Medical facts, truths don't discriminate
THE EDITOR, Sir:
As recently reported in the press, the University of the West Indies (UWI) is said to be under pressure from certain interest groups, claiming to speak for 'civil society', demanding instant dismissal of Professor Brendan Bain from his post because of the contents of a deposition he made in proceedings in a court case in Belize.
His deposition contained medical facts that have not been shown to be inaccurate, disrespectful, or harmful to the university or the wider society.
Yet, it is reported that the university is considering "whether Bain is suitable to continue being the director of CHART" (Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network).
Comments attributed to the vice-chancellor seem also to express fears that Professor Bain's statements might jeopardise "funds allocated by a USA-based agency committed to combating HIV/AIDS".
Professor Bain has been on the academic staff of the UWI for more than 25 years. He has played a leading role in research and publications in the field of infectious diseases and is a renowned expert on HIV/AIDS.
As director of several UWI-based local and regional programmes related to research, education, and treatment of this problem in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Professor Bain has successfully applied for, and received, large funding grants in support of those programmes.
In addition, over many years, Professor Bain himself has been personally involved in the treatment of persons with HIV/AIDS without any hint of discrimination, and has made a huge investment in teaching and training others to do the same.
The efforts of Professor Bain and his colleagues in the prevention and treatment of HIV AIDS have been widely recognised and lauded.
It seems to me that Professor Bain's track record of personal integrity, competence, and non-discrimination strongly contradicts the suggestion that he is unsuitable "to head and implement the CHART programme and represent the UWI in decision-making spaces".
CHARLES A. ROYES
in Surgery, UWI