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Choice Devours Itself--Murderous UK doctor breaks his silence

Wesley J. Smith is a lawyer, and I am not. That means that I'm less hesitant than he is about using the word "murder" for various killings of the helpless and vulnerable. (He is careful not to do it if the murder in question was committed under color of legality.) But this time, he's on a roll and has no qualms about the term.

A doctor in the UK, Dr. Howard Martin, was tried years ago for murdering three patients and acquitted. But now he has admitted in an interview that he has indeed deliberately hastened the deaths of patients (beyond those for whom he was tried) using fatal doses of painkillers. He's pretty good at the double-speak, calling this "giving them dignity" and insuring that they could die "free from pain," but he compares his actions to putting down a dog, which he calls taking "positive action to help a patient in a humane way." He admits that in two cases he provided this "help" despite the fact that the patients did not give their request or permission. (There goes choice again.)

A coroner recently found that the drugs the doctor gave in two cases this year were not "clinically justified."

A disciplinary panel has suspended his license after a hearing indicating that he had exploited his position and that his actions were "arrogant and single-minded" as well as "extremely serious and widespread."

It appears that Martin may well not be prosecuted again for additional crimes, despite his recent admissions. He has been investigated in 30 or 40 deaths, and the disciplinary panel concluded that his injections hastened the death of 18 patients. The drug used (or at least one drug used) appears to have been diamorphine, aka heroin.

Comments (6)

On the British Tv news shows, they keep referring to his actions as hastining the deaths of the patients. None of them seem willing to refer to his actions as murder. Even though as you have stated, the patients did not consent to his killing of them.

Also on Channel 4 news it said that people who have studyed the case say one of the patients would have most likely have survived and recovered from his cancer, if it hadn't been for Dr. Howard Martin.

He had to be really blatant to get this level of discipline from the professional association. Even the news story I linked says that some of the relatives think what he did was great but others are upset. So basically, he didn't even bother getting anyone's consent. He just killed these people after making his own decision. Notice--he isn't being civilly sued by the relatives who are unhappy. Interesting, that, huh? This, I understand, is a function of the way the UK's socialized medicine works. It's the wrong kind of tort reform, that's for sure! What I've gathered is that doctors aren't liable for what they do to patients, and they don't have to have the consent of the relatives, and they don't have the fear of lawsuit as a deterrent to simply bumping off the patients. The _only thing_ that is happening to this guy is that _finally_, at an age when a lot of people retire anyway, he's being struck off the medical register. That's it. No further prosecutions, no actual fear of jail. (What do you want to bet we'd get jury nullification if he were prosecuted?) No lawsuits. Nothing. He can just sit in his home and pontificate about the "Christian" value of putting people down like dogs.

Culture of death? What culture of death?

What I've gathered is that doctors aren't liable for what they do to patients, and they don't have to have the consent of the relatives, and they don't have the fear of lawsuit as a deterrent to simply bumping off the patients.

I'm not sure how the law works in Britain with these things myself, but I seen this story which suggests some forms of lawsuits and liability are put on doctors. I'm not sure how these rules would apply to this specific case, it could come under double-jeopardy though since he was already tried. (This story also tells you a lot about Nationalised Health care as well.)

A family is to sue the German doctor who, on his first out-ofhours cover shift in Britain, caused their father's death with 10 times the dose of a pain relief drug.

David Gray, 70, died when he was given the massive amount of diamorphine by Daniel Ubani - who admitted he was "too tired" to concentrate after flying into the UK the day before.

The kidney and heart patient's son Stuart, himself a GP, said yesterday: "Even a student nurse would have known that was lethal. It is used in acute conditions at a maximum dose of 10 mg."

"I'd like to see a suspension of foreign doctors working in out-of-hours services until the system is fully overhauled."

But he, his brother Rory, also a doctor, and Mr Gray's partner Lynda Bubb, 58, are not satisfied with a health watchdog's "full investigation" pledge - or an apology from Dr Ubani for his 100mg blunder.

So they are taking civil legal action against him, Cambridgeshire NHS, which oversees primary care in the county, and Take Care Now, the firm that provided the out-of-hours care.

Stuart said: "We are not taking civil action because we want any money but we want to highlight this case."

At home in Manea, Cambs, Ms Bubb said: "No one else must go through what we have."

