Joint statement on “Medical Manslaughter”

Surgical Colleges from across the UK have come together with the Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations (FFSA) to issue a joint response to the establishment of Sir Norman Williams’ review into the processes employed in cases of gross negligence manslaughter involving medical staff.

Speaking following the publication of the joint position statement by the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations, Professor David Galloway, the President of the Glasgow College said:

“I’m glad our College has played our part in forming this important joint statement.
“The criminal prosecution of medical professionals for gross negligence manslaughter has caused enormous concern for our profession. This is a huge issue for all of our membership, and so it’s right that we look to provide leadership in this challenging time.
“As the report states, we are concerned that the prosecution of individual medical practitioners, in the context of systematic failings which result in tragic and avoidable deaths, not only fails to adequately address the public interest, but may have precisely the opposite effect.
“That’s why it’s essential that we maintain a reflective, learning culture within our profession. Individuals must not be held accountable for complex systemic failure”

A full copy of the position statement can be found here.

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