20 October 2009
RU-486 or RU-Thick?
I first heard the news on the radio, most probably Radio-5-lies, that a doctor had been found guilty of trying to poison his ex-lover. The story explained how he had tried to induce an abortion in her by dosing her drinks containing prescription drugs: the drugs weren't soluble. They left a white powder in the bottom of her drink (orange juice) which analysis revealed to be an abortion drug.
Poirot's little grey cells wouldn't break into a sweat banging him to rights, thought I.
The idea of a general practitioner - not a proper doctor, you understand - being caught out by his ignorance of the drugs that he was using was a trifle amusing. Hence the 'oh-aren't-I-clever-pun' in the title of this post; RU-486 is an abortion inducing drug. Geddit?
But I discover that the chap isn't a general practitioner but a proper doctor: his doctorate was awarded by an institute after academic research and study; not as a consequence of public ignorance. I further discover that his doctorate is in pharmacology from a report in the Times, "Dr Edward Erin 'was not sure Bella Prowse's baby was his'", which in part says, "... Dr Erin, who has a Phd in Pharmacology, ...".
Hang on a minute? Someone with a PhD in pharmacology not understanding about drug solubility?
A massive part of pharmacology is the study of the solubility of drugs. It's hardly surprising that his wife is saying, "It's a miscarriage of justice, says poison doctor's wife".
As to what happens now, I don't know. In the absence of any new evidence or a failure in the application of the law, there are no grounds for appeal. It looks as though he has to do his time.
I wasn't on the jury or in the court but from what I've read it doesn't make sense to convict him. Does anyone know anything different?