Senior DIBP official overrules medical experts yet again.

30 Apr








The case of an African asylum seeker detained on Nauru and known as S99 is currently before the federal court, in an effort to have her brought to Australia for termination of pregnancy as a result of sexual assault.

S99 suffers from epilepsy. Whilst lying unconscious after a seizure, she was raped.

S99 is currently in Port Moresby where one David Nockels, senior bureaucrat in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, insisted she be sent for an abortion.

Abortion is illegal in PNG, and Nockels has not sought legal advice as to the consequences for S99 of undergoing termination in that country.

Further, Nockels has been advised by no less than five medical experts, including a neurologist and a psychiatrist, that S99’s condition is such that the procedure is far from straightforward, and must be carried out in a hospital and by medical staff with far more expertise in their various fields than is available in Port Moresby.

David Nockels has refused S99 permission to travel to Australia. He admitted to the court that he would consider flying an entire medical team, including an anaesthetist and all necessary equipment to Port Moresby before he would agree to S99 being transferred to this country.

“That is why we have Manus and Nauru,” David Nockels told the court.

The Guardian also reports Nockels admitted:

that a phone call to an obstetrician at the Pacific International hospital, Dr Mathias Sapuri, who had no expertise in neurology, psychiatry or PNG law, had reassured him that the abortion could be carried out in Port Moresby.

Further:  In his evidence, Sapuri admitted he had a financial interest in the Pacific International hospital as a shareholder, and that his private obstetric practice merged with the hospital. He did not say what proportion of the shares he held, other than it was “small”.

Ron Merkel QC, representing S99, asked Nockels why he valued the opinion of one doctor with an interest in attracting patients to the hospital over the advice of multiple medical experts provided by IHMS and lawyers representing S99.

In response, Nockels reiterated his confidence in Dr Sapuri’s advice.

It has also been revealed that the refugee known as Omid, who died yesterday after self-immolating on Nauru, was not evacuated from the island for 24 hours after suffering serious burns. The explanation for this delay is that DIBP could not find a pilot.

Omid was denied pain relief for several hours, and there was no appropriate treatment available at the hospital, causing risk of serious infection.

Two days ago I wrote about the unnecessary death of refugee Hamid Khazael on Manus Island from a simple scratch on his leg that led to septicaemia. This is a story of yet another overreach by a DIBP official who took it upon him or herself to ignore medical advice and deny Hamid treatment that could have saved his life.

DIBP is a government department rapidly coming to resemble a bureaucracy out of Kafka. Its secretive, punitive and murderous culture has no place in a liberal democracy.

DIBP is apparently staffed by individuals willing to follow to the letter the obscene orders of their ministers. Its default position is that asylum seekers and refugees who’ve arrived here by boat are not entitled to be acknowledged and treated as fully human. Even when granted refugee status confirming the horrors from which they’ve fled, DIBP officials, following orders, still treat those in off-shore detention as dispensable, and unworthy of proper attention and treatment.

The pathology and psychopathy starts at the top in any organisation. But after Nuremberg, that no longer excuses those who carry out the obscene commands of their superiors. DIBP is full of bureaucrats such as David Nockels: if it were not, the system would collapse.

In an ideal world DIBP staff would stage a full-scale revolt against their criminal masters, however I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

In what world does a bureaucrat have absolute control over the medical treatment, and indeed, the survival of a detained person?

Oh, yes, we know all too well the precedent for that world.






55 Responses to “Senior DIBP official overrules medical experts yet again.”

  1. doug quixote April 30, 2016 at 8:20 am #

    The Department has to be dismantled.

    Border Protection is a military/police task; immigration and the processing of refugees is a task requiring special expertise.

    The Department is clearly a disaster in progress, second guessing medical expertise and implementing ministerial directives as if they were holy writ.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson April 30, 2016 at 9:45 am #

      Hear hear, DQ

      Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter April 30, 2016 at 10:25 am #

      It’s politicisation is reflected in the change of the nomenclature to some thing bullish rather than neutral. “Border protection” is a loaded term. Seems to infer guilt till innocence proven rather than a detached and objective consideration of an individuals claim.

