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Dr Gary Masterson, president of the society, reflects on the Intensive Care Member response to the case of GMC Vs Bawa-Garba.

Following the recent judgement in the case of GMC vs Bawa-Garba in the High Court the Society has expressed its concerns to its members and passed on advice from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AOMRC). We’ve received a number of replies from you, all of which offer food for thought.

There is, not surprisingly, serious concern expressed, both from working and retired members.

Dr Russell eloquently expressed the worry that doctors, working at the sharp end of medicine, face criminal litigation by virtue of working in impossibly difficult conditions.

You can view the full correspondence here.

Dr Skipsey doesn’t feel the advice from the AOMRC is helpful as reflective feedback is so difficult to anonymise.  He aptly comments that the courts are all about apportioning blame.

You can view the full correspondence here.

The deficiencies of supervision that were glossed over in the criminal proceedings are highlighted by Dr Alasdair Short who concludes that a trainee was placed in an intolerable position.

You can view the full correspondence here.

We share the unease.  Many of the replies are too useful to file away and those that we have permission to share are reproduced below.

You can view further responses here.

We welcome the announcement in the House of Commons  by Jeremy Hunt that a rapid review into the use of medical manslaughter in health care will report back by April.  The review will clarify where the line is drawn between gross negligence manslaughter and human error in medical practice; an issue that is of great concern to our members.

In the interim the Society will engage with the review and explore whether there is further practical advice we can issue to members that will assist them in dealing with the realities of  practicing of Intensive Care Medicine following the Bawa-Garba judgement

 

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