One law that was not taught on my degree course at Manchester University is the one of unintended consequences.
I fear it played a part in the exit of Lancaster’s favourite soul man Paul Akister from the X-Factor TV Show, as when he was singing his heart out on the Saturday Night edition many fellow Lancastrians were no doubt watching the magnificent fireworks light up the skies, rather than voting for him.
I mentioned this to my daughters as we watched the results show on Sunday and they dismissed my suggestion, but then voted for him again just in case.
It was then I realised an unintended consequence of a Lancastrian being in the X Factor finals is that my phone bill will be higher.
In solving legal problems I always try to be mindful that a solution to one problem does not create another and indeed the law around unintended consequences teaches us that knee jerk reactions are almost certainly going to lead something unexpected transpiring.
A case in point is the Government deciding to dish out £55 to GP’s every time they diagnose a patient with dementia.
The intention is good as only half of people living with dementia are ever diagnosed. This is of concern because a timely diagnosis leads to appropriate care, serves to reduce the stigma of dementia and helps research into future treatment.
But it seems to me paying GP’s to diagnose more cases is a crude instrument to address the problem of under diagnosis. Forgive me if I’m mistaken but I thought diagnosing illness was part of the remit of the job description for GP’s.
So it concerns me that the proposed payments to GP’s could have the unforeseen consequence of making it acceptable to somehow unpack the whole process of medicine so that different parts attract different payments.
And if money gets mixed up with medicine a further unintended consequence may be we start to unpack the founding principles of the NHS being free medical care at the point of delivery.
So I hope our local GP’s will not take part in this misguided policy.