Should doctors be sent to prison for clinical negligence?
In February 2010, consultant colorectal surgeon David Sellu operated on a patient with a perforated bowel, who subsequently died. The surgeon was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Although his management of the patient was clearly inadequate and the delays unfortunate, many have found it hard to see what value to society is served by imprisoning a 67-year-old surgeon. A GMC enquiry followed by some sort of censure might be considered a more appropriate response to this case, rather than a police prosecution.
Read more about this case in Roger Kirby’s article The consequences of medical mistakes: the stakes are getting higher!, published in the November/December 2014 issue of Trends in Urology & Men’s Health.
Should doctors be sent to prison for clinical negligence? Leave a comment below – we would love to know what you think!