DR. DAVID SOUTHALL AND THE GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
Dr Southall’s conduct was not a mere error of judgment in a challenging environment where there may have been few established principles for guidance. Nor was this a one-off failure with respect to the treatment of parents whose conduct had come under scrutiny. Public confidence in the science of expert assessment in those cases where serious issues of child protection were indeed raised would be undermined, if egregious behaviour of the kind under consideration here when combined with the lack of insight into or acknowledgment of its nature and extent was considered to be compatible with continued registration as a medical practitioner. I therefore conclude that the panel was not wrong to impose the sanction that it did. This appeal is therefore dismissed. Text to full judgement>>>
Sir Roy Meadow Meadow the paediatrician struck off by the General Medical Council for giving misleading evidence
Professor Sir Samuel Roy Meadow (born 1933) is a British paediatrician who rose to initial fame for his 1977 academic paper on the now controversial Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP) and his crusade against parents who, he believes, wilfully harm or kill their children. He was knighted for these works. He was instrumental in the procedure of a widely recognised great miscarriage of justice. He endorsed the dictum that “one sudden infant death is a tragedy, two is suspicious and three is murder, until proved otherwise“ in his book ABC of Child Abuse and this became known as Meadow’s Law and at one time was widely adopted by social workers and child protection agencies (such as the NSPCC) in Britain.
The Court of Appeal found the GMC panel had not given adequate reasons why it chose to accept the mother’s evidence over that of Dr Southall and the social worker. Lord Justice Leveson said: “I would allow this appeal, although I must make it clear that this conclusion is not a condemnation of Mrs M or a vindication for Dr Southall and should not be seen as either. On any showing, the panel will have to consider what penalties should be imposed in relation to the other proved charges.”
Michael Deacon reviews A Very Dangerous Doctor, Channel 4’s documentary about contentious paediatrician Dr David Southall.
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