Parents of seriously ill baby repeatedly fobbed of by careless NHS doctors
No tests. No nothing until the baby was on the brink of death. Only persistent parents saved its life
It was only when mum Louise lay Sophie next to her twin sister Megan that she could see the difference between them. It was a striking mirror image – but with a life-threatening difference. Compared to newborn Megan’s pink healthy complexion, Sophie’s skin in contrast looked yellow.
So Mrs Tubman took her to the doctors and eventually Sophie was diagnosed with a life threatening liver condition.
Mrs Tubman, 33, a buyer for a power station, said: ‘We started to notice within two days that something was wrong with Sophie. ‘She didn’t look the same healthy colour as Megan, and as the days passed, that became more and more obvious.
‘When they were lying next to each other, they definitely didn’t look like the mirror image they had been when they were first born. We could see how yellow Sophie looked in comparison to Megan. ‘Having her twin sister there to compare her too has really saved Megan’s life.’
The twins were born in August 2009 at Pembury Hospital in Kent, Sophie weighing 4Ib10, and Megan weighing 4Ib6. But within two days of their birth, Mrs Tubman started to notice that Sophie was slightly yellower than her twin.
Mrs Tubman, who lives with husband Chris, 30, a sales representative, in Maidstone, Kent, said: ‘We mentioned it to the doctor who said that it was just a little bit of jaundice, which was normal with a lot of newborn babies and it wasn’t anything to worry about.
‘So we didn’t think anything of it. But Sophie was also quite tired in comparison to her sister and she couldn’t suck properly from her bottle like Megan could.
‘If I’d just had one baby, then I wouldn’t have noticed there was a problem. It was only because Megan was so different and seemed so perky and well that it just showed up that Sophie wasn’t the same.’
Mrs Tubman told the doctors that she feared something was wrong with Sophie, but initially was told that everything was fine.
She said: ‘I was told that even though they were twins they would be different children, and not to treat them the same. I was made to feel like I was being unfair, thinking that they would be alike.
‘Now in hindsight I know my instinct was right, that something wasn’t right with Sophie.’
After three weeks the twins were allowed home, but the couple noticed that Sophie was becoming more and more yellow in colour as the days passed. Mrs Tubman said: ‘The difference between the twins grew more striking once we got home. When I laid them side by side in their cot, the difference was really remarkable. ‘Sophie just seemed so yellow in comparison to her twin sister.’
When the twins were six weeks old, Mrs Tubman took Sophie to the GP and said that she was worried about her yellow colour in comparison to her twin. The GP told her Sophie was alright, but to bring her back if she got any worse. Three weeks later she was no better and she took her back. This time she was referred to Maidstone Hospital for blood tests.
Mrs Tubman said: ‘We took her straight to the A and E department and the consultant started to examine her. He felt her stomach and I will never forget the look on his face. He looked horrified.
‘We were sat down and the consultant said to us that Sophie was a very poorly little girl. We were just devastated. ‘ Sophie was diagnosed with a life threatening liver condition called biliary atresia, a blockage in the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder, causing life threatening damage to the liver.
Mrs Tubman said: ‘We couldn’t believe that after all those weeks of being told there was nothing wrong with Sophie, that she had such a life threatening condition.’
Sophie was immediately referred to Kings College Hospital in London, where she underwent a life saving operation to remove her damaged bile duct.
The operation was successful and thanks to regular visits from her twin Megan, Sophie has made a complete recovery. Mrs Tubman said: ‘Sophie got very stressed in hospital after the operation, but when we brought Megan in to see her, she completely calmed down. There is an amazing bond between them. Once she had seen Megan she improved in leaps and bounds and we were allowed to bring her home after just five days.’
Sophie may have to have a liver transplant in the future, but is currently making a good recovery.
Mrs Tubman said: ‘Sophie is a completely different baby now – she’s just like her twin. They are like two peas in a pod. She’s got so much energy and a great appetite and the yellow colour has completely gone.
‘I’m just so grateful that we were able to compare her with her twin sister, so we could see just how poorly she was. Seeing the difference when I lay them side by side has ended up saving her life.’
Thousands of misdiagnoses feared in cancer diagnosis scandal
And the people responsible are still trying to whitewash it
Thousands of patients may have been misdiagnosed by doctors at an NHS hospital, whistle-blowers have warned. A review of biopsies carried out at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) indicates that almost 7,000 serious errors could have been made over the course of a decade.
