DOMINIC LAWSON: A SPOOKY POLITICAL DIAGNOSIS OF DEMENTIA
I received a puzzling email from a doctor last week. It was headed ‘Climate Change’ and warned: ‘Your paps needs a dementia screening soon.’ Because of climate change?
Not exactly. Juergen Messner — that was the sender’s name — was referring to an interview my father Nigel Lawson had just given to the BBC, in which he said there had been no increase in ‘extreme weather events’ and that we should stop panicking about climate change.
Dr Messner, a registrar in trauma and orthopaedic surgery at an NHS teaching facility in Yorkshire, seemed to think my 85-year-old father’s opinions indicated that he was losing his mind to dementia.
He isn’t, as it happens — but I emailed Dr Messner to ask if, as a bone rather than a brain specialist, he was qualified to diagnose dementia. He replied with the garbled: ‘Assessing mental capacity is part of most clinical doctors.’