Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Yesterday, co-chaired a meeting on North Korea to hear from the UN Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, who is coming to the end of a six year stint in post. He had to acknowledge that the results of his labour were almost invisible, and in his last report he wrote about the 'broad range of systematic and widespread human rights violations in the DPRK'. There was limited engagement on economic rights such as the right to food, because there is endemic starvation in the population, and they need help from the World Food Programme and other donors. No wonder their football team was soundly trounced in the World Cup. It really is hard to see what the international community's approach should be considering that even the Chinese seem to have very little influence with the psychopathic dynasty that rules the country.

Today I joined in a questin by Navnit Dholakia on whether the Government would suspend deportations of failed asylum-seekers to the central provinces of Iraq. The UNHCR has warned us twice about the dangers to which returnees are exposed, and I asked about the steps being taken about the Kurdish Regional Government's ban on flights to Erbil. This means that deported Kurds are landed in Baghdad, being left to make their own arrangement to get back to the Kurdish-ruled province.

An email from Mr S at KCH this afternoon, saying that Mr R the vascular surgeon will see me on July 6 "to explain the outcome of the multidisciplinary meeting discussion with regard to your Abdmonial Aortic Aneurysm". He will explain in detail the management plan and also answer any questions or concerns I might have. In the mean time he is arranging for me to have an echocardiogram and CPX tests, non invasive tests to assess the heart and lung function so they can plan the surgery. Mr S assumes that I know CPX stands for Cardiopulmonary exercise testing, a non-invasive and objective method of evaluating both cardiac and pulmonary function. It allowing a very accurate numerical assessment of possible cardiac failure, in a quantified
fashion, used
routinely to evaluate all elderly patients prior to major intra-cavity surgery. I don't remember having it before the maltoma operation in 2006, but perhaps I wasn't considered elderly then.

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