The inquiry was carried out after doctors raised concerns with managers about the standards of pathology at the hospital, following a number of misdiagnoses.
Cases include a former nurse who is now terminally ill after lymphoma was missed; a former NHS manager of cancer services who died when breast cancer went undetected; a patient who died from invasive skin cancer, which was missed; and a woman who had part of her breast removed because cancer was wrongly diagnosed.
The investigation, ordered by the United Hospitals Bristol Trust (UHBT) which runs the infirmary, examined 26 specific allegations of misdiagnosis, which had been raised by the whistle-blowers, and found that just seven of the diagnoses were correct.
Buried in an annexe to the inquiry’s report was an admission that an audit of a further 3,500 cases found that in 3.4 per cent of them, independent pathologists who re-examined the samples believed the wrong diagnosis had been made. With the hospital examining more than 20,000 specimens a year, the figures could represent up to 6,800 blunders over a decade.
In a report submitted to the inquiry, Prof Peter Furness, then President of the Royal College of Pathologists called for all the cases involving discrepancies to be re-reviewed, in order to establish definitive error rates – which require three opinions. Yet that was never done.
Instead the inquiry, paid for by the hospital, said it had found no evidence the overall service was not safe, when it reported in December 2010. No action was taken against any pathologists about whom concerns had been raised.
Now, patient campaigners have written an open letter to the chairman of the inquiry, exposing the figures. They fear that plans to merge the BRI pathology unit with services across the city could put a larger population at risk.
The group, led by Daphne Havercroft, a former breast cancer patient who helped to bring whistle-blowers’ concerns to public attention, say the proposals are “reckless and dangerous” because the problems at the unit have not been properly investigated.
Between 2004 and 2009, at least 10 NHS doctors, including six consultants, most working at nearby North Bristol trust, brought concerns about the safety of BRI’s department to the attention of their own managers and those at the BRI. When no action was taken, their correspondence, detailing a series of alleged blunders and fears about wider failings, was made public, triggering the inquiry.
One of the doctors, Dr Nassif Ibrahim, a consultant pathologist at North Bristol trust, who retired last year, said the investigation had been “a whitewash from the start”. “A three per cent error rate would never be acceptable,” he added. “I would not have wanted a biopsy from a member of my family to go there.”
Evidence to the inquiry told how one patient was diagnosed with a fatal tumour, on the basis of a biopsy carried out at BRI and gave away £30,000 thinking that he did not have long to live. When the case was reviewed it was found that the man in fact had a rare but treatable chronic infection.
None of the patients affected by the misdiagnoses, or those bereaved as a result, were told about the 18-month inquiry into the allegations until days before the report was published.
Catherine Calland, a former nurse who is now terminally ill, after cancer was missed. She had been initially told that a lump found in her breast during a routine mammogram in 2005 was benign. A year later she was informed that it was a malignant lymphoma. It was removed but despite undergoing radiotherapy Mrs Calland’s condition deteriorated. The lymphoma, which was at its earliest stage when it was missed, had become too advanced to cure.
A consultant denied there had been any mistake in the original biopsy analysis. The grandmother of two was only notified that an error had been made when she received a letter, four days before the inquiry report was published.
Mrs Calland said doctors must have realised the error when they looked at the results of her second mammogram. Pathologists told her it was routine procedure to re-examine the results of a previous biopsy when a malignancy was found. She said: “Why was I lied to for so long when I asked if there had been a mistake in my original diagnosis?”
“I find the behaviour of certain individuals in this case appalling,” she said. “Patients should to be at the very heart of everything the NHS does. To lie to patients and to protect those who make mistakes is simply atrocious.”
Jane Hopes, a former assistant director of cancer services at North Bristol trust died from breast cancer in 2004, after a lump was wrongly classed as benign. She was never told of the misdiagnosis, nor was her widower Reg Hill. He was not told that the case was part of the inquiry, until The Sunday Telegraph contacted him.
Mr Hill said: “If they are going to operate under the same system, with the same people, you are simply going to get more of these cases of misdiagnosis in the future.”
