Outrage, tax evasion, and controversy-my top 5 news stories of the week.

Welcome to this weeks installment of my top 5 news stories of the week feature. I won’t be featuring either Hurricane Sandy or the Presidential Election here, as I’ve already done a post on Sandy (see here) and I plan to sum up electiony stuff tomorrow, including the independent candidates tomorrow.

So without further ado, lets start with…

Thousands illegally sectioned over ‘technical error’ (read ‘government cock up’)

5,000 patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act were sectioned unlawfully, by which I mean by people we’re assured are ‘qualified’ to make such a decision, just not legally allowed to.

The Mental Health Act states that anyone who needs to be sectioned for their own or societies safety must be sectioned by an approved doctor. Ordinarily, the Health Secretary would approve doctors, but it turns out that power has been delegated to the ten Strategic Health Authorities for England, four of which further delegated the task to mental health trusts.

However, it seems in that last step, it seems the four authorities, namely North East, Yorkshire and Humber, West Midlands, and East Midlands, failed to sign off on their decisions and as such made them effectively illegal.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, assures us that it’s a technical error only and everything was above board clinically, and fearing legal procedures the Government are planning to put in emergency legislation to deal with it. However, the problem remains: how did this happen in such a sensitive area, and where else has it happened? God knows delegation isn’t something government are afraid off. (Source: The Independent)

Mother of patient with Cerebral Palsy sues over DNR order and failing to administer proper medication

Elaine Winspear, mother of 28 year old Carl Winspear, is suing Sunderland Royal hospital for failing to consult her over a Do No Resuscitate order and failing to properly administer medication.

Carl, who had Cerbral Palsy, was admitted with and, died from, pneumonia. A DNR order was written on his notes early one morning, along with ‘speak to family in morning’. When Elaine was approached, she disagreed with the decision, but did not know the order had already been written. The coroner who assessed his case decided he had died of natural causes, but was concerned that Carl hadn’t received the treatment that could’ve saved him quick enough.

While there’s no actual nationwide policy on DNR orders, it’s generally accepted that adults who are mentally capable or doctors who feel it goes against their clinical judgement can refuse treatments, and there’s no requirements to consult family. This is being fully reviewed in February 2013. (Source: The Guardian)

Apple display yet more douchebaggery

Apple, that well known ray of corporate sunshine, has hit headlines in more than a few ways this week. Firstly, after it was ruled that their public apology to Samsung ordered by UK courts for falsely accusing their Galaxy tablet infringed on Apple patents sucked, Apple reposted a new, yet still slightly sucky, apology on their UK site. Secondly, it turns out that they paid 1.9% tax, or £713m, on earnings of £36.87 billion outside of the US, adding itself to the list of American multi-nationals that just don’t like paying tax.

I have a certain sympathy with tax dodgers, on the ground that if someone said ‘here’s a legal way to cut your taxes for free’ I’d probably take it like a shot., but when you’re dodging taxes on a Greek politicians’ wet dream worth of profits, you just look like a douche.

That said, it is Apple. They’re rather used to it by now. (Sources: CNET, Guardian)

Traffic Warden caught accepting a bribe from a journalist

If there’s one type of person you don’t want to get caught doing dodgy dealings by, it’s probably a journalist for a low rent tabloid newspaper.

An as yet unnamed traffic warden made the mistake of asking for and accepting a £20 bribe from a Daily Star reporter, then recorded it on his handheld computer and claimed that the reporter wouldn’t be getting fined in that are anytime soon.

Expect to see ‘Today I got fired from my job for accepting a bribe. Turns out he was a tabloid reporter. FML’ soon on fml.com.

Diver faces backlash for catching an octopus

When Dylan Mayer’s friend asked him to catch something from nature for him for an art project, he decided to catch, and eat, a giant Pacific octopus. What he wasn’t prepared for was the backlash.

The giant Pacific octopus is famed for it’s agile intelligence and ability to match the colour of its surroundings, but sin’t not a protected species, as confirmed by Dylan with the game warden of the area. However, many other divers are appalled by his bad form in catching such a creature, and as such is banned from several diving shops and schools, potentially scuppering his dream of becoming a rescue diver.

In fairness, the guy’s hardly a class act. When describing what happened, he said ‘…these divers came up and started yelling at me. I ignored them and ended up driving away.’.

Yup. Just lovable. (source:Daily Mail)


That’s all for this week. Please feel free to leave any thoughts, opinions, or favourite stories of your own in the comments sections. Thanks for reading!




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