UK surgeon jailed for manslaughter following perforation

David Sellu, 66 was convicted of manslaughter (gross negligence) over the death of retired builder James Hughes at a private hospital in North London, according to report in the BMJ.

The case was unusual because doctors are rarely convicted of manslaughter in the UK and for a doctor to be jailed for killing a patient is even rarer, the report noted.

Mr Hughes, 66 and a father of six, had a knee replacement but after surgery developed abdominal pain.
He was transferred to the care of consultant surgeon David Sellu, who suspected a perforated bowel around 9pm on 11 February 2010.

In sentencing remarks, Justice Andrew Nicol told Sellu he was guilty of ‘a whole series of omissions’ in his care of Hughes.

David Sellu identified the possibility of free gas in Mr Hughes’ abdomen from an x-ray but did not seek a definitive answer from a radiologist, and asked for a CT scan to be done the next morning rather than the