Mrs Calland and Mr Hill are now preparing to sue the hospital, in cases taken on by Laurence Vick, who led the families’ legal team at the 2001 public inquiry into the deaths of more than 30 babies at the same hospital. Mr Vick, from legal firm Michelmores, said he was concerned that the hospital had “learned nothing” since that inquiry.
He accused the hospital trust of “an alarming lack of candour” in its response to patients who had been misdiagnosed and in failing to respond to whistle-blowers’ concerns.
UHBT said it had apologised to patients harmed, accepted the inquiry’s findings and focused on implementing the recommendations. A spokesman said the inquiry’s independent panel found no evidence to suggest that the department was not safe.
An inquiry spokesman said “The panel did not re-review [the slides in which discrepancies were found] because the panel felt it would not materially affect their conclusions.” He said there was no clinical consensus about what constitutes an acceptable error rate.
UK’s new immigration regulations: Indian chefs may lose their jobs to EU counterparts
Thanks to the skill of Indian cooks, curry has become the favourite food of the English so this is a serious matter
The chicken curry in Birmingham may not taste the same anymore. And the blame for this lies squarely with the United Kingdom’s new immigration policy. The new rules make it impossible for specialised chefs from India to move to Britain.
“Under the rules for Tier 2 skilled migrants, chefs from non-European Union countries who will be allowed to work in the UK have to earn a minimum amount of £30,000 annually. This is far too high and the restriction has badly hit Indian restaurants in the UK,” says Keith Vaz, a Labour MP. Vaz, whose family is from Goa, has been a vocal critic of the new immigration rules.
According to the revised policy, non-EU migrants who want to work as chefs should have a minimum of five years’ experience in a similar job and graduate-level qualifications. Further, an announcement by UK’s immigration minister Damian Green last week on a threshold salary range of between £31,000 and £49,000 annually has also caused resentment among the Indian community. Green’s statement means that those chefs from India, who fall below the salary limit, will now have to leave the country after five years, and will not be eligible for permanent residence.
UK’s curry industry, which has been valued at over £3 billion, has been severely hit by the stringent immigration rules of the David Cameron government. The home office rules allow only the top 5% of chefs into the country from non-EU countries. Vaz, who had initially suggested a four-year chef visa to allow foreign chefs to live and work in the UK on a non-permanent basis, is now concerned about the impact on curry houses of the stringent policy.
“Indian cuisine is very popular in the UK. It is an ancient and traditional cuisine and finding skilled chefs from outside the Indian subcontinent is very difficult. Even if chefs from India start training locals in the UK, it would take some time. Till then Indian chefs should be allowed into Britain for the sake of the curry industry,” he says.
Concern for Students
Chefs are not the only people Vaz, who chairs the home affairs select committee in UK parliament, is worried about. Foreign students, who till now had the option to remain in the UK post their studies and look for work, will have to return to their home countries. The new Tier 4 rules have shut the doors on this option.
“Before the changes for foreign students were announced, we at the home affairs committee had reached out to different organisations, including industry bodies in India such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), to make an assessment of the impact. The pattern of foreigners coming to study in the UK is intrinsically linked to the leave to stay back and work for a few years provision. The new rules are likely to hit the number of Indian students coming to the UK,” he says.
Vaz felt that while making the assessment, the Migration Advisory Committee of the UK must have used a few isolated incidents of students doing unskilled jobs. “Just because there’s one graduate they may have found working at the tills of a supermarket chain doesn’t mean that all graduate students are doing the same thing. Indians students are a very vibrant community and continue to remain vital for the UK higher education institutions,” he adds.
Incredulity among British police over politically-correct poetry contest
It’s enough to make the hard men of the Sweeney choke on their cigars and double whiskies. Scotland Yard officers have been asked to enter a poetry competition on the theme of ‘gender equality’.
The prize is a chance to have ‘elevenses’ with the Met’s [black] head of diversity Denise Milani, who is renowned in Britain’s biggest police force for her touchy-feely initiatives.
Officers are told their poems must focus on ‘recruitment, retention or progression’ at the Yard, creating a ‘gender-sensitive working environment’ or ‘successfully managing gender-diverse teams’. They must also provide Miss Milani, 54, with insight on the progress made with the ‘Gender Agenda’ from a male or female perspective and suggest a ‘positive vision’ for the Met.