      It is supposed to process applicants, but its politicisation, for some times base ideological purposes, is dependent on prejudgement and this dislocation from the real world and the ghastly consequences flowing from that that makes for the disaster dq identifies.

      Like dq, I find it horrifying.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennifer Wilson April 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

        Yes the term border protection is a loaded one and actually has nothing to do with asylum seekers asking for sanctuary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. helvityni April 30, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Excellent post, Jennifer.

    As David Marr said on Insiders on the 21 of March, our treatment of asylum seekers/refugees is NASTY, VISCIOUS, DISGUSTING… And now we don’t want them to go to NZ. They have to be punished for wanting a better life…

    I think some of our politicians ought to be sent to Cambodia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • townsvilleblog April 30, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

      along with the refugees

      Liked by 1 person

      • townsvilleblog April 30, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

        I apologize to anyone offended but in my judgement Islam does not seem to be compatible with Australian society, we are not just importing another race here Islam directs every action and reaction of the people who believe in it. We have seen disastrous situation with these people in recent years the latest being a plan to mass murder Australians on ANZAC Day, but before that the Cronulla riots, the Martin Place Sydney siege, the Curtis Cheng murder and so on.


        • helvityni April 30, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

          So ordinary Aussie blokes do not rape or kill their partners; last time I checked it was two women murdered each week by their partners…

          Dear me, I give up.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn May 2, 2016 at 1:14 am #

          You pathetic bigot, muslims have been in Australia for over 220 years. It is the white cowards in Australia raping and torturing children and murdering their wives.

          You make me sick and the big joke on your cowardice is that most of the refugees on Nauru and Manus are Christians.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. diannaart April 30, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    Excellent article.

    A cavalcade of horror:

    Epileptic woman is raped – right there we have a problem ‘Houston’.

    She is a detainee.

    She becomes pregnant as result of rape.

    She has been detained in a country which bans a woman’s right to control over her body.

    The nation which placed her in detention doesn’t want to know and has the layers of bureaucracy in which to evade responsibility.

    Have I summed it up?

    Where does the buck stop?

    With the rapist? Male sexual predation ongoing problem throughout our world.

    With the laws of a country that does not approve of female autonomy?

    With the laws of a country which uses refugees as an example to others (people smugglers)?

    No one is innocent here – except for the woman!

    Liked by 2 people

    • paul walter April 30, 2016 at 10:29 am #

      Too many cases like this, yet the government wants to send a number of raped women back to from where they fled, regardless of what happened and might happen to them,

      Then there are the women raped whilst in our custody- duty of care- who are probably too traumatised to go anywhere apart from somewhere quiet where they can be helped through their trauma.

      Liked by 3 people

    • townsvilleblog April 30, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

      What kind of animal would do such a thing, I ask? The ANSWER is undoubtedly a Muslim person.


      • paul walter April 30, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

        Yes. It is just as well white blokes don’t do this sort of thing…


      • diannaart May 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

        “What kind of animal would do such a thing, I ask? The ANSWER is undoubtedly a Muslim person.”

        Are you for real, Townsvilleblog?

        If so, do me a favour and desist from “liking” anything I post – I do not wish to be associated with such bigotry.


        • doug quixote May 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

          On previous evidence, this is intended as irony.

          But it is dangerous to use irony without further, obvious clues, Shaun.

          Diana, click on his website – all is made clear.

          Liked by 1 person

          • diannaart May 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

            Of course, D.Q. – that was a most appropriate place for a little black humour.

            Just a silly woman…


          • helvityni May 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

            DQ, on Ellis blog I asked you to click onto the blog of Solidgoldcreativity before abusing her, your reply was: I don’t want to click onto anything before replying…?


            • doug quixote May 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

              It was a throwaway line. Of course I had investigated; you know I do that if at all possible.

              Even if only to “know the enemy”.


