Letters

Using death certificates to identify malpractice might be difficult

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7281.303/a (Published 03 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:303
  1. Adam Coldwells, development and research manager (adam.coldwells@ghc.grampian.scot.nhs),
  2. Fiona Fraser, clinical audit assistant,
  3. Pam Tavendale, trust-wide clinical governance coordinator,
  4. George Crooks, associate medical director,
  5. Gordon Peterkin, medical director
  1. Grampian Primary Care NHS Trust, Aberdeen AB25 2ZP
  2. Grampian Primary Care NHS Trust, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen AB25 2ZH

    EDITOR—In January 2000 Dr Harold Shipman, a general practitioner in Greater Manchester, was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients. 1 2 This conviction has fostered considerable comment and a need to prevent any recurrence. Although a quantitative technique to identify malpractice has limitations,3 a description of basic data should act as a starting point.

    We performed some simple investigations on death certificate records for 1998, after agreement from …

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