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[Irish Medical Times] , O'Suilliobhain, Cathal Jumping the gun on Ireland’s heroin drought. (21 Jan 2011)

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There has been an unfortunate tendency for some medical personnel working in addiction to indulge in a sort of vicarious enjoyment of the more exciting forensic aspects of the drugs problem.

They often use street slang when speaking of patients. For example, I have often heard doctors saying their patients are ‘dirty’ when they have detected illicit substances in their tests. I cannot imagine them referring to any other class of patient who had an abnormal test result in this manner (in public, at least).

I feel strongly that doctors should treat all their patients with equal dignity and respect and limit themselves (certainly in their public pronouncements) to their areas of expertise. At least the Sunday Independent uses the term ‘alleged’ when referring to this individual....


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