I wrote about Ian Paterson in an article back on 1st June. The day before he had been sentenced to 15 years for ‘wounding with intent’ a host of females upon whom he operated on needlessly. For most of us, that is simply extraordinary and inexplicable. But this guy, a surgeon, a doctor, is believed to have carried out a host of procedures, mainly on women, telling many of them that they required urgent surgery. They did not.
Earlier today, his jail term was increased from 15 to 20 years.
The case was referred to the Court of Appeal (in England) by the Solicitor-General, Robert Buckland. His argument was that Paterson’s offences were “so serious and exceptional” that a prison term “significantly higher” than 15 years was necessary.
The Court of Appeal agreed.
It is, in my opinion an extraordinarily disturbing case. Despite being charged and convicted of a relatively small number of offences ( not to in any way trivialise them, of course), it is thought that the Scots-born surgeon may have carried out needless surgical procedures on hundreds of women, In addition it is thought he knowingly made false diagnoses of, in the main, cancer.
In the end of the day, what this man did to these poor women was mutilate them and has left them with a lifetime of physical scars and emotional damage, which will doubtless never heal. Perhaps the most sinister aspect of all is to try and determine why he would do this?
In a criminology slant, does he perhaps exhibit psychopathic tendencies? In America in the 1960’s acclaimed criminologist sociologists William and Joan McCord were influential in somehow re-defining the textbook definition of psychopathy, at least contextually. They talked of the ” psychopathic criminal being asocial, self-centred, maladjusted…..someone who feels little guilt…”
One of the most readily identifiable traits among psychopaths is their manipulative behaviour. They are often seen ( and described initially by their victims) as charming but use their skills for their own gain and not in the pursuit of helping others.
There are some who are comparing Paterson to Harold Shipman.
Certainly, the abuse of power, position and privilege that this man has carried out is quite breathtaking. It was noted this morning that when he was being sentenced ( by video-link) he sat taking notes and shaking his head, almost in disbelief.
It strikes me that his total and sustained refusal to see that what he did was so manifestly wrong in every way was almost as bad as the physical harm and pain he inflicted upon his victims. And let us remember they may have consulted him as patients but left as victims.
His refusal to explain anything may very well explain, at least in part his deviant behaviour. He has a good few years to consider the damage he has done.
Thanks for stopping by people and have a good day.