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Another Gisborne death – Inquiry Extension Urged

The Alliance want to see the inquiry into the cancer deaths connected to Gisborne pathologist, Dr Bottrill extended as a matter of urgency, if part of a new government after Saturday, Alliance spokesperson of Health Phillida Bunkle said today.

It appears another woman died of cervical cancer as a result of mis-diagnosed smears by Dr Bottrill.

'Notes obtained by the GP of the woman suggest that she had an unusual number of smears in the 1980s, but these smears appear to have been deleted by Dr Bottrill's laboratory.

'The repetition of smears at close intervals suggests that the woman's doctor was trying to identify the cause of symptoms that already existed.

'Certainly when she visited Dr Oram, a specialist at Gisborne Hospital on 3.10.88 she already had many symptoms which needed to be identified. After an Examination Under Anaesthetic at the hospital, it was revealed she had pre-invasive cancer. But he was puzzled by the fact that her smears were being reported as normal.

'She eventually died of extensive grade 2A cancer of the cervix and vagina in 1996.

'The notes show a huge discrepancy between the severe symptoms and the normal smears which suggest that had she been correctly diagnosed when she first developed symptoms she would have been saved an extremely painful and protracted death.

'The Alliance will seek to extend the Terms of Reference of the inquiry into the Gisborne Cervical Cancer Inquiry to include Dr Bottrill's cancer pathology over his whole career, not just from 1991 when he acknowledges that he became unwell. We must establish how many unnecessary deaths may have be accounted for when this tragic event in our nation's history is all over,' said Phillida Bunkle.

Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance


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