Our doctors are so respected, it’s hard to think they can be such deviants – Jane Hamilton

Whenever I speak to victims of sexual crimes who knew their attacker, the biggest issue – other than the violation itself – is the breach of trust.

As humans, we’re conditioned to instinctively trust one another – it’s the glue that holds society together.

So, we place our security and trust in those we interact with – our partners, family, friends, teachers, religious leaders, sports coaches and doctors.

The trust we place in our doctors is like no other.

After all, we are literally putting our lives in their hands and entrusting them with our most valuable possession – our bodies.

Most of us, thankfully, have positive patient-doctor relationships and feel safe in the knowledge they are doing their best and abide by their professional code.

But the issue of doctors abusing their power is back in the news.

Krishna Singh, 72, of Airdrie, used his position as a family doctor to prey on 48 female patients over 35 years.

He had been awarded an MBE for services to medicine but the reality was that no female was safe as the disgraced Singh targeted young and old, and even rape survivors.

Prosecutors said he was “hiding in plain sight” for many years until one victim came forward to report the so-called “pillar of the community”.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to understand why a doctor offending has the ability to shock so much.

We hold our medical professionals in such high esteem it’s almost unthinkable that someone so well-educated, so valued and so trusted is really just a twisted deviant.

It’s a given that the relationship between doctor and patient is unequal.

We are at our most vulnerable when we are revealing the most intimate details about our physical and mental health to our doctors

We have to believe they are acting in our best interests.

Serial killer Harold Shipman was a “well-loved” GP practicing medicine in Manchester when he used his position to murder at least
250 of his elderly patients.

To date, he remains the UK’s most prolific serial killer and is an extreme example of a doctor who turned bad.

But how do these doctors get away with their crimes for so long?

It’s not rocket science to realize that victims will feel confused, conflicted, intimidated or quite simply embarrassed.

Did they imagine that comment that was verging on the scale of sexual harassment, or was the physical exam they felt uncomfortable with necessary in the course of medical examination?

So, they say nothing. After all, who is going to believe them over the word of an esteemed doctor?

Colleagues who harbor suspicions stay silent for fear of being wrong or ostracized by their professional community.

Layers of secrecy can make it difficult to know the extent to which predators are active in the medical world.

Doctors can dismiss allegations of improper behavior by pointing to legitimate examinations to excuse their actions.

We are so reliant, helpless and in need of our doctors that when they cross boundaries it’s easy to feel incapacitated and hamstrung in our response.

LONDON – JANUARY 13: (UNDATED FILE PHOTO) Dr Harold Shipman is pictured in this undated Greater Manchester Police file photo. Shipman was found hanging dead in his cell on January 13, 2004, the day before his 58th birthday. Shipman, nicknamed “Dr. Death” after his horrific killing spree came to light, was convicted in 2000 of murdering 15 of his patients and sentenced to life in prison. (Photo by Greater Manchester Police via Getty Images)

I asked a doctor friend what they think about the predators among them.

He said: “You tell people you are a doctor and instantly you feel the change in their manner towards you. It’s sometimes almost akin to hero worship.

“We’re revered by society and that’s a powerful stimulant. But people forget we are only human – with the same foibles as the man or woman next to us.”

Sexual predators are all around us – including some who wear white coats and carry stethoscopes.

Remember the victims and not the murderer

I’ve lost count of the number of times the phone has rung with the news Peter Tobin is at death’s door.

When I first broke the story of his cancer diagnosis in 2019, the prognosis was bleak but he has continued to defy all expectations about his fate.

Yet again, he’s supposedly deteriorating to the point the grim reaper is knocking.

Not strictly true, say my sources, but he is very ill.

I’m probably in the minority as I regularly see and hear people say: “I hope he dies soon”.

That’s not how I see it –I don’t want Tobin to die yet.

I hope he is reflecting on his life and remembering all the horrific things he has done.

And I hope he finds it within himself to give up his secrets so the families of those he killed can find some peace.

We shouldn’t waste our thoughts on him but instead focus on the women and girls he murdered.

I hope Peter Tobin is reflecting on his life and remembering all the horrific things he has done
I hope Peter Tobin is reflecting on his life and remembering all the horrific things he has done

Lawless and shameless

So, Boris Johnson broke laws he and his government created and all he got for his criminal actions was a paltry £50 fine?

We’ve all seen the court stories where ordinary Joe Bloggs were given fines of up to £10,000 for breaching covid lockdown rules.

It’s cliched but true… it really is one law for them, another for us. In saying that, we don’t want Johnson fined – we want him fired.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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