Doctor driven by integrity

Last updated 06:00 01/06/2009

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The best days in Graham Sharpe's medical career come when children walk away hoping they never see him again.

Today, the Wellington medical consultant's services to anaesthesia have been recognised with him being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Dr Sharpe, 53, said the days he remembered most in his more than two decades in medicine were often when patients died. But his favourite moments come saying goodbye to children cured of leukaemia, as they leave hospital for the final time. "That last day for the child and their family is a big day but it is also a very emotional day for all of us involved in their treatment."

He has spent most of his career at Wellington Hospital and has been a member of the New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists for 25 years, has convened conferences and often been a keynote speaker.

A respected medical practitioner, Dr Sharpe received publicity after laying a complaint to police when Helen Clark passed off an artist's work as her own.

He said at the time the matter, which came to be known as Paintergate, struck at the core of the integrity of the political process and earned a rebuke from his brother-in-law Garry Moore, then mayor of Christchurch. Dr Sharpe said Paintergate was "ancient history now".

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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