Details of the extraordinary competition were leaked to the Police Inspector blog, prompting a furious reaction from serving officers who accused the Met of wasting taxpayers’ money.
Inspector Gadget, the anonymous author of the blog, wrote: ‘I can categorically say that this is the maddest diversity nonsense we have ever featured. ‘I would like to hear from more female officers to see what they think of this, in between making tea for the lads of course!’
Within minutes of his posting, Inspector Gadget was inundated with examples of possible entries, some of which were obscene.
Another outraged policeman said: ‘Now that this is in the public domain, can a member of the public write a letter of complaint to BHH (Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe) about this scandalous waste of their taxes?’.
On the force’s internal Intranet, officers and civilian staff are urged to ‘get creative’ in the run-up to the event.
Miss Milani, the daughter of West Indian migrants, originally qualified as a teacher and joined the Met in 1999. She is believed to be paid more than £80,000 a year, although Scotland Yard refuses to reveal her exact salary.
Despite a cost-cutting campaign at the Yard, her position as Director of the Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate appears safe. The directorate promotes the recognition of the Met’s minority employees – dealing with gender, disability, sexual orientation, age and faith as well as race. It has a total of 36 staff.
In 2008, the Mail revealed how Miss Milani had urged Met staff to ‘celebrate’ the contribution of Roma gipsies to ‘London’s culture and diversity’.
The Yard said: ‘The Metropolitan Police polices one of the most diverse cities in Europe and is the biggest single employer in London. ‘It can only succeed by recognising and responding to the needs of the varied communities and workforce it serves and the DCFD plays a key role by providing specialist knowledge and strategic diversity guidance across the organisation.’
British Councils are given back right to pray at meetings as Eric Pickles signs an order to protect the ancient tradition
Town hall chiefs have been handed the power to hold prayers at the start of council meetings in defiance of the courts. Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles yesterday signed an order giving local authorities the right to maintain the centuries-old tradition.
He stepped in after the High Court last week backed a controversial campaign to abolish acts of worship during town hall meetings.
Christians and politicians reacted with dismay after a judge banned a council in Devon from putting prayers on the formal agenda. Atheist former councillor Clive Bone started the case against Bideford Town Council in July 2010, claiming he had been ‘disadvantaged and embarrassed’ when prayers were recited.
However, Mr Pickles signed a Parliamentary Order yesterday that should render the judgment irrelevant and protect the freedom for councils to pray. He said the Government’s Localism Act allows councils to do anything an individual can unless specifically prohibited by law.
The right to pray can be exercised by major local authorities in England from today, and by parish councils by the end of March.
Mr Pickles said reversing the ‘illiberal ruling’ was a victory for ‘localism over central interference’ and ‘freedom to worship over intolerant secularism’.
Prime Minister David Cameron has urged people to remember that the UK is a Christian nation and Tory Party Chairman Sayeeda Warsi gave a speech at the Vatican this week saying Europe should speak up for Christianity. The Queen also voiced her most outspoken and personal defence of faith this week.
The intervention is also part of a simmering row between politicians and the judiciary over so-called ‘judicial activism’.
Ministers have grown increasingly frustrated by judges over interpreting the law to deliver verdicts which are widely regarded as lacking common sense. Judges are widely accused of seeking to make law themselves in areas like human rights legislation.
Green taxes add 15% to Britain’s energy bills: Government finally admits how much more families pay to meet emissions targets
Electricity prices are 15 per cent more expensive than they should be because of green policies, Whitehall officials have admitted. Energy costs for hard-pressed consumers have been pushed up by extra charges imposed to help the Government meet pledges to cut carbon emissions.
Projections in Whitehall show that by 2020, the burden for electricity will be an astonishing 27 per cent more than it would otherwise have been. The figure for gas will be 7 per cent higher. The added expense could add up to £200 to the average energy bill by 2020 – unless householders dramatically cut the amount of power they use.
The green taxes will boost energy made from renewable sources by building vast wind farms, nuclear power stations, more solar panels and a new pylon network.
The Coalition claims the taxes will not necessarily push up bills as consumers will cut heating costs thanks to better insulation. But consumer groups insist it is very unlikely that people will be able to cut their energy use enough to keep bills stable.
