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Dr David Southall Disqualified

December 4, 2007 permalink

British doctor David Southall was struck off, meaning he can no longer practice medicine in the UK. His resumé looks like a duplicate of Ontario's Dr Charles Smith. Lowlights of Dr Southall's career include accusing many mothers of harming their own children, driving Sally Clark to suicide with a years-long ordeal of false accusations, diagnosing a man as a killer after seeing him on television, doing medical experiments on children without parental consent and keeping secret files on those children. He has appeared on these pages before on August 30, 2006, October 7, 2007 and October 27, 2007. For an example of Dr Southall's arrogance, see a 1997 interview (Google video) (local copy mp4).



The Daily Telegraph

Misconduct case gets doctor struck off register

By Graham Tibbetts, Last Updated: 2:19am GMT 05/12/2007

A paediatrician who wrongly accused a mother of drugging and murdering her son has been struck off the medical register for serious professional misconduct.

David Southall
Prof David Southall: guilty

This was the second time the General Medical Council had acted against Prof David Southall.

Three years earlier, he falsely suggested that the husband of the solicitor Sally Clark was responsible for the death of their two children.

Dr Jacqueline Mitton, the chairman of the Fitness to Practise panel, said Prof Southall had "deep-seated attitudinal problems".

"Your misconduct is so serious that it is fundamentally incompatible with your continuing to be a registered medical practitioner," she said.

Prof Southall, 59, did not react as the ruling was given.

The latest case involved a woman, named only as Mrs M, whose 10-year-old son hanged himself in 1996.

The medical council hearing was told that Prof Southall refused to believe her version of events.

He insisted that she had taken needles from the hospital where she worked to give him a lethal dose of drugs. Police officers found no evidence to back his claims.

Prof Southall had maintained that he was investigating the death in a "forensic manner" because he wanted to protect the woman's other son, who was eight.

It was ruled last week that he had acted inappropriately and added to the distress of the mother.

He was also found guilty of other failings linked to children in his care during the 1980s and 1990s. These included removing medical notes to create "special case" files on children, potentially putting them at risk.

Prof Southall, who worked at London's Royal Brompton Hospital and later the North Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust, was banned from working on child abuse cases for three years in 2004.

He was found guilty of serious professional misconduct for his role in the case of Mrs Clark, wrongly jailed over the deaths of her two sons.

He implied that her husband, Steve, was responsible after watching a television documentary on the case.

Mr Clark was exonerated while Mrs Clark was found dead at her home in Hatfield Peverel, Essex, in March this year after she "drank herself to death".

The panel noted that Prof Southall had never apologised to the Clark family or Mrs M.

He is immediately suspended from the medical register but has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

In a statement read by his solicitor, Anne Ball, he said: "I'm disappointed by today's decision because I have always maintained that the decisions I took were in the best interest of the children involved."

Prof Southall received several expressions of support after the hearing.

Dr Evan Harris, MP, said the ruling was "a serious miscarriage of justice".

Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)