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Observations Life and Death

How can we learn from the killing of David Gray?

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 01 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6814
  1. Iona Heath, general practitioner, London
  1. iona.heath22{at}

The opacity of EU legislation may be a smokescreen for apathy

General practice can feel very lonely and nowhere more so than in a strange house in the middle of the night with a patient one has never met before. The range of diagnostic possibility at this first point of contact is enormous and help and advice not easy to come by. What sort of economic pressures or professional aspirations make a 67 year old doctor want to make this situation even worse by taking on out of hours sessions in a different healthcare system in a strange country, where consultations must be conducted in an unfamiliar language? The tragic story of Daniel Ubani (BMJ 2010; 340:c3326, doi:10.1136/bmj.c3326), which culminated in the unlawful killing of David Gray in February 2008, is well known but still seems poorly understood. Dr Ubani was trained in Nigeria but is a German citizen and had apparently been working in Germany as a specialist in anti-ageing medicine and cosmetic surgery in the town of Witten. How exactly did he come to be admitted to the performers’ list of Cornwall and Isles …

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