The paper from the Department for Energy and Climate Change also raises the threat of a ‘high price’ scenario under which wholesale energy prices soar by more than expected. They have calculated that in eight years, the combination of green taxes and wholesale price rises could push electricity prices up by as much as 36 per cent from 2010 levels. Gas costs could rocket by 44 per cent.
If people do not slash their energy use, this ‘high-price scenario’ would see the average gas bill hit £997 and that for electricity soar to £812.
This leaves consumers needing to find more than £500 more than last year when average household bills were around £600 for electricity and £660 for gas.
Emma Boon, for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said last night: ‘Plans for draconian climate regulations and expensive renewable energy subsidies are going to drive gigantic increases in energy bills in the next decade. ‘Politicians have tried to play down the cost of these green policies but independent estimates have made it clear that there is going to be an affordability crisis. ‘The Government needs to reform climate policy to make it more affordable and not ignore the plight of families facing huge pressure on living standards.’
Clare Francis, site editor at MoneySupermarket.com, said: ‘There is no doubt the trend for energy prices is up. ‘The only way people can make savings is to switch to a more competitive pricing plan, which will save them around £200 a year, and reduce energy use and make their homes more energy efficient. ‘Those who do nothing will just see their energy bills climb year after year. Now is the time to fight back as there are simple things people can do to offset rising prices.’
The DECC paper compares the price of a kilowatt hour of electricity in 2011 with what it would have been without climate change policies. Without the green measures, it was 13p but with them in place, it was 14.9p per kWhr, 15 per cent higher. Projections show that by 2020, the differential rises to 27 per cent: 14.4p without green policies and 18.3p with.
If people continue to use the current average of 4 megawatt hours per year, this means green policies will add £156 to the typical electricity bill.
The paper also includes a nightmare ‘high-price’ scenario, where wholesale prices are higher than expected. This could push electricity prices to 20.3p per kWhr in 2020.
The situation is similar for gas, according to DECC’s document which was published late last year. In 2011, gas prices were 4.1p per kWhr, 5 per cent more than they would have been without the green policies. By 2020, the differential rises to 7 per cent: 4.4p without green policies and 4.7p with. If people continue to use the current 16.9 MWhr average, this green differential will increase gas bills by £50 a year.
The projection says gas prices will rise by 15 per cent from 2011 to 2020. But under the ‘high wholesale price’ scenario, gas could cost 5.9p per kWhr in 2020, up 44 per cent.
Other projections on the DECC website show that premium unleaded petrol could breach the 140p per litre barrier as early as 2016. Under the ‘high-price’ scenario, petrol will cost 140.9p a litre in 2016 and 160p by 2028.
A department spokesman said retail energy prices would increase until 2030 ‘driven largely by rising wholesale and network costs and, to a lesser extent, energy and climate change policies’. He added: ‘Our policies will help us become less vulnerable to rises in fossil fuel prices and help people to use energy more efficiently in their homes and businesses.
‘If we don’t invest now to reduce our energy use and our dependence on fossil fuels in the long term, if we have to rely on ever-more expensive imports and leave ourselves at the mercy of international oil and gas prices, the impact on bills will be worse.’
Popular TV shows and magazine covers are “literature” in English High Schools
When he was at school, Joseph Reynolds immersed himself in literary classics such as Great Expectations, Julius Caesar and Beowulf. Now, as the father of a teenage daughter, the 45-year-old expected her to study and enjoy similarly stimulating works.
Instead, however, she has the chance to examine Britain’s Got Talent, the X Factor and Heat magazine for her English GCSE.
Mr Reynolds said the syllabus at Kingsmead School, Wiveliscombe, Somerset, flew in the face of attempts to expose children to ‘the best that has been thought and written’.
The American marine engineer, who lives near Taunton, said: ‘I remember what I had in high school and my daughter’s not getting it. ‘I have been fighting to give her the same type of stuff I had: Great Expectations, Julius Caesar, Beowulf, and Sons and Lovers.’
He was so infuriated about his daughter’s English syllabus that he complained to her school and the Education Secretary Michael Gove.
At a hearing with governors, Mr Reynolds produced a copy of Heat and asked if they thought it was a text of ‘high quality’. He said they agreed it wasn’t but then wrote to him saying pupils were only studying the cover.
