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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 16:25 GMT
Child injury 'expert' struck off
GMC sign
The GMC found Dr Paterson's evidence could have been misleading
A medical "expert" who put battered babies at risk has been struck off by the General Medical Council.

Dr Colin Paterson, from Longforgan near Dundee, was found to have given misleading evidence in court to promote his own medical theories.

Dr Paterson became a popular defence expert in child abuse cases for his theory that babies would grow out of Temporary Brittle Bone Disease (TBBD).

But the GMC found that he had omitted relevant facts from his evidence.

The 67-year-old doctor diagnosed two children with TBBD, despite medical evidence which did not support his findings.

The chairwoman of the GMC's professional conduct committee, Eileen Shaw, said his actions posed "an unacceptable risk to the safety of children".

She said: "The committee acknowledge your right to believe in TBBD and to share opinions with other physicians, conduct research and write papers in medical literature and to act as an expert witness.

You risked misleading the court and undermining the confidence which the judiciary is entitled to place in expert medical witnesses
Eileen Shaw
Committee chairwoman
"However, providing expert evidence in a court of law carries a heavy responsibility."

During the hearing it was revealed how Dr Paterson, a reader at Dundee University and honorary consultant at Tayside University Hospital, had first outlined his theory in 1990.

But the GMC was told that a mere "handful" of doctors around the world believed in the existence of the condition.

Mrs Shaw said that an expert witness "must be independent in every way and must not assume the role of an advocate".

"In both the cases you appear to have acted as an advocate for TBBD and ignored the significant clinical evidence which was at variance with your published view on the clinical signs of TBBD.

"You risked misleading the court and undermining the confidence which the judiciary is entitled to place in expert medical witnesses," she said.

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01 Mar 04  |  Scotland
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07 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Brittle Truths: Transcript
14 Nov 00  |  Scotland

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