Re: CJD Question. An Emotive Defence

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Dear Emma,
I apologise for making you cross. After much consideration I have decided to 
reply via HISTONET. 

I suspect that we share mutual concerns about patients although it may not 
seem to be the case based on the email you quoted. In truth I don't care 
whether a patient is black, white, yellow, a nazi, a communist, gay , 
"straight", criminal or a pillar of the community. I'm not concerned about 
gender or creed either. I don't care how the patient came to be ill or 
infective. Its not important. A patient is a patient, with real worries about 
ill health. A patient relies upon others to help them. They are the only 
reason we do what we do. I don't work for pathologists or surgeons, I do my 
work for the the most important person, the patient. This creed was hammered 
into me as a trainee and I've never forgotten it . I make damn sure my 
trainee colleagues don't forget it too.
All I do care about in this situation is whether the tissue from that patient 
poses a risk to me or my colleagues. I have a professional and a legal duty 
to care about them. You will see a section in my reply to Rob which explains 
my thoughts on our duty to patients. It's a bit dry - sorry.
Am I uncomfortable about not doing frozens on tissues from ill, infected 
patients? Yes. But I can live with it because we offer alternatives. And becau
se I reduce the risks as far as I can I (and do so for my collegues too ) we 
will continue to live (in good health) with this difficult paradox. 

It's not judgemental, or uncaring it's simply dispassionate risk assessment.

Sincerely yours,

Glyn Woodward

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