Another optional unit from the English GCSE – on school dinners – invites pupils to study ‘secondary school menu week one’. Assignments from previous years include a unit on extreme sports featuring the cover of Ride BMX magazine.
The school has defended its teaching and said classics were studied elsewhere on the course.
Exams watchdogs are now investigating how students can achieve a fifth of their marks for the unit on ‘talent television’. Nearly 40,000 are taking English or English language GCSE with Edexcel, which both feature the controversial option.
Pupils answer questions on source materials, including the home page of the BGT website and a Heat cover which features the headline ‘Yes! It’s Jedmania! The week Britain fell in love with Jedward!’
They assess how the texts ‘use presentation and language to communicate ideas and perspectives’ and write an essay setting out their ideas for a new TV talent show.
A spokesman for Edexcel said the ‘talent television’ theme was optional for schools and the range of sources studied was ‘entirely appropriate’.
GCSE courses are being revised for September in line with reforms introduced by Mr Gove.
‘Grief is not a mental illness that should be treated with pills’: Doctors hit back at creeping medicalisation of life events
Grief is not a mental illness that should be treated with anti-depressants, experts say. In an unsigned editorial in the influential medical journal The Lancet, experts argue that grief does not require psychiatrists and that ‘legitimising’ the treatment of grief with antidepressants ‘is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed.’
The debate follows a decision by the American Psychiatric Association to classify grief as a mental illness in a bid to allow to doctors to be more flexible about how early patients can be treated for depression after the death of a loved one.
The lead editorial states: ‘Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as part of being human and a normal response to the death of a loved one.’
The Lancet’s comments follow the APA’s decision to add grief reactions to their list of mental illnesses in their fifth edition of the psychiatry ‘bible’, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5), which is due out in 2013.
But The Lancet, along with many psychiatrists and psychologists have called for the changes to be halted – saying they would lead to a ‘tick box’ system that did not consider the wider needs of patients but labelled them as ‘mentally ill’.
They agree that in rare cases, bereavement will develop into prolonged grief or major depression that may merit medical treatment. However, they suggested that for the majority of the bereaved, ‘doctors would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance and empathy, than pills.’
The DSM-5 proposal – which has been opposed by The Lancet’s editorial writers – would eliminate the so-called ‘grief exclusion.’ This ‘exclusion’ means that anyone who has experienced bereavement cannot be diagnosed as depressed for a certain period of time. In a previous edition, DSM-III, that period of time was set at one year. The DSM-IV reduced that period to two months and DSM-5 plans to reduce the period to just two weeks.
Although the proposed changes to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) would not directly affect clinical practice here, where doctors tend to use different international guidelines, experts say it would eventually influence research and thinking in the field.
Defending the change in timeframe, Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, a member of the DSM-5 Mood Disorder Working Group, said it would allow for an earlier diagnosis but would by no means force it.
Simon Wessely, of the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, said ‘We need to be very careful before further broadening the boundaries of illness and disorder.’
‘Back in 1840 the Census of the United States included just one category for mental disorder.
‘By 1917 the American Psychiatric Association recognised 59, rising to 128 in 1959, 227 in 1980, and 347 in the last revision. Do we really need all these labels? Probably not. And there is a real danger that shyness will become social phobia, bookish kids labelled as Asperger’s and so on.’
Whereas people who are bereaved are currently given help where necessary, in future they might find themselves labelled as having a depressive disorder if their symptoms lasted longer than a certain period of time, he added.
Peter Kinderman, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Head of Institute of Psychology, University of Liverpool, said ‘It will exacerbate the problems that result from trying to fit a medical, diagnostic, system to problems that just don’t fit nicely into those boxes.
‘Perhaps most seriously, it will pathologise a wide range of problems which should never be thought of as mental illnesses. Many people who are shy, bereaved, eccentric, or have unconventional romantic lives will suddenly find themselves labelled as ‘mentally ill’.
Dr. Arthur Kleinman, a Harvard psychiatrist, social anthropologist and global health expert, says that the main problem is the lack of ‘conclusive scientific evidence to show what a normal length of bereavement is.’
According to the Lancet writers, ‘it is often not until 6 months, or the first anniversary of the death, that grieving can move into a less intense phase.’ They added that grieving is individual, shaped by age, gender, religious beliefs and the strength of the relationship with the lost loved one.