Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen: Fairy Story Part Two

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fairy Story Part Two

Professor Good Doctor arrived at this work a few days later to find he could not get into his office. It had been bolted with a big bolt and locked with a big key. 'You have been suspended from your job as director', Dr Princess told him. 'We are going to have a big enquiry into the misdeeds we've uncovered. You have had no consideration for your patients. Your wicked ways have put their lives at risk. Where is the young researcher you used as your tool to carry out your wrong doing? We want to put him in prison.'

The researcher came from another country. His father was ill. Professor Good Doctor had given him leave to go home to see him. 'Ah,' said his accusers. 'That proves your guilt. You have sent him away so he cannot confess to us that you were responsible for this wickedness. We are going to demand he is sent back to your island, so we can question him about what you have done.'

The professor was sent home while the enquiry was underway. Many clever and expensive lawyers took part in it. Professor Good Doctor was warned by some sympathetic people not to use his telephone or his email. 'Every single thing you say or write will be heard or read,' he was told. Mostly the Professor stayed in his own house. But every now and then he was called in to be questioned like a criminal, sometimes in his own office. After one such visit he was told. 'Some patient records are missing. We accuse you of stealing them. This is a criminal charge. If we follow it up, the police will be called in. You could be put in prison.'

He was warned that his passport would be taken away. He was not allowed to leave the island, not even to visit a patient in a country just across the sea from the island, not even to attend a conference of other doctors from all over the world at which he was suppose to deliver a speech.

All this time, meanwhile his name was headline news in every one of the island's newspapers, every single day. It was read out on the radio. it was shown on television. His face was known all over the island. He was recognised everywhere he went.

Two month went by. Professor Good Doctor was told that the report on his misdeeds was nearly ready. A week bef0re it was due he was called to the institute again.

'You will have to accept this report,' they said. 'If you accept it we will drop the criminal charges. You will be free to leave our island and to return to your own. If you don't accept it, you will have to stay here. You will be tried for theft. You might receive a prison sentence.'

What could poor Professor Good Doctor do? He had a wife. He had a child. What would happen to them if he was put in prison? The report came out; it was very long and very rude. He was convicted of having no consideration for patients, of putting their lives in danger, of all sorts of other things about which noone had told him. The island medical council struck him off their register of doctors. His name was in the papers, the television, the radio again. There he was for all to see; Professor Guilty , Professor not so Good Doctor. He accepted the report. He was allowed to book tickets back home to his own island. At midnight, a very few hours before he was due to fly away, there was a thunderous knocking at the door, 'Open up, police, ' and in they came, a posse of police in uniform. They searched the house from top to bottom, in front of the Professor's alarmed wife, his frightened little boy. They asked to see his computers and took them all away. Only now at last was was the Good Doctor free to fly away home to his own island. Back on the little Doctor Princess, the King's Beloved daughter, had won everything she wanted. Not only was her enemy disgraced; not so long after she was appointed Director of the medical institute in Professor Good Doctor's place.

She had won over the Professor Good Doctor; but only on her own island.

As I've said, Professor Good Doctor really was a very good doctor; known for his integrity, for the thoroughness and accuracy of his research, for his concern for and gentleness with his patients the wide world over. When he got back to his own island, far from throwing the Professor out of his old job, his employers stated: 'we have every confidence in Professor Good Doctor. We see no reason to remove him from his post.' Despite one or two nasty newspaper pieces planted by the King of the Island whose arm was long in such respects, the press on the big island left Professor Good Doctor alone. Meanwhile his colleagues, not just from his own institute, his own hospital, not just from his own island, but from the whole world rallied round him.

The small island medical council demanded the big island medical island looked at Professor Good Doctor's case and punished him for malpractice the way they had punished him, thereby ending Good Doctor's career for good. But after the medical council had looked at the report, at the evidence provided, they got advice from other important doctors close at hand and far afield; some of whom went so far as to state that the case was not even worth making; that there was nothing to suggest Professor Good Doctor had done anything seriously wrong. Admittedly it took the council nearly three years to gather all the evidence, a fact which did not help Professor Good Doctor's work. But at the end of that time they rejected the case against him.

Back on their island the King and his daughter Princess Doctor and the two important princes her brothers were furious. No, they would not let the case go. THEY WOULD NOT. Professor Good Doctor must not get away with his crimes they said. He must be made to suffer even more than he had done. They had spent a lot of island money on the case already. Now they spent a great deal more going for a Judicial Review against the big island medical council. This council had not investigated the case properly, they said. They had not taken all the evidence they should have done from the little island medical council, the council had not been given sufficient time to make their case.

Lawyers went back and forth from little island to big one. At last a judge wearing a large wig, wearing scarlet robes, processed into the High Court of the big island. In the court room stood waiting a crowd of lawyers; lawyers for the big island Medical council, lawyers representing Professor Good Doctor; many more lawyers for the little medical council, many more lawyers and officials from the little island, the court was quite filled up with people to amazement of the Judge, sitting on his high seat gazing down on them all. He looked as if he couldn't quite believe what he was seeing; or, when it came to it, what he was hearing.

He listened to the lawyers and their witnesses for two whole days. Then he sent them all away. Two weeks or so later, he issued his report. He could see nothing wrong with the big island's council decision he said - it took him nearly 50 pages, but that is the short and the long of what he had to say.

After nearly four years Professor Good Doctor was free of all charges, free to go back to doing what he does best.

And the King and the Princess and the little island? The King is used to getting his own way. The princess is used to getting her way. But they didn't get their way this time. On their little island certain complaints have even been made in certain quarters about the money spent pursuing Professor Good Doctor on behalf of the Princess. Dr Clever - and maybe beautiful - Princess is still director of her institute. But these days she is very short of international colleagues. Noone wants to fall foul of her or anyone else in the family of the king.

It's called beware clever princesses. Or anything else you like to name. But as I have said it is merely a fairy story. It's not one you need worry about in the slightest, unless that is you are doctor thinking of working on some other island than your own, in which case you had better sit down and read it carefully. For everyone else this can remain not only a mere fairy story but pure hokum to boot. It even - in some senses - for some people - ended happily ever after.

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