InnocentsBMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7264.840 (Published 30 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:840
- Sean A Spence, senior lecturer in psychiatry
- University of Sheffield
Director Peter Kosminsky, written by Neil McKay Channel 4, Sunday 1 October, 9 pm
The events that took place in the operating theatres and intensive care units of Bristol Royal Infirmary between 1984 and 1995 are likely to have far reaching implications for medical practice in Britain for the foreseeable future. The “Bristol heart babies,” as they have become known, are the innocents referred to in the title of this “factual drama,” screened this weekend as part of a short season called Doctors on Trial.
The subject is the fate of those babies affected by congenital heart abnormalities who were operated on by two cardiac surgeons working in Bristol at that time. The Channel 4 drama is based on interviews with the parents of these babies and contains extracts from an eight month inquiry held by the General Medical Council, from 1997 through 1998. The GMC ruled that one surgeon be …