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10 JUL 2008

David Southall cleared of serious professional misconduct

Paediatrician David Southall, and two other doctors, have been cleared of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Dr Southall and the two other doctors, Dr Andrew Spencer and Dr Martin Samuels, were accused of not gaining the correct consent during a medical trail at a Midland hospital which involved placing premature babies into low pressure incubators so they could breathe unaided.

The trials took place in the early 1990s at the North Staffordshire Hospital.

The doctors' lawyers successfully argued for the case to be dismissed before they were due to give evidence.

Dr Southall is appealing against a separate GMC decision that found him guilty of serious professional misconduct after it concluded he had abused his position by accusing a mother of drugging and murdering her son.

In April, Dr Southall successfully overturned a suspension from working as a doctor and he is currently working on an international development project in The Gambia. However he remains banned from child protection work.

Parents Carl and Deborah Henshall campaigned to bring the hearing before the GMC, after one of their daughters died and another was left with cerebral palsy following the medical trail treatment at North Staffordshire Hospital in February and December 1992. In December 2005 the Court of Appeal ruled the GMC should review its decision to initially reject their complaints against the three doctors.

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