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Franco Debono asks Commissioner to investigate 'chemotherapy toxicity deaths'

Update 2 | Nationalist MP Franco Debono urges police investigation into ‘serious claims’ by former oncology chief Stephen Brincat that cancer patients in Gozo died from chemo toxicity.

Karl Stagno-Navarra
2 September 2012, 12:00am
Nationalist MP Franco Debono
Speaking to MaltaToday, the PN MP confirmed that he has written to Police Commissioner John Rizzo, calling on him to investigate the claims made today by in 'The Times' that cancer patients who were treated in Gozo's General Hospital, had died from chemotherapy toxicity, because the treatment was carried out without the necessary expertise.

Debono said that as an MP he felt "concerned" over the claims made by Prof. Brincat and added that an investigation into possible manslaughter charges through negligent responsibility under Chapter 225 of the Criminal Code was "urgent" and justice had to be done.

Writing in The Sunday Times today, Professor Stephen Brincat, who recently resigned his post as head of the Oncology Department, reiterated that he had left  his post because his advice on various important issues, including how to introduce chemotherapy in Gozo, was ignored.

"In the past we have had people dying in Gozo from chemotherapy toxicity because this was done there without the necessary expertise and that is a bitter experience for all concerned," Brincat wrote.

Chemotherapy toxicity is rare and results from the side effects of chemotherapy.

Currently there is no chemotherapy treatment in Gozo. However, in the past, some people were treated there at their request and there were cases of death by toxicity, he said.

Prof. Brincat said carrying out chemotherapy without necessary expertise is asking for trouble.

Meanwhile, speaking at a political activity held in Xewkijja, Gozo, this morning, Labour Leader Joseph Muscat said that the government must answer for allegations of political interference made by former head of Mater Dei Hospital's Oncology Department Stephen Brincat.

Muscat referred to statements by Brincat, where he listed reasons for his resignation. Muscat referred to one reason in particular, where Brincat revealed that government would interfere with the Oncology Department's work, and attempt to interfere in decisions related to those patients the department admitted for cancer testing and care, and those patients it released from care.

Muscat said that such allegations of political interference are "shocking" and called on both Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Health Minister Joe Cassar to answer to these claims. "Both the Health Minister and the Prime Minister will have to answer for this most serious accusation," Muscat insisted.

Muscat also pointed out how Brincat's statements also highlighted the government's mismanagement of the health service.

He said that despite its agreement with contractor and construction company SKANSKA that it would build an oncology clinic for cancer care, "the company was paid despite this was not built."

