New inquest into infant’s death is ordered after coroner’s verdict is quashed

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 24 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4086
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A new inquest has been ordered into the death in hospital of a 14 month old boy after a High Court judge reviewed evidence that raised “very serious questions indeed” about the quality of his care.

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker quashed a deputy coroner’s verdict that Thomas Duffy had died of natural causes at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire, less than six hours after he was admitted with respiratory problems.

A six day inquest had been scheduled, and many witnesses were due to give evidence. But the deputy coroner decided after hearing only the pathologist and the court appointed expert witness, the retired consultant paediatric cardiologist Elliot Shinebourne, that Thomas …

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