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Junior doctor faces manslaughter charge

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 29 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:262
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A junior hospital doctor is facing manslaughter charges over the death of a 3 day old baby at a Liverpool hospital.

    Kosalakumar Karunaratne, aged 36, was a senior house officer at Liverpool Women's Hospital when Adam Teare died in the neonatal unit last February. The Sri Lankan-born doctor appeared before Liverpool magistrates last week after being arrested and charged by detectives the previous day.

    The baby is believed to be one of triplets, the other two of whom survived and are doing well. The charges are thought to relate to the administration of a drug during a routine procedure. They follow a four month investigation instigated by the Liverpool coroner, Andre Rebello, who had opened and adjourned an inquest into Adam Teare's death. Dr Karunaratne has been suspended from duty since the incident. A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “The hospital has fully cooperated with and assisted the police throughout.”

    The baby's parents, Nicola and Keith Teare, from the Wirral, Merseyside, said in a statement that they did not want to publicise the circumstances surrounding their son's death or to comment on the case. They added: “Ourselves and our family wish to continue to deal with the tragic loss in our own way.”

    A spokesman for the General Medical Council said: “We are aware of the case and have been working closely with police and the hospital.”

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