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The Bristol heart babies Monday, 15 March, 1999, 23:41 GMT
Bristol parents confront doctors
GMC doctors
The doctors needed a police escort
Three Bristol doctors found guilty of serious professional misconduct had to run the gauntlet of angry parents as they left the General Medical Council in London.

The Bristol Heart Babies
Mr James Wisheart and Dr John Roylance were struck off the medical register and Dr Janardhan Dhasmana had restrictions placed on his work after an inquiry into the deaths of 29 babies in their care at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).

Dr Dhasmana had to be given a police escort to his taxi as he was chased by reporters. Angry parents shouted: "Murderer" and "bastard".

Parent
The parents were distressed and angry
Two men had to be restrained by police as they tried to lunge at the disgraced doctor.

One of the men, Graham Clarke, whose daughter, Melissa, died two weeks before her first birthday following an operation performed by Dr Dhasmana, said: "I couldn't help it. I am livid. He killed my daughter. I just got carried away."

The heart surgeon made no comment as he left the GMC. It was left to his solicitor to make a statement.

"Mr Dhasmana wishes to express once again the deep regret and continuing sympathy for the family of those children whose surgery results were not successful," the solicitor said.

BRI
Dr Janardhan Dhasmana can continue working at the BRI
"He also wishes to express his gratitude to the hundreds of patients who along with his own family and friends have supported him during this difficult time."

"He wants to reflect on today's announcement and has nothing further to say at this time."

The parents were furious that Dr Dhasmana was given the green light to keep working. The restrictions laid down by the GMC merely prevent him from performing heart surgery on children for a period of three years.

Mr Clarke's wife said the ruling was farcical. "They struck off the two doctors who are retired and left Mr Dhasmana, who is still practising, to carry on working," she said. Twenty of the 29 deaths considered by the GMC were among the children operated on by Dr Dhasmana.

Abuse

James Wisheart was also attacked by some of the parents as he left the GMC.

He looked startled as a woman got through a police line to slap him around the back of the head. As he walked through a barrage of abuse, he was kicked in the shin.

As he was bundled into a waiting taxi, a man lunged at him shouting "murderer".

Dr Roylance was flanked by up to a dozen police officers when he left the GMC. He faced shouts of "You can't hide from yourself."

The parents had lined the railings outside the GMC with floral tributes to the children who had died or were brain damaged as a result of the heart operations at the GMC.

They also displayed a board with more than 150 names of children they claim were caught up in the scandal - the GMC only considered 53 cases.

Shortly after the announcements were made inside the GMC building, the parents held a one-minute silence in front near a heart-shaped wreath.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News
BBC's Richard Hannaford outside the GMC
BBC News
James Wiseheart's solicitor Roger Summerling reads his client's statement
BBC News
Parents' spokeswoman Helen Rickard on the rulings
Links to more The Bristol heart babies stories are at the foot of the page.


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