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The Daily Post Comment: Just what the doctor ordered.

THE death of deferential Britain has been a long time coming. Tugged forelocks,doffed caps and knowing your place in society are largely alien to the 21st Century.

As with many things,it was the long shadow of the Great War which began this seismic shift in social attitudes.

Hundreds of thousands of men died thanks to the incompetence of ``their betters'' -and the piles of war dead left a lasting impact on those lucky enough to return home.

World War II broke down more barriers, as did the social changes wrought by the 1945 Labour government. Finally, the 60s swung and deference slowly died as a more meritocratic society was born.

What didn't change so quickly, though, were our institutions. So no surprise then that many have suffered scandals in the past decade as we finally cast deference into the dustbin of history.

Children's groups and churches were among the first organisations dismayed to find the respect they had earned was used as a cover for the activities of paedophiles,perverts and other sexual predators.

The revelations have been painful and shocking for those organisations, the public and the many individual victims who suffered in silence for so long.

So,it should come as no surprise that GPs are are being advised to have chaperones during personal examinations of patients.

Some people will doubtless see this as a terrible indictment of society,one where even doctors cannot apparently be trusted.

We think not. This is simply a case of an institution catching up with a changing society where patients will go to law if, rightly or wrongly, they believe they have been mistreated.

Indeed, we believe many patients, women in particular, will be comforted by the offer of a surgery chaperone.

Doctors will benefit too, knowing appropriate,professional personal examinations are less likely to be misinterpreted.
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 4, 2003
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