“Do the Law and Regulation Make Patients Safe?”

Mr. David Sellu addressed the London Consultants’ Association and their guests at a well-attended dinner on 10th July at the Athenaeum. Mr. Sellu spoke emotively about his conviction and imprisonment for gross negligence manslaughter, and his subsequent exoneration. He argued that the application of criminal law has no place in the medical environment. A blame culture and lack of understanding of the complexities and nuances of medical care will not enhance patient safety and may result in the practise of defensive medicine to the detriment of future patients.

Drawing on his personal experiences, he stated that there remains a huge challenge for the profession to shift to a more mutually supportive relationship between private hospitals and doctors, whereby reasoned judgements are coupled with transparency and accountability.

Mr. Sellu spoke movingly of his sadness when his son, who was completing his medical studies, made the decision to never practice medicine having seen how his father had been treated.

Mr. Sellu has just published his memoir ‘Did He Save Lives? A Surgeon’s Story’ readily available at most bookshops and online.

 

– R. Hittinger (LCA)

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