Intended for healthcare professionals


Sellu is cleared of medical misconduct

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 07 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1089
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

David Sellu, the surgeon jailed for gross negligence manslaughter who later had his conviction overturned, has been comprehensively cleared of misconduct by a medical practitioners tribunal.

The General Medical Council alleged that he failed to provide good clinical care to James Hughes, the patient whose death had been at the centre of the criminal case against him.1 But after a six week hearing in which the tribunal took extensive evidence from many witnesses, many of them staff and clinicians working at the private hospital where Hughes had died, not one of the allegations against Sellu was found proved.

The result means in effect that charges that were found proved to the higher criminal standard (beyond reasonable doubt) by a crown court jury did not even reach the lower standard of proof applying in the tribunal (on the balance of probabilities).

The outcome will fuel concern, already widespread, about the use of the criminal law to pin the blame for a patient’s death on a single individual working in a complex system where multiple factors are at play.

The outcome will …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription