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Dutch court finds gynaecologist guilty of “culpable homicide” after baby dies

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6615 (Published 02 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6615
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

A Dutch court has found a gynaecologist guilty of “culpable homicide” in a rare criminal prosecution in which an “accumulation of mistakes” led to the death of a newborn baby.

The public prosecution service stated that the 48 year old doctor, named as Maarten B, was not a criminal, as there was no intent. But his actions, more than a single medical error, amounted to gross negligence.

The court in Alkmaar heard how in May 2009 the mother, Mrs Ramgoelam-Soekhoe, was admitted to the Westfries Hospital in Hoorn for the delivery. She was considered a high risk patient. A previous birth had ended with an urgent …

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