This book needs to immediately be put onto the national curriculum.
When the book came out a number of months ago I got a copy to honour what Vicky Phelan did which was to hold a government single handedly to account as a citizen and to nearly bring it down. I wanted to understand the whole story.
If ever there was an example of a whistle-blower and one that won,
it is Vicky Phelan. She will probably be one of the only few over the next two decades that will be so successful.
When you think of it, so many people have issues of all sorts and are equally relevant to the national debate. Survivors of Magdalene Laundries immediately come to mind who are still waiting for full redress. So there was something extraordinary in the innocence and sincerity of what took place when a strong educated women who unusually had good self-esteem and facing death with nothing to loose, took on the Irish state, the HSE and the pharmaceutical company responsible for testing and won. A US company who normally in light of claims such as these generally fold up to avoid paying compensation to victims. Only to open in the morning with a new name but the same directors, same address and sometimes the same facility.
Vicky Phelan writes with searing honesty about her life. Remember this was not a woman who was media trained before see landed into the public and media limelight. Or a woman who sought that limelight. No, this is a woman who wants to tell the truth and tell us the truth about the truth she discovered and we are the better for it as a nation as a result of her determination to help others and not back down.
The book starts off with her early life growing up with her parents and discovering her love of education which took her to France initially as an au pair. Maybe this contributed to her strength being in a culture where not taking crap and being subservient was not normal - quite the contrary. Living in a country and culture imbued with philosophy and not religious dogma and
where women were not condescended upon.
She explains her early life growing up and her love of education where she has worked professionally for many years. She writes about her time abroad which led to a terrible accident where she faced death for the first time with the loss of her first love and two friends in a car accident.
One of the most gracious, elegant and kindest highlight of the book was where she celebrates also the life of other people who were affected
and lost their lives due to incompetence and failure by national system. Even though this was Vicky Phelan's memoir she gave space to those
who are no longer here and who played their role in the fight for truth and justice and systematic change. An action that was deeply kind and considerate. An example. There is nobody to be left behind.
Emma MacMahuna was given over two pages in the memoir and Vicky Phelan gave her credit for also helping raise awareness of the debacle that that the testing was which even a government adviser warned against before commencing as he foresaw what was going to take place. Explaining how Stephen Teap and his two young sons have to live without Irene, a wife and mother, and how he also played a role bringing the government to account.
One word missing from the whole national debate and surprisingly from the book is - ethics.
There was one thing that stuck and surprised me about the national debate and Phelan's memoir Overcoming. Two terms ethics and bioethics were
not mentioned and are still very relevant to the debate. In other words moral psychology. Where we draw the line. We desperately need these ethical debates in our health system and by ethical I mean free of religious dogma,
There are enough ethicist's in Ireland at academic levels for the Department of Health to immediately create a panel to advise both the HSE and the Department of Health on issues such as these and what stand, position and policy must be taken.
I think its glaringly obvious ethics must now also become part of the medical school curriculum.
Another thing I think Vicky Phelan could have reminded the public about and the medical establishment is the Oath they take The Hippocratic Oath -
'first, do no harm'. In light of how a lot of medical professionals conducted themselves with their patients I think they all need to go on ethics courses
as part of their CPD every five years. To be honest as a medical body they should have lobbied en masse to reject the policy of 'the three monkeys' as regards the CervicalCheck scandal. Phelan expalins all this really well which is why everyone should read the book.
This was one of the worst aspects of the scandal for the public the total breech of trust. This reality has not just affected those with issues around CervicalCheck. The public have been left feeling if they have not been honest about that what else are they not being transparent about?
The fact that the medical establishment was considering not telling patients of a false positive demonstrates they should not be allowed to regulate themselves as regards critical crisis such as this.
A patient and their family have a right to know their medical results no more than Henrietta Lacks family had a right to know her bloods were used in medical experiments and that vaccines trials have been made on orphans in religious orphanages. Or the scandal of baby parts some years ago and elsewhere being used for experiments.
In fairness to Vicky Phelan she raised the Patient Safety Act in the book and we should all be aware of that but is anyone monitoring how it is being implemented?
