved.
He’s a barbarian.
During the official inquiry into the case, the investigating judge’s office was broken into three times and the medical records in the hospital were systematically altered or removed in order to protect Neary, or the hospital’s reputation or both.
It was one of the greatest scandals ever to afflict this country, and to my mind it exposes the heartless cabal that still informs a significant element of medical practice in this country.
Neary continued to command respect among his colleagues even though they knew he had a propensity to sexually mutilate young women. That places some of his colleagues on the same moral level as Neary himself, and indicates to me that an unfeeling authoritarianism is still rampant among Irish medical consultants.
Why is nobody in jail?
I have little to add to my earlier comments here: Doctors Circle the Wagons.