david ohayon
@matrix, mhux ahjar ma tipruvax iddahhaq u taqra sew xi ktibt? Li kieku naf b’xi delitt zgur ma kontx nistenna lilek kont naghmel dan mill-ewwel. Meta ma jkollokx twegiba ahjar ma tghid xejn.
david ohayon
@matrix, mhux ahjar ma tipruvax iddahhaq u taqra sew xi ktibt? Li kieku naf b’xi delitt zgur ma kontx nistenna lilek kont naghmel dan mill-ewwel. Meta ma jkollokx twegiba ahjar ma tghid xejn.
david ohayon
@matrix, mhux ahjar ma tipruvax iddahhaq u taqra sew xi ktibt? Li kieku naf b’xi delitt zgur ma kontx nistenna lilek kont naghmel dan mill-ewwel. Meta ma jkollokx twegiba ahjar ma tghid xejn.
Matrix
@Doha, Siehbi qieghed taghmel u tirrepeti statements, jekk taf b'xi delitt toqghodx tistenna lill-Franco Debono jew lill-xihadd iehor imur ghand il-Pulizija.Jekk taf b'xi haga issostanza dak li qieghed tghid inkella dak li qieghed tghid huwa kollu diskors fil-vojt biex titfa id-dubji.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
l-istess nghid ghal j. muscat irid jiddikjara li kull min kien imdahhal u min heba iva heba dawn id-delitti irid iwiegeb. jekk jonqos billi jevita dan il-fatt juri biss li mhux deghen ta' kliemu.
david ohayon
"In the past we have had people dying in Gozo from chemotherapy toxicity………… Jien kelli missieri li miet b’cancer fl-istonku. Li nixtieq nistaqsi lid-Dr. Franco huwa jekk fl-ittra tieghu kitibx lill-Kummissarju tal-pulizija jinvestika ukoll rigward habi ta’ delitti. Cert li Franco jaf fuq dan il-ksur ta’ ligi. Min gie maqtul, meta u min minn inqatlu. Dan peress li skont il-profs l-istess kap responsabbli, dawn id-delitti saru fil-passat. Jekk Franco naqas minn dan fl-ittra tieghu jfisser biss li l-intenzjoni tieghu hija biex jaghmel hsara lill-partit tieghu. F’dan il-kaz biss jekk il-PN ihallieh johrog f’ismu jista’ jzarma.
david ohayon
"In the past we have had people dying in Gozo from chemotherapy toxicity………… Jien kelli missieri li miet b’cancer fl-istonku. Li nixtieq nistaqsi lid-Dr. Franco huwa jekk fl-ittra tieghu kitibx lill-Kummissarju tal-pulizija jinvestika ukoll rigward habi ta’ delitti. Cert li Franco jaf fuq dan il-ksur ta’ ligi. Min gie maqtul, meta u min minn inqatlu. Dan peress li skont il-profs l-istess kap responsabbli, dawn id-delitti saru fil-passat. Jekk Franco naqas minn dan fl-ittra tieghu jfisser biss li l-intenzjoni tieghu hija biex jaghmel hsara lill-partit tieghu. F’dan il-kaz biss jekk il-PN ihallieh johrog f’ismu jista’ jzarma.
albert borg
the nazi in the concentration camps use to decide who should live and who should die. those responsible should go to jail. joe gauci
louis fenech
jaqaw dr brincat se jikkontesta l-elezzjoni mal PL? jekk mhux sejjer zball dr brincat kien hada qatta bla habel kontra maria bugeja u kella tieqaf min xoghola.
Matrix
Like him or loathe him Franco Debono got balls, and only yesterday Lawrence DCG Gonzi was telling us that there is no instability in the government. On another note what is holding the Commisioner of Police from taking action against a certain trash blogger that published swearing on her blog or is it free for all now?
Noel Cutajar
The interested parties can file a judicial case in the Civil Courts whereby it can be claimed that there was a serious breach of human rights under article 2 of the ECHR which is part of the Laws of Malta. There is a positive obligation of the State to protect life even in cases such as above being mentioned by Prof Brincat. There are a number of case laws which I am ready to submit on this issue whereby States have been found responsible for negligence.
Christian Thorn
Are we to continue to refer to Dr. Franco Debono as "Nationalist MP Franco Debono"???? He doesn't act that way at all.... we can refer to Dr. Gonzi as Lawrence "DCG" Gonzi , he does act that way!
Christian Thorn
Are we to continue to refer to Dr. Franco Debono as "Nationalist MP Franco Debono"???? He doesn't act that way at all.... we can refer to Dr. Gonzi as Lawrence "DCG" Gonzi , he does act that way!
Christian Thorn
Are we to continue to refer to Dr. Franco Debono as "Nationalist MP Franco Debono"???? He doesn't act that way at all.... we can refer to Dr. Gonzi as Lawrence "DCG" Gonzi , he does act that way!
Christian Thorn
Are we to continue to refer to Dr. Franco Debono as "Nationalist MP Franco Debono"???? He doesn't act that way at all.... we can refer to Dr. Gonzi as Lawrence "DCG" Gonzi , he does act that way!
guido cutajar
Fiha x`toghmod din l-akkuza...Pero kullhadd jaf li il kliem bhal `accountable`, responsabilta u rizenji.....ilhom li nehhuhom mid dizzjunarju taghhom il partit nazzjonalista...Issa dak ghax hekk, l-iehor ghax hekk, indumu snin naghmlu l-inkjesti...u wara li tigi generazzjoni ohra ma tinqatax.......
GRACE PAVIA
There are enough assertions and accusations in this article to keep a Commission at work for 3 months (i.e. if it's members want to be efficient, that is). However, it will not see the light of day, at least not till Labour is re-elected. Prosit to Dr Franco Debono for his initiative.
peppi x
... and our Prime Minister this morning regaled us once again withe the Nationalist version of what happened more than 30 years ago. He was trying to persuade the public to vote him in again because thirty years ago one could not buy chocolates and toothpaste when in 2012 we have an important medical personality alleging that patients in Gozo died from chemotherapy toxicity because the Government did not take his advice and that he was even told which patients not to discharge and ones to admit.
Joe Borg
Well done Franco. The police will obviously conclude there was smoke but no fire - or maybe who was responsible for these deaths will get a book deal ... but you are still doing the right thing asking that this is treated by the police as a criminal matter - and yes in this country one has to write to the police and tell them this is a crime - or they would miss it!
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