Wisheart begins to give evidence at GMC

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 28 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:645
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. legal correspondent, BMJ

    Parents of babies who died or were left brain damaged after heart operations at Bristol Royal Infirmary held a candlelight vigil outside the General Medical Council last week, as James Wisheart, one of three doctors charged with serious professional misconduct, arrived to begin his evidence.

    They set out 50 shoeboxes painted black, each with a white cross, to represent tiny coffins. A banner proclaimed: “GMC: Great Massacre Cover-up.” The parents are angry that the GMC investigation is focusing on only 53 operations of two types—arterial switch operations and open heart surgery to correct atrioventricular septal defects. Twenty nine of the 53 babies died, and four were left brain damaged.

    The Department of Health is to hold an inquiry after the GMC case finishes, but the parents delivered a petition to the prime minister's home in Downing Street demanding a full public inquiry. Mr Wisheart is the first of the three doctors facing charges over the operations to give evidence. He and another consultant surgeon, Janardan Dhasmana, are …

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