Letter: A doctor writes

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I am writing this as a doctor who turns 50 next year, 14 hours into a 23-hour working day ("Staff asked to sign away hours rights", 1 October). Research evidence about fatigue tells me that for the rest of this period my judgement will become increasingly impaired, my attitudes towards patients who disturb me will become negative and my ability to drive put me at greater risk of accident.

Apart from this, I believe that members of the public should be able to expect to be treated by a doctor who is alert and able to think broadly about a range of diagnostic possibilities. Adoption of the EU working hours directive would be positive step towards this.

Dr JOHN PITTS

Southampton

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