Rory added: "How can such people just fly over for the weekend and undergo nothing more than an induction the night before to assess patients?" The case has already sparked a row about Germany's response to the UK's request to extradite Dr Ubani, who was working for a Cambridgeshire health trust at the time of the incident last year.

Instead of being dealt with here, German authorities gave him a nine month suspended prison sentence there with a £4,450 fine for negligence. Dr Ubani, still practising in Witten, sent a bizarre letter riddled with spelling errors to Lynda and Stuart, explaining: "My nerves were overstretched. I was too tired and lacked concentration and these factors played a major roole (sic) in what occurred."

He had started: "It is with a very heavy heart I... express my deepest sympathy and remorse for my fatal mistake."

Civil servant Lynda called an out-ofhours doctor in February 2008 because former British Aerospace manager Mr Gray was in agony.

He had suffered from renal colic and kidney stones for many years and more recently from heart problems.

Dr Ubani , who is also understood to have administered 4mg of buscopan as well as the diamorphine, cited confusion between drugs, one of which was not used by medics on call in Germany.

A Health Department spokeswoman said: "It is disappointing that this doctor, although now convicted of an offence, was not held to account here."

Christine Braithwaite, of health watchdog Care Quality Commission, said: "This deeply disturbing case must be thoroughly looked into and lessons learned." She added: "We are aware of concerns in relation to out-of-hours care provided by Take Care Now to the NHS and will be looking into these."


More than 100 foreign doctors are estimated to be used a year by some Primary Care Trusts since out-ofhours visits were revised in 2004.

Before then, people who became ill were seen at home by a local GP.

The Government gave in to doctors' demands to remove their responsibility to provide 24/7 care.

But while their pay was cut by an average £6,000 a year, GPs on outof-hours calls can now get between £700 and £1,500 for a weekend shift.

A total of 119 medics from abroad were used in 2007 by 10 per cent of PCTs, who also commission local doctors, private firms with a mixture of GPs and agency locums.

But doctors' reluctance to carry out home calls, especially at night, is often criticised. Nine million patients a year request visits. The Care Quality Commission is now responsible for assessing PCTs..

A Black foreign on-call doctor, who admitted killing an elderly patient with a morphine overdose on his first ever shift in England, has escaped prison because of a legal loophole.

Black German doctor Daniel Ubani, who specialises in anti-ageing medicine and cosmetic surgery, was employed as a locum to provide out of hours care from a base in Suffolk,England.

During his first day's cover in England he was called to the Cambridgeshire home of 70-year-old David Gray who was suffering from kidney pains for a routine visit.

But instead of administering pethidine - a moderate painkiller - to the patient, Dr Ubani injected him with 10 times the dose of morphine, after confusing the two drugs due to tiredness.

Three hours after the consultation in February 2008, Mr Gray died at his home in Manea.

The death exposes the flaws in the current system of out-of-hours care which is reliant on foreign doctors who are unfamiliar with English practices and have no previous knowledge of their patients.

Many foreign doctors travel for hours before starting a shift. But critics believe such a commute could leave medics tired - and put patients' health at risk.

In 2004, about 90 per cent of GP surgeries chose to stop providing night-time and weekend care - so the service is provided by external agencies in most parts of the country.

In rural and deprived areas it is particularly hard to find English doctors to do the work, so foreigners increasingly fill the gaps.

Nearly half of England's surgeries hire overseas doctors. Almost a third of practices in Northumberland, Tyneside and East Anglia,England, employ GPs from overseas.

The NHS watchdog Care Quality Commission has launched an investigation saying: 'This is a deeply disturbing case and one that must be thoroughly looked into.'

As soon as they were informed of the death, Suffolk Doctors On Call, the agency who hired Dr Ubani, dismissed him and he flew back to his clinic in Germany.

Detectives from Cambridgeshire Police began an immediate investigation and following post mortem examinations, a forensic pathologist concluded the cause of death was diamorphine poisoning.

'I want no-one else to go through what we have been through. They have to work out a way this does not happen again.'

In March, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) issued a European Arrest Warrant to bring Dr Ubani back to England with the prospect of charging him with manslaughter.

But two weeks later, English prosecutors were told legal action against the doctor had been started in Germany.

To the dismay of his family, he then pleaded guilty to manslaughter in front of a German Court, who sentenced him to a nine-month suspended prison sentence and €5000 (£4,500) fine.

