Manipulating the law....the HSE way.
How the HSE is trying to block a legal action for Misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer
This is an update to a previously published story from Alison Kelly, a woman who was misdiagnosed regarding Breast Cancer, and the subsequent twists and turns of trying to take a civil legal action against the HSE.
Next Monday, the 20th of July, an application for judgement by default against the HSE will be applied for in the High Court, in relation to my case regarding Misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer and other medical malpractice issues.
The background to my case with the HSE, is as follows:
I presented to the breast clinic of our lady of lourdes hospital in Drogheda in 2003 with symptoms in my left breast. After examination, I was told that my symptoms were not dangerous, and to 'not lose a nights sleep over it'. Two years later in February 2005, I was diagnosed with advanced Breast Cancer, and had a mastectomy. I was also prescribed 6 months of intensive chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy, due to the severity of the cancer, and the fact that it had spread to lymph nodes and connective tissue in the breast.
However, an initial dose of chemotherapy, had very negative and life threatening results, and as a consequence, I eventually made a decision to walk away from medical care, and to pursue a natually based holistic form of healing based on diet, herbal remedies, supplements, meditation, and other holistic forms of healing.
In November 2007, I wrote a letter of complaint to the HSE, after a 'safe list' of centres for breast cancer care was published. There were 20 hospitals listed as being considered 'safe' for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and Our Lady of Lourdes was on the list. I asked the HSE at the time to make a public statement about my own misdiagnosis, as I felt that women in the north east had a right to know that a misdiagnosis had taken place in the hospital. I also asked the HSE to investigate the negative issues surrounding my very negative experience with chemotherapy.
The HSE did not make a public statement, and initially, did not acknowledge the misdiagnosis. I decided to speak out to the media myself at the time, and the HSE initially denied that I had been misdiagnosed, but agreed to first an 'internal' review of my case, carried out by the hospital staff. This review maintained that I had not been misdiagnosed. I expressed my dissatisfaction with the very poor and biased nature of this review, and again, as a result of going to the media, the HSE agreed to an 'external' review, which was carried out by professor Arnold Hill. This review acknowledged that I had been misdiagnosed, and recognised that i had not been given a mammogram in 2003, and that if I had, that the outcome may have been different.
The HSE agreed to do an internal,and external review of my treatment with chemotherapy, but both reviews had many errors, omissions, and inaccuracies. I asked the HSE to commision an independent review of my treatment, which they initially agreed to, but then did not follow through with. Eventually,having recieved a letter from the HSE which informed me that they could not find an independent expert to review my case, and suggesting I find one myself. I decided to initiate legal action against the HSE. At this stage over a year had passed since i had first contacted the HSE asking them to investigate the issues involved in my treatment.
A summons was served on the HSE last november (2008) regarding all of the issues named above. The HSE ignored the summons, by failure to respond, and failure to give notice of defence. As a result, a further summons was served on them, which again, they failed to respond to. After a motion for judgement by default was filed by my solicitor to the high court, the HSE requested extra time, and were granted it.
The extra time has now run out, and again the HSE have failed to respond. On Monday my solicitor and barrister will again seek judgment in my favour, but the HSE have again given notice that again, they intend to ask for an extension.
It seems clear that the HSE are cynically playing a waiting game, by using every possible way of manipulating the law and the high court, thereby keeping themselves,and their employees out of court for as long as possible. It seems to me that the HSE is showing contempt for legal processes, contempt for the high court, and contempt for me.
I feel at this stage, that it is clear that those making decisions about my case in the HSE have absolutely no moral fibre, sense of accountability or integrity. It is certainly crystal clear that where issues like misdiagnosis and malpractice are concerned, the HSE place the reputations of doctors and hospitals, way above the welfare of patients.
I will be attending the High Court on Monday, as an observer.