You know, its incumbent on us all as a society to read Overcoming by Vicky Phelan. Firstly to make sure it does not happen again through
public discourse and awareness and secondly as a case study on how to deal with injustice when it does happen.
However when you are a whistleblower you are on your own.
One thing you can be sure of is there will be little cooperation or help. The system of adversarial litigation is set to destroy good people and bankrupt some of them. So I was sad to see when mediation was mentioned, being a qualified and practising mediator myself that the process appears to have been a paper exercise. Despite the governments protestations it was otherwise at the time. Only recent days have shown how the victims of the CervicalCheck are being taken through the courts.
A mediation process should have been employed in every case. One point about Vicky Phelan's mediation is she wanted to fully engage and just did not want to sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement). From reading Vicky Phelan's book I will be raising this issue at a national level. This seems to be a stumbling block in the current atmosphere of mediation's. If consideration was given in these specific cases to wave the need for a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement, settlements could proceed much faster. This raises ethical questions for mediators, in that, they could lobby for people who are terminal in their diagnosis to avoid both of these issues that seem to derail the process before it even starts.
The ethos of mediation is to be private and confidential but can this ethically be so in such cases where people are terminal with weeks or months to live?
Had Vicky Phelan not spoken out and went for a settlement and to save her the trauma of court so many other lives would have been lost.
This is why our nation owes Vicky Phelan a huge debt of gratitude for her honesty, truth, integrity and staelwartness for not agreeing to be gagged.
This is why the book needs to be put on the national curriculum under CSPE as so many lessons can be learned for future generations.
I read the book in one sitting and the editing was excellent.
In summary Vicky Phelan will be remembered in history as a lifesaver.
To understand why you will need to read the book.
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LTE Guided Mindfulness Meditation - Audio Download
Our very popular guided mindfulness meditation tracks, normally used in conjunction with our 6-week courses, now available to download! 4 meditation tracks, plus introduction and closing tracks:
The mindfulness audio download is a mindfulness practice tool designed to help you build your practice of meditation. Used daily in a formal setting at home or the office you can build your practice of mindfulness which is the key component of the study of mindfulness its practice.
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Loving Kindness practice is one of the most important practices of our community. This has become very popular daily practice for people empowering them in terms of self compassion self esteem and positive self dialogue.
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Wine is an industry now worth $107 billion that has long been connected to health and well-being down the ages.
Did you know that wine protects you from a heart attack?
Best-selling Health Guru Ralph Quinlan Forde has just released his next groundbreaking book - NutriWine. The book is full to the brim with the reasons why moderate wine drinking can safeguard your health and boost your well-being. Wine he asserts is a ‘superfood’ when taken in moderation.
These are just some of the interesting stories he has included in his new book NutriWine;
• A sommelier whose nose is insured for 20 million Euros
• The $750 million wine compound
• How red wine protects you from heart attacks
• A wine drinking Japanese robot and an electronic wine tasting tongue
• Wine making wizards using astrological viticulture
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• Wine sex & romance
• Weight loss wine enthusiasts
• Why green wine is better for you and the environment
• The first carbon zero winery
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A wine tasting to inspire.
"This book gives you insight into the craft and chemistry of wine making as well as the health benefits." - Top 10 Amazon.com Reviewer
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* Bath Oil with Grapefruit, Basil & Marjoram
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PLUS Natural Dry Hair Shampoo (worth €10, FREE!)
Mindful Beauty Nurses' Gift Box (with FREE well-wishing card)
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For the very deserving nurse in your life, give her/him the gift of self-care and relaxation. Our Nurses' Gift Box contains the following:
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IMPORTANT: Kindly indicate your Eircode/postcode and mobile number to ensure correct delivery. As all couriers in the country are on maximum capacity, we ask for your patience.
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Bestselling author Ralph Quinlan Forde BSc (Hons) MA is the writer and editor of the Mindful Beauty blog. His first book The Book of Tibetan Medicine went into 11 languages. His second Nutriwine has