        • Jennifer Wilson May 1, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

          He’s being ironic, diannaart.


          • diannaart May 2, 2016 at 11:49 am #

            Yeah I have managed to work that out – thanks to D.Q.’s ‘mentorship’.


      • Jennifer Wilson May 1, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

        I know that’s ironic, townsville but I don’t think everyone does.


  4. sandrasearle April 30, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve left my comment on my share with Facebook Jennifer. I’m feeling really angry about this so vented my spleen there so that it can be shared by people who also care about this. Thanks for sharing this information with us again.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson April 30, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

      It feels like the only way I can do something, Sandra. Keep writing about it.


  5. diannaart April 30, 2016 at 10:33 am #


    I empathise with your anger.

    I think my spleen needs an overhaul. Such is my anger.

    For those who interpret a woman as hysterical when she says she is angry – have a good long think, anger occurs in both sexes due to (in this case) INJUSTICE.

    Anger does not mean loss of control – I write here in lucid, rational, thoughtful style while angry – just as men can do.

    Both sexes can and do lose control – not because they are angry, but due to an inability to use anger productively.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson April 30, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

      Anger is a useful motivating force, I agree Diannart. It’s when it becomes confused with feelings of powerlessness that it can be destructive and undermining, in my experience.


  6. lushlifearts April 30, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    ” Omid was denied pain relief for several hours” …..I am curled up in a ball of pain, sadness and fury, after reading these details.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marilyn May 2, 2016 at 1:20 am #

    Just after hearing about Omid dying I got a call about the suicide of another Iranian man – he came here as a young fit and healthy man in his early 30’s, he was locked in Woomera for years, beaten, driven insane, jailed in Woomera prison and Adelaide jail for weeks and months after false accusations of starting fires.

    He was forced back to Iran, 40 days in Evin prison, ran away and spent 40 days being tortured in Turkey before his Aussie wife could rescue him.

    This fit beautiful, musical and intelligent carpet maker became profoundly mentally ill, self harmed many times and was found dead by his own hand on Tuesday last week

    He was only 44 and 15 years of his life were spent being tortured by our government, even after he became a citizen.

    When the family are informed later I have been given permission by his former wife to post a photo of this proud and gorgeous man and more of his story.

    I hate this shithole fucking country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson May 2, 2016 at 6:28 am #

      Oh, Marilyn. This is an awful story.
      Where did your friend die?
      And where are you posting his story?
      I am so sorry, Marilyn, I can imagine how much this has distressed you.
      His family – I’m so sorry.


      • paul walter May 2, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

        She knows too many stories like it. The blessing of a sharp mind can also be a curse.

        Helvi, It is impossible to forgive the management of the ABC and other news outlets as to reportage and analysis of signficant news.
        The problem has been worsened with the series of surveillance/ censorship/detention laws passed over the last couple of years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn May 2, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

        To make it worse one of the first Woomera lawyers killed himself 10 days ago, you might remember Rob as the face of the Woomera hunger strike and protest of Easter 2002. He was only the same age as the refugee, the deaths on Manus were just too much for him to bear.

        Many Woomera lawyers distressed and crying tears of blood today.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson May 2, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

          Oh, god, I don’t know where this will all end, Marilyn. Another poor woman set herself on fire today. Forced back terrified to Nauru by Dutton.


          • Marilyn May 3, 2016 at 12:50 am #

            And still fucking racist smug coward Marles claims this is greatest public policy in history and I have morons telling me not to keep blaming the ALP – all evil refugee policies have been put in place by the racist scum.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson May 3, 2016 at 5:50 am #

              Keep holding them all responsible Marilyn. I do as well. There’s not a bee’s dick of difference between them on this.


              • Marilyn May 3, 2016 at 6:46 am #

                Yeah but the fucking Daily Terror are still carrying on what a great job of stopping the boats Morrison did,

                Liked by 1 person

    • helvityni May 2, 2016 at 9:08 am #

      Marilyn, I watched Insiders yesterday, I waited for them finally to discuss the Manus debacle.
      It was one of the last issues to be discussed ‘ non e importante’….

