Quite fascinating

Almost 10 years ago to the month, I was a newly qualified junior doctor, working in Oxford’s major teaching hospital, the John Radcliffe. On one of my first on-call shifts, a characteristically busy Saturday evening, I was summoned to the ward by a kindly Filipino nurse. She was distressed about a patient, an elderly man delirious with infection, who was shouting racial slurs at the nursing staff.

“How are you feeling today, sir?” I asked with a cheerful, if insincere, lilt.

“I’m not arrogant, I’m English, which is more than I can say for you, you black bastard!” he replied with equal buoyancy.

I considered a cheeky retort but opted instead for a wry smile and a gentle dose of lorazepam to settle the matter quickly. I scurried away, more patients to see and blood tests to review before handover to the night team.

That’s interesting:

Lorazepam, sold under the brand name Ativan among others, is a benzodiazepine medication. It is used to treat anxiety disorders, trouble sleeping, active seizures including status epilepticus, alcohol withdrawal, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

A cheerful shout of you black bastard gets you drugged into submission?

Or, to put a better face on the action, a shout of you black bastard is evidence of being so unaware of yourself and surroundings through illness that treatment is required?

36 thoughts on “Quite fascinating”

  1. Like so many others the author needs to leave a place not liked. The stolen money the old bloke probably spent a life paying over should be paid to our own.

  2. Mebbe that’s why he’s not working as a doctor:

    Simukai Chigudu is associate professor of African politics at the University of Oxford

    Dunno what we need professors of African politics for tho. We already have Diane Abbott.

  3. Lorazepam: standard cosh for difficult old people. Anyone with a relative in a “care” home should check their meds. The night staff do not like being disturbed. I discovered my mother had them added to her meds when she was accidentally given one in the morning, turning her into a compliant zombie. She’d never had difficulty falling asleep for the previous ninety years.

  4. Quite right too.
    Patients have the right to be treated.
    Hospital staff are under enough stress already and have the right to work without being abused.
    Obstreperous people need to be kept under control no less than violent ones.
    A little something to calm the old bugger down and shut him up is just what the doctor ordered.

  5. Control your obstreperousness, or I shall stun your brain!

    Now there’s a clarion call we can all get behind.

  6. @AndrewS: but they weren’t being abused. The delirium – once treated – would have seen him revert. He was no more in control of what he was saying than a Tourette’s sufferer. And couldn’t consent to ‘treatment’ for this.

    Or do you think they should have a chemical cosh applied to them to preserve a nurse’s delicate sensibilities?

  7. “Chigudu decided to complete a second master’s degree, and moved to the University of Oxford to train in African studies. He was awarded a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarship to investigate feminist movements in Northern Uganda….As a graduate student, Chigudu was a founding member of the Oxford Rhodes Must Fall activist group that looked to “decolonise” both Oxford and academia more broadly…In the wake of the George Floyd protests, Chigudu wrote in The Guardian about the need to remember the devastation caused by the British Empire.[8] At one of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in Oxford, Chigudu said “The institution is structured according to a legacy and a culture that is very white and very elitist”.


  8. As his wikipedia entry indicates, Chigudu is no friend of free speech. He’d cheerfully drug any waycis into silence.

  9. “Chigudu was a founding member of the Oxford Rhodes Must Fall activist group that looked to “decolonise” both Oxford and academia more broadly”

    Foreigner seeks to decolonise English university by stripping it of its native history.

  10. Sounds like the old geezer knew what he was talking about.Had this one bang to rights, anyway.

  11. The same people that think it ok to drug old people, for being obstreperous, are the ones that think teachers shouldn’t be able to suspend violent students.

    They could at least be consistent.

    Violence is violence. If we can’t accept it from old folk, we shouldn’t accept it from the young either.

    Do we get to exclude violent students AndrewS?

  12. “Hospital staff…have the right to work without being abused.”
    I’ve never considered I have the right to work without being abused. Why would I? I might have deserved it. Nobody should have the right not to be abused. It’s an abuse of free speech.

  13. “If we can’t accept it from old folk, we shouldn’t accept it from the young either.”

    Lorazepam could cut the crime rate among young vibrants.

  14. Pat,

    Hobby MAs can be had quite reasonably – I self-funded a (very interesting) MA in Intelligence and International Relations from Staffordshire, part-time distance learning over three years, for about £4k with military discount – basically just put my RNR bounty into it each year.

    I hardly had to be a scion of wealth and privilege… on the other hand it’s just a hobby MA.

  15. When I was an industrial plant fitter I used to get abuse thrown at me on a regular basis. People seemed to think that it was my fault that their equipment had stopped working. Usually it was their own fault, stupid people shouldn’t be allowed to use machinery.

  16. Elderly.

    Quite likely the patient was in some stage of dementia. Anyone with experience of a relative or friend with dementia will know they can say very hurtful, spiteful things for no reason.

    Why would anyone in soundness of mind answer a question, “How are you feeling…“? With, “I’m not arrogant…”.

    And, every action has an equal and opposite reaction: could it be that remarks had previously been made to him by staff members, maybe that ‘kindly’ Filipino nurse? Contrary to the notion that medical staff are saints and angels (Clap), they can be nasty pieces of work particularly if patients are not entirely compliant with ‘nurse says’ or require a bit more attention interfering with tea-beaks and chats about last night’s telly.