The CPS are now likely to close their case against Dr Ubani, as under the double-jeopardy rule people cannot be prosecuted twice for the same crime unless there are specific exceptions.

His son Rory Gray, said: 'We are very disappointed that no-one is going to be held responsible. We wanted him to return to England to face justice.'

Mr Gray's partner, Lynda Bubb, who had called the out-of-hours service, said: 'I want no-one else to go through what we have been through. They have to work out a way this does not happen again.'

It is believed the family are now considering taking civil action against Dr Ubani.

Writing to the family, Dr Ubani, who has been a GP in Germany for 22 years, blamed his mistake on exhaustion and asked for forgiveness.

He said: 'It is with a very heavy heart that I write you this letter to express my deepest sympathy and remorse for the fatal mistake that I made and the circumstances that led to the untimely death of your beloved father and partner of Ms Lynda Bubb.'

He added: 'There is no amount of remorse, grief or explanation on my part that can satisfy or replace the life your father and head of your family.

'The circumstances arose from the confusion between the drugs pethidine and diamorphine, which was administered in a very high dosage, a drug I have not been conversant with, which we do not normally use here in Germany in call duty.'

In the letter, full of spelling and punctuation errors, he adds that he 'could only have had just about 3hrs rest before I started my shift'.

Dr Ubani said he was under 'tremendous stress' before taking over his shift. He flew in from Germany, and then took a car hire drive to Colchester,England, to meet a job agency for instructions.

He later drove to Ipswich for coaching, before heading to Newmarket Hospital where he was based.

He said: 'My nerves were overstretched, I was too tired and lacked concentration and these factors played a major role in the mistake that occurred.'

Suffolk Doctors On Call, which supplies doctors for Take Care Now, one of the England's leading independent healthcare providers, said it has now changed its procedures.

Chris Banks, chief executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, apologised today, saying: 'This doctor failed Mr Gray and his family. That is something we deeply regret.'

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: 'A thorough investigation was conducted into this matter in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service.

'We had completed the complex process of obtaining arrest warrants for Europe and are disappointed that any subsequent prosecution was not allowed to reach its natural conclusion in this country.'

Peter Walsh, chief executive of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents told the Guardian: 'What is worrying is this was a disaster waiting to happen and not enough is being done to ensure nothing like this happens again.

'There should he a wholesale review of out-of-hours provision and the way it is regulated. The response of the NHS so far is totally inadequate.'

Sorry, about the spelling mistake (studyed when it should be studied) in my last comment. I think I'm becoming more clumsy every time I post.

it could come under double-jeopardy though since he was already tried.

That wouldn't be a problem. He was tried for the murder of three specific people. He's admitted to "helping" a lot more than that, and the board of inquiry found he'd hastened the deaths of eighteen. They can just pick one at a time and try him for each of them in series. Not, I fear, that they will do any such thing.

Right ok, I didn't think they would be willing to put him on trial for the cases where the patients were consenting to his actions, but I thought they may in the cases where they were not. And I thought these cases were the ones he was already tried for (but is doesn't specifically say this in the article, so I'm probably wrong). If need be, they could launch an investigating in to his past cases to see if they're are other cases where the patients were not consenting (because I think in cases like this, they would actually be willing to prosecute him). But it would seem to be more than unlikely that they would take steps like this.

I suppose that it all depends upon what you believe the meaning of the word "murder" is.(to paraphrase Bill Clinton)

The lie about the left's defense of murdering unwanted "less than human" humans is that it's always about distorting the meaning of a word. *(Notice that the act of abortion is universely banned from TV while every other medical "choice" is shown ad nauseum.)

All of these lies became undeniable once Obama callously argued that murdering a child who escaped the abortion butchershop was legal (intent to abort)using Harvard law school deception -hoping to give liberal judges a new reason to create ever new emanations from penumbras in order to keep taking an unwanted child's life.

Obama never did say how long that intent applied after birth and its complete separation from a woman's body and of course no one -including John McCain dared to ask him such an unanswerable question (it would have been flagrant racism -even if a black baby was murdered -they too are expendable to radical feminism view of motherhood.)

Ask the Dutch about taking illegal life. As in pre-war Germany they are but a few steps ahead of us while also "doing good" for mankind!

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