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Doctor charged with misconduct over murder claim

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 10 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1393
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    Professor David Southall, one of Britain's best known paediatricians, was this week charged with serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council.

    The case against him centres on the allegation that he accused a father of murdering his child on the basis of only having seen the father interviewed in a television documentary.

    As the BMJ went to press on Tuesday, the case against Professor Southall had been spelt out, but Professor Southall's lawyer had not yet presented his defence.

    The GMC said that Professor Southall had accused Steve Clark, the husband of Sally Clark, who was then in prison for the murder of two of her children, of killing his son after he had seen Channel 4's documentary Dispatches in April 2000. In the interview, Mr Clark described a nose bleed that his son Christopher had had in a London hotel room in December 1996, while Mrs Clark was absent.

    After watching the programme, Professor Southall telephoned the child protection unit to say he believed that Mr Clark, and not …

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