High Court rules Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba’s name be erased from medical register
In a highly unusual decision, the General Medical Council (GMC) has brought a ruling from its own tribunal to the High Court to appeal its decision not to strike off a trainee doctor from its register.
In June 2017, the GMC’s Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service ruled that removing trainee paediatrician Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba from the medical register would be a ‘disproportionate’ sentence as she did not ‘pose a continuing risk to patients’; recommending a maximum 12-month suspension instead.
However, in a controversial move the GMC has disagreed with the ruling on the grounds that it was ‘insufficient to protect the public’ and, on appeal, the case has now been escalated to the High Court. In reaction a group of 50 doctors have written to Professor Sir Terence Stevenson, the head of the GMC, with ‘grave concerns’ that the case could result in the further ‘criminalisation of clinical error’. A further petition has called for the GMC to drop its appeal and has already been signed by 10 300 people, while a crowd funding intitiative has raised more than £160 000 in support of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.
On Friday 26th January the High Court backed the GMC and ruled that Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba’s name should be erased from the medical register.
What are your thoughts on this case and its implications not only for the medical profession but also for the safety of the patients that clinicians care for? Please do post your comments on this blog.
Click here to view the BBC interview of Dr Jenny Vaughan on BBC Breakfast regarding the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.