Scapegoating an individual for system problems? Our legal director, Lisa Nabou, comments on the case of Dr Bawa-Garba.
Lisa states ‘ We all make mistakes. Is this the price to pay for doctors? Morale is low, fear factor is high, off the scale now. Is removal from the medical register, imposing a serious criminal conviction, destroying an unblemished career and petrifying the entire profession the correct way to protect patients? I don’t pretend to have the answers but this just doesn’t feel “right” when there were system issues too.
Years ago in a high profile case, I represented a trainee oncologist who wrongly injected a cancer drug and the leukaemia teenage patient died, multiple system errors acknowledged and changed. Is that something an individual doctor should risk prison over and lose their career and livelihood for. Is this protecting patients? Could it cloud the transparency when things go wrong. The fear factor must be immense. Many sleepless nights for doctors and nurses’.