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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Shipman doctors deny misconduct
Harold Shipman
Harold Shipman murdered about 250 patients with morphine
Two doctors failed to report "grossly excessive" doses of morphine had been given to a victim of killer GP Harold Shipman, a medical tribunal has heard.

Dr Geraint Ceri Stewart Brown and Dr Murtaza Husain Husaini then lied to authorities investigating the case, the General Medical Council (GMC) was told.

They did not report inappropriate drugs had been given to the patient despite notes made by doctors and a nurse.

Both doctors deny serious professional misconduct charges in Manchester.

Dr Brown hid crucial details about drugs given to the 47-year-old woman - known only as Ms A - from her relatives, one of whom was a GP, the hearing was told on Monday.

Neither of the doctors, we submit, reported any concerns
Nigel Grundy, prosecution

Despite suffering from asthma and against medical guidelines, Shipman gave the woman a single injection of 20 milligrams of morphine causing her to stop breathing.

The hearing heard the woman had called the mass murderer after suffering chest pains on 18 February 1994.

She was rushed to Tameside General Hospital but remained in a vegetative state until she died 14 months later on 21 April 1995.

Dr Brown was working as a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care while Dr Husaini, of Sharon Avenue, Oldham, was working as a director of the Intensive Care Unit at Tameside General Hospital.

'Wholly inappropriate'

Opening the case for the prosecution, Nigel Grundy said despite Shipman's notoriety, his identity was not important in the determination of the guilt of the two doctors.

He continued: "What matters is what is recorded in hospital records at the time which we submit has been seen by Dr Brown and Dr Husaini. That the GP had in effect administered a huge overdose of morphine to a patient.

"The received dose was grossly excessive.

"Neither of the doctors, we submit, reported any concerns that they may have felt from the report that the GP had given this huge dose of morphine in that wholly inappropriate manner which put this patient into hospital in that vegetative state."

Mr Grundy said Dr Brown had failed to check medical records outlining the morphine overdose or to report the injection to health authorities.

Jailed for life

The hearing heard that in April, 1999, the doctor told police investigating Shipman's treatment of Ms A: "It was my opinion at the time that the patient's initial management by the GP was highly unusual, even dangerous."

But he told the Shipman inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith, that at the time he had believed the recorded dose of 20 milligrams of morphine was an error.

The hearing before Mr Roland Doven is scheduled to last four weeks.

Shipman is thought to have murdered about 250 people with lethal morphine injections between 1975 and 1998 over a 23-year period in Hyde, Greater Manchester, and Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

He was jailed for life in January 2000 after being convicted of 15 counts of murder at Preston Crown Court, and was found hanged in his Wakefield prison cell four years later.

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