Indian-origin doctor convicted of manslaughter in Britain

February 7th, 2009 - 6:37 am ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 7 (IANS) An Indian-origin doctor was given a six-month suspended jail term after being found guilty of killilng a patient by giving her a fatal injection of adrenaline against the advice of her colleagues, media reports said Friday.The Birmingham crown court Friday convicted Priya Ramnath, 40, who worked in Britain’s National Health Service, of manslaughter for her involvement in the death of Patricia Leighton at Stafford District General hospital in July 1998, the Guardian reported.

Ramnath, who lives in the US, had given the fatal injection to Leighton, an intensive care patient against the advice of three of her colleagues. Leighton died from heart failure shortly after she was injected with the drug.

The prosecuting lawyer, Michael Burrows, told the court that within moments of receiving the jab, Leighton “jerked forward and sat bolt upright in her bed”. He said she had shouted out: “What’s happening to me? I am going to die.”

Shortly afterwards, Leighton lost consciousness and her heart stopped and all efforts by the doctors to resuscitate her failed.

According to the prosecution, Ramnath failed to speak to a consultant anaesthetist at the hospital before injecting the drug into Leighton.

Ramnath, whose sentence was suspended for two years, came back from the US last February to face the charge after being threatened with extradition.

The jury, which had been considering its verdict since Tuesday, found her guilty by a 10-2 majority.

Ramnath, whose address cannot be published, however denied manslaughter by gross negligence.

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