Thursday, 14 November 2013

Walking a Dodgy Tight Rope!

Doctor found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter
I do not, in anyway condone  what this surgeon did or rather failed to do - but being charged and imprisoned for delaying surgical treatment seems excessive to me.
This quote is straight from the legal website

"The test for gross negligence manslaughter is as follows:
  1. Did the defendant owe a duty of care?
  2. Was that duty of care breached?
  3. Was that breach SO GROSSLY NEGLIGENT and showing such disregard for the life and safety of others as to be worthy of a criminal conviction?"
Answers to the last 2 queries can be very subjective.  I can think of a few cases of imperfect clinical management I have observed over the years that could be interpreted by a judge on a bad wig day as grossly negligent behaviour deserving of a criminal conviction. 
I am assuming that this doctor's case has gone through the GMC as according to the GMC website  he is suspended.  I also assume that it was the man's family (or a rival for his private practice!!) who was the driving force for the CPS to bring formal charges against him.
It is also possible that what has been reported does not fully reflect this man's actions.
Nonetheless, as I reminded an F2 doctor recently, as professionals we are walking a very tight rope every day and can never know where the gust of wind that will knock us over will come from.  There for the grace of ...... #PHILOSOPHICAL