      Not one word of compassion towards the asylum seekers from any of the panellists.

      You are so right Marilyn, this is a hard country.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson May 2, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

        Well I just read that government is demanding Omid’s family pay for the cost of sending his remains home. On ABC website.


        • helvityni May 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

          ‘An Iranian refugee who died after setting himself on fire at the Nauru detention centre was without doctor’s care for two hours at the medical facility and lay in agony for a further eight hours before morphine was administered, his wife says’
          ABC news online
          I’m feeling slightly sick reading the above and some more.
          No irony.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Marilyn May 2, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

            And some stupid ABC journo. stated that the policy in part was a huge success.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. FA May 2, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Here, I do agree. The merger with Customs has been a disaster at all levels.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. paul walter May 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

    Can’t beleive this!

    Directly from reading Jennifer’s post about the family of Omid expected to pay for his reamins to be returned home ( are they charging them for the pertrol he used?), I took a look at the tweets column, which is often informative, to stumble across THIS:

    This time a young woman, with 70% burns, probably a lot of third degree stuff.

    Morrison and co think they are on a winner, but I think a lot of middling Australians will be thinking, “well, this is not we we thought they meant when they said detention and processing”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson May 2, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

      Yep.She is a woman Dutton forced back to Nauru last week I think, after hospitalisation in Brisbane. She was terrified of going back.


  10. doug quixote May 2, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

    It is horrible.

    This is true obscenity.

    How many more people need to set themselves on fire before the sanctimonious Minister and his sanctimonious government stop pretending that they are saving lives?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. doug quixote May 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    OT, Fun and games in the USA as Cruz (Lyin’ Ted) withdraws from the circus.

    That leaves Trump well placed to do a Barry Goldwater. (arch-conservative Goldwater lost to LBJ by a record margin in 1964)

    Hillary by the length of the straight.


    • Marilyn May 5, 2016 at 6:13 am #

      Hillary is horrible


      • doug quixote May 5, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

        Is there anyone you do like?


        • Marilyn May 8, 2016 at 5:03 am #

          Plenty of people actually, but will never support war mongering human rights abusers.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Hypo May 27, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    Hows that *sound fiscal management* and *safe re-homing* of genuine refugees going Morrison?
    “First refugees sent to Cambodia under $55m deal have left”

    “Of the five refugees who have been transferred from Nauru overall, just one Rohingya remains in the South-East Asian country.”

    “The ABC understands the last of the original group — an Iranian man — left in recent weeks.”$55m-deal-have-left/7452542

    Let me guess, ‘we don’t comment on operational matters.’
    The LNP have broadened live export to include human meat.

    *I notice we import a lot of backpacker meat, too.I hear they are a protected species in rural areas,despite taking 25% of the slice of seasonal jobs.Mind you, no outcry from Bill ‘soon to be Murdochified into oblivion’ Shorten.


    • paul walter May 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

      Nailed it, for msm, you probably observed the new boss of the ABC announcing an end to the fact-check unit at the ABC, no length they won’t go to suppress discussion on it.


      • Hypo May 27, 2016 at 8:35 pm #

        Had not heard that,PW but not surprised.
        The fate of us homo sapiens is pretty much sealed now anyway.
        No-one advocates sustainable population,potable water is on its last legs along with global vegetation cover
        Co2 outweighs o2, which would work for plants, if the temps weren’t ^.

        Then we have the fact that in the developed world we couldn’t give a shit.
        In fact ‘the environment’,Mother Earth, is a 10% issue according to almost ALL opinion polls.
        Somewhere in a dark corner of space is a planet gearing up to stop the human space ships(boats). Luckily for them they are light years away from us cosmic polyps, and more luckily we are even longer away from building a bus with long enough legs to crash their party.

        Putin/Trump/Joyce.Does the storm get any more perfect?

        Maybe there really is a god?


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