Did Megrahi only have weeks to live?
posted at 8:48 am on August 26, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
The Scottish government released the terrorist who killed 270 people in the Lockerbie-Pan Am 103 bombing for “compassionate reasons,” because they claimed he only had three months to live after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Scotland has begun to question where the government got that idea. Only one doctor was willing to make that prognosis, who apparently had no expertise in either prostates or oncology:
JUSTICE secretary Kenny MacAskill was last night under pressure to reveal more details of the medical evidence that led to the release of the Lockerbie bomber, after it emerged that only one doctor was willing to say Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi had less than three months to live.
Labour and Conservative politicians have demanded the Scottish Government publish details of the doctor’s expertise and qualifications, amid suggestions he or she may not have been a prostate cancer expert.
The parties have also raised questions over whether the doctor was employed by the Libyan government or Megrahi’s legal team, which could have influenced the judgment.
It turns out that other doctors had been consulted in the case, none of whom were willing to say that Megrahi was even dying from the disease. In fact, one said he seemed suspiciously asymptomatic for a patient with the kind of diagnosis that Scotland asserted:
The medical report stated that the “less than three months to live” prognosis was: “In the opinion of Megrahi’s (the name or title of the individual was then blanked out] … who has dealt with him prior to, during and following the diagnosis.”
There was also a suggestion that Megrahi might not be as ill as had been claimed. The report said: “Clinicians who have assessed Mr Megrahi have commented on his relative lack of symptoms when considering the severity and stage of underlying disease.”
And suggestions that the doctor who gave the prognosis may have been employed by the Libyan government emerged in the report’s notes. It said that a professor from Libya had been involved in Megrahi’s care and the medical officer who wrote the report had been “working with clinicians from Libya over the past ten months”.
Both parties now want the doctor identified in order to determine whether the government allowed itself to get hoodwinked by the Libyans. The alternative theory would be that the government wanted to construct a good cover story for Megrahi’s release for other reasons — for instance, oil deals, as Moammar Gaddafi hinted and his son flat-out claimed.
The government thus far has refused to identify the doctor and says speculation on the length of Megrahi’s life is “tasteless.” But that was the basis of Scotland’s decision to release a mass murderer after serving only 11.57 days for every life he took. The Scottish government made the calculation of Megrahi’s life expectancy into public policy, and it’s completely dishonest to now claim modesty and etiquette when challenged on it.
Perhaps we won’t know how long Megrahi has to live until he actually dies, but I suspect we have a better idea of how long the Scottish government will survive. I’m betting Megrahi outlives their current administration.