Se­crecy of pub­lic of­fi­cials only adds to vic­tims’ an­guish

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - OPINION -

It’s of­ten said that the true test of any or­gan­i­sa­tion is how it re­acts to ad­ver­sity; when well-laid plans go wrong.

Our re­cent in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­lat­ing to two pa­tients given toxic trans­plant or­gans re­veals that the med­i­cal ser­vices in­volved could and should have done so much bet­ter.

Medics ar­gue that it was im­pos­si­ble to tell that the donor in these cases had a rare and ag­gres­sive can­cer which was sub­se­quently passed on to the re­cip­i­ents.

How­ever, that doesn’t ex­cuse the way the fam­ily of Tom Tyre­man have been treated.

Tom died from can­cer that was in­tro­duced into his body by a do­nated liver.

It is scan­dalous that his rel­a­tives were ini­tially told the can­cer was co­in­ci­dence.

It is scan­dalous they only learned the liver was in­fected when they called the coro­ner’s of­fice de­mand­ing an­swers.

It is scan­dalous they only dis­cov­ered there was a sec­ond in­fected pa­tient when The Sun­day Post re­vealed that very fact last week.

What hap­pened to pub­lic ser­vices be­ing more open? Such open­ness would have re­duced the dis­tress be­ing suf­fered by both fam­i­lies.

In­deed, fol­low­ing last week’s re­port, they are now of­fer­ing each other sup­port in what can only be de­scribed as their dark­est hours.

Too of­ten The Sun­day Post re­ports on cases where those in power have been un­nec­es­sar­ily se­cre­tive with those they are sup­posed to be serv­ing.

From health mat­ter to polic­ing is­sues, it ap­pears pub­lic of­fi­cials pre­fer to say as lit­tle as pos­si­ble as in­fre­quently as pos­si­ble.

Well, such a lack of in­for­ma­tion does noth­ing but raise sus­pi­cion, heighten fear, and leave peo­ple sus­pect­ing ul­te­rior mo­tives.

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