  17. Lorazepam: standard cosh for difficult old people.

    A week before my mom died, we found that the nursing home put her on meds for bipolar (I think quetiapine, not lorazepam). I always wondered how much this was just to keep her docile, but in her case it was more complicated in that she most likely had an undiagnosed mental illness — she was always “difficult” long before she was diagnosed with dementia.

  18. I’d say its a pretty good admission of assault. If a patient was (by the author’s own admission) under the effects of an infection then he is not responsible for his actions or statements. To administer a drug purely for the benefit of the staff would be assault. We know the NHS’s attitude to such behaviour – its staff basically murdered old people in Gosport Hospital in similar circumstances by administering high amounts of opiates and not one person has ever been so much as disciplined, let alone prosecuted.

  19. A little research shows that Simukai Chigudu is indeed black. What I can’t determine from his Wikipedia page is whether or not he was born out of wedlock. As such I’m still unclear if the alleged slur was simply a statement of fact.

  20. I would have thought the good Professor has personally rather a lot to thank the British Empire for. Where would be be, if Africa had remained the Dark Continent…?

  21. The best part is that he ran away from Wakanda Zimbabwe to live among white people whom he despises.

  22. He was awarded a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarship…

    They sound like a hideously white pair.

  23. Chigudu clearly blames Cecil Rhodes for Robert Mugabe. Prior to UDI the black Southern Rhodesians were (among the if not *the*) most prosperous group(s) of blacks in Africa, with a significantly higher standard of living than those in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). In the 1950s and 1960s most workers in South African gold mines came from neighbouring countries – most notably Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Northern Rhodesia but very few from Southern Rhodesia – because even under apartheid the average South African black was sufficiently well off for the extra pay from mining not to be adequate attraction for most local blacks to offset the pain and danger whereas Mozambicans felt the pay differential over what they could get at home more than justified the conditions in the mine. Very few Ndbele or Shona because the Southern Rhodesian blacks were better off under a system where the white minority had a parliamentary majority than anyone in the neighbouring countries with black majority rule (or Portuguese rule in case).
    Chigudu wants “Rhodes must fall” because the statue of Rhodes reminds him of the failings of the black rulers of his homeland. And because he didn’t get a Rhodes Scholarship.

  24. “ A scholarship to ‘investigate feminist movements in Northern Uganda’,”

    Ah, so he is into Ugandan Discussions

    (See Private Eye)

  25. Small mercies. Chigudu is clearly a nasty bitter cunt not safe to be in charge of anyone paler than him.
    Obviously it would be better if he were delivering his wisdom directly to Africa, but at least he can’t kill anyone as associate professor of spearchucking, Marxism and grievance studies.

  26. The old man would’ve probably called a fat doctor, “You fat bastard”. Not a sign that any malice was intended and Chigudu seemed to accept that, yet he still went ahead with the medical cosh. So not a moral person, and not fit to be a doctor and look after people.

  27. BlokeInTejasInNormandy

    If you’ve seen folk suffering from dementia, or post operation nutcaseiness ( general anesthetics have a bad effect on the aged brain, but cutting cancer out of a lung more or less requires it) you’d quickly realise that looking after raving folk is an enormous burden for nursing staff.

    Calming the lad down didn’t affect his ‘unanimous rights, cos e was off his rocker at the time.

    You’re not in hospital to exercise yer ‘oomin rights, you’re there to get cured and out. And a whack of lorezepam to make you manageable while you regain your senses seems very reasonable to me.

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ A little research shows that Simukai Chigudu is indeed black. What I can’t determine from his Wikipedia page is whether or not he was born out of wedlock. As such I’m still unclear if the alleged slur was simply a statement of fact.”

    That reminded me of the, no doubt apocryphal, story of Fred Trueman bowling in the Windies when
    I was a child, long before neutral umpires and even live TV and stump miles. Having had a series of plumb LBW appeals turned down (all Fred’s LBW appeals were plumb by his telling) he turned to the umpire and called him a “cheating black bastard”, realising what he’d done he quickly added “and colour’s nowt to do wi’it, if you’d been white I’d have called you a cheating white bastard”.

  29. I’m a Doctor.

    Cunts like this collect awards and prizes but don’t like getting their hands dirty. That is they cannot do the work but love the title and what goes with it.

    They are a pain in the arse to work with. I hate them.

  30. Nurses suffer from a higher rate of assaults than the police, you try being the first person a failed suicide sees after they come round, not usually a good situation and because of human rights they cannot be restrained until after they have acted violently.

  31. a whack of lorezepam to make you manageable

    This attitude leads to many elderly people spending their final years under the chemical cosh and indeed it is the sort of thinking that leads people down the Liverpool ‘Care Pathway’.

  32. ” Could I ever call this country home when I was frequently reminded of my outsider status?”

    Given that England literally means ‘Land of the English’, I’m not sure why Africans, Asians or Middle-Easterners would expect to feel at home here.
    As he seems to resent white people, there might be a case for looking into this doctors death rate for white patients.

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