Man has been found 'not guilty' of causing his own premature death and freed on caution.
The acquittal, before a large, interested crowd, followed an inquisition in Gastein, Austria today that sought to identify responsibility for the early death of men across Europe.
Before presiding judge John Bowis MEP, chief inquisitor EMHF president Dr Ian Banks railed against:
- wide variations in treatments
- vastly different levels of awareness among governments
- late diagnoses and
- the monumental failure of a ‘one policy fits all’ approach when it comes to men’s health.
A jury of health professionals, NGOs and policy makers found all four guilty as charged. A major accomplice was identified as the near absence of outreach systems for the management of long term conditions.
Expert witness Professor Siegfried Meryn, President of the International Society for Men’s Health (ISMH) highlighted the gender-specific aspects. ‘We must acknowledge that the ‘one-policy-fits-all approach’ does not work’, he told the jury, calling instead for ‘tailored health policies, which ensure greater health literacy among men as well as greater awareness of gender-specific needs among health professionals.’
Other expert witnesses included Robert Johnstone, Chair of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE) and Norita Wilson, senior consultant at the US-based health services company Integrity.
Following the jury’s verdict on Man of ‘less guilty than the health systems meant to support him’, judge Bowis released Man with a caution as to his future behaviour.
The mock trial was a major attraction at the three-day European Men’s Health Forum in Gastein. ‘Both the format and content of the event were a great success, ‘said EMHF director Erick Savoye. ‘The expert witnesses demonstrated graphically how men tend to experience poorer health literacy, present later and die earlier across most disease areas, including long term conditions. The court-case format was an ideal way to show how specific actions are needed to improve male health.