Brendan Behan once suggested that “there’s no amount of angst that couldn’t be cured by a ball of ten pound notes”.
Behan’s medical expertise was not formally recognised, but a study of 100 patients of the Mater Hospital pain management service suggests his instincts were indeed accurate.
It found that nearly all — more than 90% — of whiplash patients attending a Dublin pain management clinic ended treatment once their legal action was completed. Beaumont Hospital neurosurgeons Jack Phillips and Ciarán Bolgersay Ireland is experiencing “a whiplash epidemic” which requires urgent reform.
They also referred to a review of a Galway spinal surgeon’s patients: Only 10 out of 301 returned to his clinic after litigation had concluded. Phillips and Bolger described whiplash as a “concept” surrounded by “myths”.
It just may be that Irish people have particularly delicate necks, but Behan might point out that the opposite is the case. Many of those, their legal representatives, and their medical witnesses, seem to have particularly hard necks.