Posted by: Witch Doctor | December 9, 2010

Mindset of our medical leaders way back then…..


Go back to the time of the MTAS debacle:


It seems that the then Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, was contemplating voluntary euthanasia for patients but she kept quiet about the inner workings of her mind.

“What Ms Hewitt really wants — and is determined will come “sooner rather than later” — is a Private Member’s Bill that would make assisted dying legal in Britain. To many this comes as a surprise. It was not a cause that she supported as Health Secretary and, given Gordon Brown’s opposition to such a law, it is not a stand expected of such a loyal politician.”






It also seems there is a possibility that, Sir Graham Catto, the then president of The General Medical Council, was also contemplating voluntary euthanasia for patients but he kept quiet about the inner workings of his mind.

Sir Graham Catto is one of the Commissioners on the new outfit that has been rolled out within hours of the bombing of the Scottish Parliament’s “End of Life Assistance Bill.” This Commission on Assisted Dying takes the debate back to England presumably because of the inferior nature of The Scottish Brain to understand such things and give the required answer.

Hang on, My Black Cat, Sir Graham Catto has a Scottish brain, albeit it has crossed Hadrian’s Wall.

You will notice that Sir Graham Catto’s name is on this page.


Then, if you browse through the website, you will find that the Commission on Assisted Dying is brimming over with independence.


The Commission on Assisted Dying is an independent body that will reach conclusions based upon the evidence brought before it. It has been set up with funding provided by Bernard Lewis and Terry Pratchett. Demos are providing the research secretariat and administrative support.”

Thank goodness for that. It might mean that one of The Ex-Leaders of the medical profession was not nurturing ideas supporting voluntary euthanasia after all.

He is independent.

Or is he, My Black Cat?

Dignity in Dying has helped secure the funding of the Commission.


“Dignity in Dying helped facilitate and secure the funding of the Commission – but in doing so we have taken a considerable risk. The Commission, including the Chair, Commissioners and Secretariat are independent of Dignity in Dying, and therefore of our own volition, we have helped create a process for examining a possible new law in which our influence is no greater than any other relevant stakeholder.”

Does “independent” Sir Graham Catto support assisted suicide?

Indeed he does, My Black Cat. He says so.


“A former chairman of the General Medical Council, the regulator that takes action against doctors for misconduct, also told delegates that he believed the law in England and Wales should be changed to allow assisted suicide. Helping another person kill themselves remains punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment but under landmark guidelines published this year by the Director for Public Prosecutions, charges are unlikely if the suspect acted compassionately.

Sir Graeme Catto said: “Personally I hope that in some shape or form Parliament will allow assisted suicide. I think for a small number of people this is a genuine, needed, welcome release from an intolerable life situation.”

He admitted there were risks involved in allowing assisted suicide but added: “I’m not sure that really is a reason for not doing it, but for doing it with enormous caution.”

And here is a new group:

Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying.

This is linked to Dignity in Dying.

And there you will find Sir Graham Catto’s name as a speaker at the launch of this new group.

You will notice though that Sir Graham Catto does not appear as a member of his group.

If it did, that might compromise his independence.

Sir Graham Catto is no fool.

Even if he is lumbered with a Scottish brain that ventures far from home.


Just as an aside and NOT related to the topic of euthanasia, but on the topic of Leadership within the NHS, it has just been announced Professor Elisabeth Paice, London Deanery, NHS London has been awarded NHS Mentor of the Year by HMG.

“Examples of outstanding leadership in the NHS were recognised yesterday in the second annual NHS Leadership Awards, held at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.

The awards encourage, recognise and reward those who consistently make an outstanding contribution in leadership at every level of the NHS.”

Enough about our medical leaders, My Black Cat. You are behaving like a kitten again and swinging from the curtains and demolishing all the ornaments.

You haven’t done that for a while.

You are very excited!

So it seems.

You have spotted A Conspiracy?

“The commission is to act entirely independently and the commission alone will be responsible for its conclusions. In particular, the commission will be independent from Demos and the funders.

It is Demos that is hosting the new “Commission on Assisted Dying”

But My Black Cat, they tell us Demos will be independent.

Just like Sir Graham Catto.

Unless they have been following this blog for years, our readers won’t have a clue what your talking about, My Black Cat.

Here is what we’ve been saying about Demos (if The Humankind can be bothered to read it )

Remember, My Black Cat,

The Humankind will think this is A Coincidence,

Black Cats will think it is A Conspiracy.

But we witches just regard it as one of life’s little Intertwinglements!


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  1. Hi Witch Doctor,

    I must admit to thinking that Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying linking themselves to The Campaign for Dignity in Dying, was the reason for the continued presence of The Campaign for Dignity in Dying on Dying Matters – I hope I have the aforementioned in correct order as all this Dying stuff is confusing!

    However, I have to admit that I could be wrong as celebs – ugh, I hate that term – appear to be more influential than the medical profession – which just goes to prove what a sorry state society is in!

    If celebs and those in the medical profession (who proclaim impartiality – but are not) can change the way the wind is blowing, and by your above report, it seems that this may be a possibility – then we are lost!

    I am worried Witch Doctor, worried.

    Anna :o]

  2. Oh dear! First we sent you Tony Blair, then Gordon Brown and now Graham Catto! Sorry about that! We Scots don’t have a lot of patience with their like; we tend to kick them upstairs to England. No doubt to do with the Scottish brain..;)

    I’ve been going through some of the submissions to the Scottish Parliament and pro euthanasia campaigners have a problem; their preferred executioners (doctors) don’t want the job. The people who are most enthusiastic about this are actually those who are furthest removed from the rock face. No surprises there, but I think it could hold them up for a while. Am intrigued by Demos’s connection to it all. I think it’s time I spent a while with Black Cat’s CPD..

  3. Was checking Demos last night and came across this. Thought it would give you a chuckle (or cackle). Alternatively, it might make your Black Cat swing from the chandeliers again..

  4. Anna,

    I was having a look at one of the links in Julie’s post demonstrating how just one person seems to have been largely responsible for keeping the UK free from the Eugenics programmes that at that time were rife in the western world. I find his way of looking at things, and how he vividly illustrates his point very erudite and even quite humerous at times. Ultimately he achieved his goal. In the blogosphere we have more resources than he could ever have dreamed of to keep a watchful eye on what the “shakers and movers” of society are up to. I’m sure he would have been a blogger.

    PS I hate the term “shakers and movers” probably as much as you dislike “celebs”

  5. Btw, WD, I noticed when I was going through the Demos stuff that the symbol for Common Purpose that you asked us about a while ago had gone. I actually saved it at the time, and I’ve still got it if you want to put it back. (post ‘What’s This?)

  6. I think I must have it somewhere Julie but can’t find it for the moment. As far as I can recollect I took it down after reading the strange terms and conditions associated with the CP and MST websites…… no linking without permission etc.

  7. […] memory serve her well, she seems to remember a recent Secretary of State for Health, Patsy, who wavers a bit on things, is a flower that gets stung but nevertheless has strong views on leadership, and many other things […]

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