Cancer

Doctor Bradbury, please help me

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This month, we could read about doctor Bradbury. Shock and outrage surfaced with the news that he had molested innocent children with cancer for 22 years.

These boys were all vulnerable and gravely ill. In all my years on the bench, I have never come across such a grotesque betrayal of your Hippocratic oath.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth

kid

The case reminds me of Jimmy Saville, who also abused so many children without getting caught before it was too late. I think about the nightmare it must have been for those who’ve trusted these men. Children, hoping for a better future, and how they probably has had their lives destroyed. I won’t even think about how and why this happened. The story is familiar: People were suspicious and thought something might be going on. In Saville’s case, people even knew that abuse happened, but they failed to speak up, dismissing the truth for several reasons. Some because they were afraid, since Saville was famous and liked. Some thought they must have misunderstood, and some plainly wouldn’t think about it.

Bradbury was described as “a man of great charm and persuasiveness” whom everybody trusted. When one victim raised concerns with his mother, she said: “He’s a doctor, it must be necessary.”

Dec 1st, 2014

Our mind is the king of denial, and reigns over conscience and fear. After the fact we are haunted by guilt and think about the signs that suddenly makes everything obvious. I remember one of the people who suspected that Saville did indeed molest children. She talked about why she didn’t report what she had suspected. Several of the reasons mentioned, were named, and it was clear that she wished she had followed her gut feeling. We can all remember occasion where we failed to do the right thing, and most of us feel guilty for a long time afterwards. What’s the cure? Simply do what’s right when you feel something might be wrong. I, like the rest of the world, shudder when we read stories like these, but what really scares me is abuse on a large scale. It’s abuse in countries where no safety nets exists. Where abuse doesn’t get investigated because of corruption or lack of laws.

Examples are girls sold to slavery and poor women in developed countries who endure secular violence on a regular basis. They have silent screams that we never hear, because they are muffled from the very beginning. This is was scares me more than anything else. In UK, the children and families who were affected by doctor Bradbury, at least get justice. In many poor countries, the perpetuates walk free after abuse and even murder. The innocent women and men have no place to turn for comfort, help or hope. They must endure another crisis, every day, while the rest of the world goes on like nothing is wrong.

What scares you the most?

Maybe, when we hear the screams, we will finally wake up enough to do something for the victims of abuse. Until then, let us all remember to speak up when we suspect something’s amiss. We might regret it otherwise.

The sound of shocking news

Dr Myles Bradbury patients’ families warned children could be abused

Woman goes to the doctor

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"Una mujer va al médico" - "Love life" by Ray KluunI wanted to use some of the space on this blog for recommending books I have read. This time it is the books from a man from the Netherlands, who writes about his experiences while caring for his wife with cancer. The book (love life) has been translated to many languages, and was also followed up by a book on how he managed after she died. It is not the typical tale of a man regretting not spending more time with her, but a tale about how hard life can be in reality. It is a book with many shades of grey, and you realize that life is often more complicated than what we want to think.

Introduction: When successful 30-something Stijn meets the free-spirited Carmen they fall madly in love and embark on a passionate affair. Soon, they also make it down the aisle and even though Carmen knows Stijn has an unfaithful streak, she decides to take him as he is. They work together in advertising in Amsterdam and when they have a baby girl; their happy lives couldn’t be more perfect together.

Love Life (2010) Barry Atsma and Carice van Houten

It’s the calm before the storm because next comes Carmen’s diagnosis of breast cancer. Though she tries to stay strong for her family, her mastectomy and chemotherapy puts a strain on Stijn who is unable to cope. Caring for his sick wife, he begins to lose his passion for her and eventually ends up falling in love with another woman, Roos  whom he’s been seeing on the side.

Kluun’s wife Judith died from breast cancer at 36 years old (2000). He wanted to express his feelings for his late wife, so he used his experience to write his first novel Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (Love Life)[1] 3 years later in 2003. He then wrote the sequel De weduwnaar (The widower) to talk about his move to Australia with their daughter after Judith died.[2]

I have read both books and can recommend them both. I have not watched the movie, but I want to do that, too. I liked it so much since it was brutally honest. It is a tale from a man who has a hard time with his feelings, and therefore makes choices he wish he hadn`t done. It is still a tale of the bond of love, and how forgiveness and acceptance can make strong people do amazing things. It is even harder to read, since it is based on a true story. She was far too young when she died, and such an incredible woman. I sat with tears in my eyes several times, and had to read through it as fast as possible.