OF NATURAL CAUSES
Now that George Michael’s post-mortem findings have come to light, Maurice Gueret urges caution on Donald diagnosis
a well-regarded solicitor. If a deceased person has not been seen by a medical doctor in the calendar month before death, then it is mandatory for the coroner to get involved. All deaths where violence, misadventure or potential negligence is suspected must be reported. The coroner’s job is to find out who died, where they died, when they died and how they died. Coroners have to be satisfied that there is nothing untoward about deaths before directing doctors to issue death certificates. They can decide to have post mortems completed, and if inconclusive, an inquest might follow. Coroners get involved in about 6,000 deaths a year. Of these, fewer than 1,000 will go to inquest. was a fit person to be President. The editor was sued for libel and Goldwater took him to the cleaners for what would be half a million dollars today. It’s a funny old country that denies psychiatrists a platform to speak from their knowledge base, but lets an ignorant President freely insult Mexicans, Muslims and women that he has never met. I’m a sugar man myself. Just a half spoon in tea and a fussier quarter portion in coffee. It’s not good for the figure, but the low dosage eases guilt. The real damage is done by dunked biscuits. I have never quite trusted the health profile of artificial sweeteners. Now I’m not certain I can trust the legions of people who take them. A new test is being used in Canada for the detection of urine in public pools. It measures the levels of an artificial sweetener that swimmers pass in their urine (the sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE), is commonly found in processed food and passes through the body unaltered). It would appear that the chemical sweetness-andlight brigade are clouding the waters for the rest of us. Renegades who are too cosy in their lanes to get out to go to the lavatory. Researchers spent three weeks at two pools, and, in testing for ACE, they found 75 litres of pee in the big one and 30 litres in the smaller one. I am afraid to bring you the results of their hotel jacuzzi testing lest you never go on holidays again. Faeces in a swimming pool does pose an infection risk. Urine is sterile, so it’s really no more than an eye and airway irritant on its own. But it doesn’t mix well with pool chemicals. The baddies here are DBPs: disinfection byproducts that result when pool cleaning chemicals meet human waste. Very toxic. I’ll be watching out the next time the sugar bowl is passed to see who is on the artificial sweeteners. I’m in no particular hurry to finish writing a book called The research is so interesting that the writing of the book has lapsed. This month, I am looking at Soyer’s Famine Soup Kitchen, which was set up in the Croppies’ Acre field in 1847. Visitors to Collins Barracks on the quays will know the area well. Soyer was a French celebrity chef based in London who took his nation’s penchant for bragging to new heights. He invented a thin beef and vegetable soup, fortified with lashings of salt and sugar, and made all sorts of claims for its faminebeating abilities. He was invited to Dublin, and his soup kitchen was installed to feed thousands of souls every day. The local nobility were charged a fee to come and watch the masses being fed. His critics said it was more a case of poor soup than soup for the poor. The kitchen didn’t last long and was dismantled and moved to the Liberties. I’d love to know if anything remains of Soyer’s soup kitchen and am all ears if you can help.