Personal Views

Bureaucracy gone mad

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7062.949 (Published 12 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:949
  1. Peter Wenham

    Ron's wife lay dying of terminal breast cancer. Ron married her 54 years ago when he was an engineer in the navy serving in the West Indies, but now as she lay dying they were separated, separated by a wall of pseudoscience and clinical paranoia.

    You see, Ron had had methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Although his infected wound was covered and his recent swabs were negative, Ron was treated as the leper of the 20th century health service, a hazard to all he met and a headache to the hospital. He could not visit his wife because “she might catch MRSA” but then she would be dead from her cancer within the week. He could not visit …

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