16 December 2009

For how long?

The Guardian has an interesting story in, "UK fury as Germany prosecutes Daniel Ubani, GP who gave fatal dose."

In short, the UK has screwed up its provision of General Practitioners to the populace with the result that locums are being imported from across Europe. A locum from Germany gave a negligently high dose of painkiller to a patient in the UK, who died as a result. The locum returned to Germany and, unknown to the British prosecuting authorities, threw himself upon the mercy of the German courts. These courts found the locum guilty, gave him a nine-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of €5,000.

The CPS are upset that they did not have the chance to prosecute the locum. By the time the European Arrest Warrant had been issued the case was done and dusted. The German and British authorities are arguing the toss as to who should have been allowed to try the case under the European Arrest Warrant system:-

i) should the prosecution take place in the jurisdiction where the offence took place; or,

ii) should it take place under the jurisdiction of the nationality of the offender?

We're still waiting for an answer. (Will update if I have time to find the answer).

Meanwhile ...

"[The Locum's] solicitor, Reinhard Shauwienold, said: "Dr Ubani is practising again, and will continue to do so for a long time to come. No conditions have been attached to his ability to practise. He can work, unrestricted as far as I am aware, both as a cosmetic surgeon and as a GP.""

While ...

"UK medical regulators have suspended Ubani's registration in Britain but German prosecutors said: "The case was not of sufficient severity for the court to have been able to ban him from working.""

The latter action - the suspension - will most probably be illegal.

So, for how long will the locum be suspended? I wouldn't be surprised if he's back in the UK this weekend, injecting someone near you.

Correction ... Anonymous 13:47 points out that, "UK officials say they never expected prosecutors in Germany to take their own action against Daniel Ubani, a German national, after they issued a European arrest warrant to bring him back to Britain on a possible manslaughter charge."

Thanks for the interest and close-reading abilities.

Update - 19th June 2010. Locum GP struck off medical register for fatal overdose, presumably his suspension was in place until he was struck off.


  1. Actually it's not correct that the case was done and dusted by the time the European Arrest Warrant was issued. The German prosecuted AFTER the EAW was issued, in reponse to it.

  2. @anonymous 13:47

    Thanks for the comment.