The News – 25 August 2014

Overview

  • A highly paid neurosurgeon who indulged his cocaine addiction, paid thousands of dollars for sex and was directly linked to the death of two prostitutes avoided detection and continued to practise at a private Sydney hospital.
  • The Victorian Labor Party will seek to legalise medical cannabis if it wins the state election in November. The drug would be made available to treat people with terminal illnesses or life-threatening conditions.
  • A prominent Australian psychologist has warned Australia is currently raising a generation of spoilt brats, because their parents are “crap” and “never say no”.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th August 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-24/cocaine-addicted-surgeon-linked-to-deaths-continued-operating/5691768

A highly paid neurosurgeon who indulged his cocaine addiction, paid thousands of dollars for sex and was directly linked to the death of two prostitutes avoided detection and continued to practise at a private Sydney hospital.

Dr Suresh Nair worked at the Nepean Private Hospital in Sydney’s western suburbs performing delicate operations, but spent much of his time leading a double life.

Between shifts, the Malaysian-born doctor was spending tens of thousands of dollars on marathon sessions with prostitutes and cocaine.

He would eventually be charged in connection with the deaths of two sex workers from cocaine toxicity and have his medical licence revoked.

Upon his arrest, many of his patients were horrified to learn of their doctor’s extra-curricular activities.

For some, Dr Nair had botched their operations and left them with life-long ailments.

Dr Nair had been on the impaired doctor’s program since 2004 after self-reporting a problem with cocaine.

However, at the end of 2008, the NSW Medical Board (now the Medical Council) decided it was safe to stop drug testing the neurosurgeon.

That decision coincided with some major personal problems and Dr Nair’s life began to spiral out of control.

Nepean Public Hospital was aware Dr Nair was again using cocaine, and withdrew his clinical privileges.

But he was cleared by the NSW Medical Board to work under conditions and on that basis continued to operate at the private hospital next door.

… Nepean Public Hospital sent a letter to Nepean Private in April 2009 expressing concerns about Dr Nair’s work.

Healthscope, which operates Nepean Private, said it had no record of receiving the April letter.

The company said it relied on the decision of the NSW Medical Board, which in early 2009 cleared Dr Nair to practise under controlled conditions.

He would eventually plead guilty to one count of manslaughter and two counts of supplying prohibited drugs.

Dr Nair served more than four years behind bars for his crimes.

The neurosurgeon never obtained Australian citizenship, and on the eve of his parole date, July 31, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison cancelled his visa.

Dr Nair is expected to be deported to the country of his birth, Malaysia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-24/labor-party-proposes-legalisation-of-medical-cannabis/5692454

The Victorian Labor Party will seek to legalise medical cannabis if it wins the state election in November.

The drug would be made available to treat people with terminal illnesses or life-threatening conditions.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the law is outdated and “needs to be modernised”.

Mr Andrews will ask the Law Reform Commission to advise on how to prescribe and regulate the drug with the aim of presenting a bill to Parliament by the end of 2015.

Mr Andrews said the evidence is clear that there are benefits from using medical cannabis.

“I’ve spoken to many families with children who suffer forms of epilepsy, for instance, who have gone from having hundreds of seizures every day, to – once they’ve taken a liquid form of medical cannabis, a drop under the tongue – now suffer no seizures at all,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the use of the drug would be strictly regulated.

Cheri O’Connell’s daughter Tara has a severe form of epilepsy.

She has gone from having 65 seizures on a good day to having no seizures for 17 months since she started using the cannabis treatment.

Ms O’Connell said since using the drug, Tara’s health has been fantastic.

AMA Victoria president Dr Tony Bartone has backed the move.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-23/crap-australian-parents-raising-a-generation-of-spoilt-brats/5691638

A prominent Australian psychologist has warned Australia is currently raising a generation of spoilt brats, because their parents are “crap” and “never say no”.

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg believes today’s parents have a lot to answer for, and there may be serious long-term consequences for Australia.

Dr Carr-Gregg attributes the rise of poorly-behaved children to five major parenting problems.

“The first [problem] is that there are too many parents being doormats for their kids. They have got what I call a vitamin N deficiency, which is a failure to say no.

“It’s incredibly important that parents set limits and boundaries and I don’t know that that’s happening at the moment.”

Dr Carr-Gregg identified the “helicopter parent” as another “model of crap parenting” he was targeting in his work.

“The high-strung, control-freak parents that want to smother their kids with so much love and attention and monitoring and supervision that they never, ever develop any self-reliance and can’t solve their own problems later on.”

The Australian psychologist said he has seen ample evidence of the consequences to these types of parenting, not just in his own clinic but in schools around Australia.

An evolution in parenting styles over the last 20 years is to blame for the influx of bad parenting, Dr Carr-Gregg said.

The consequences of bad parenting has both short- and long-term effects, warned Dr Carr-Gregg.

Dr Carr-Gregg said this style of parenting has major effects on the mental health of children and adolescents as they grow up.

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