The German SS called it the Final Solution. The UK medical version of the SS, the General Medical Council, calls it Revalidation. Despite their very different contexts, the processes are remarkably similar.
For the Germans, it started with the state (the Nazi party) declaring that there were undesirables (non-Aryans) in their midst. In our case, the state (DoH) has declared that there are sub-standard doctors in our midst. It is noteworthy that in both cases it is the state that has identified what is undesirable. Showcase enquiries and kangaroo court trials were and are used as propaganda to whip up public hatred for the undesirables.
Clearly undesirables are just that, undesirable, and so must be got rid of. The system must be cleansed. That requires a means to differentiate between desirables and undesirables. The Nazis used the Nuremberg laws; we have the GMC’s Good Medical Practice, and all the rules and regulations about revalidation. It is noteworthy that in neither case is the body making up the rules elected. The GMC used to have elected members, but now all are appointed – by a quango called the Appointments Commission – who’s directors are in turn are directly accountable to the DoH.
The next step is to apply the rules and regulations. The party starts with an assumption of undesirability: only those who demonstrate they have desirable characteristics (Aryan descent for Germans, successful revalidation for doctors) will be certified as being acceptable to the state, and issued with appropriate documentation. Those who fail the test will be stripped of their rights and privileges. Non-Aryans were denied citizenship, and were not allowed to vote; failed doctors will be stripped of their ability to work as doctors.
These processes were and will be administered by “Little Eichmanns” – individuals who accept the moral authority of a state and its apparati without question. They do not concern themselves with whether what they are doing is right or wrong: it is sufficient that the state decrees that it should be so. They are known as Little Eichmanns because whilst each individual Little Eichmann may appear indirectly involved, their collective engagement allows a state to apply immoral and destructive policies.
All doctors will find that there is a Little Eichmann sitting between them and their ongoing ability to work as a doctor. That individual will more often than not be their trust’s medical director, appointed as the GMC’s local “responsible officer”, who in turn will be part of a sinister network of officers and affiliates working for the GMC.
And – as any decent doctor will tell you – medical directors are often shall we say not the most straight-forward of doctors. Some are dud doctors who prefer the committee to the consulting room. Others lean more towards control-freakery. And all are half in bed with the managers. Most if not all will already have practiced a little Eichmannship.
In the news this morning we heard that the government has been told it will have to fire doctors to get the NHS books back in balance. The government has said of course it will not cut clinical staff. They wont have to: the Little Eichmanns will do it for them. For, make no mistake, revalidation will trigger a cull of significant numbers of practicing doctors.
Truly, the Eichmann cometh. It is enough to chill the heart of any decent doctor.