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Doctor’s case referred back to Attorney-General

Victim’s missing original file can prove or disprove forgery

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Criminal Court of First Instance has decided to refer the case of the South African doctor charged with the death of three year-old Sarah who was suffering from leukaemia back to the Attorney-General for lack of evidence, the court ruled today (Wednesday).

Sarah’s original file at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) has been unavailable in the case of the paediatrician accused of the forgery of a prescription stating that he had given blood platelets to the victim.

The accused is thought to have not given Sarah the platelets on time as a visiting doctor at SKMC, allegedly leading to her death.

In an earlier statement, the defence told the court that the medical reports obtained from the girl’s files have been visibly tampered with and that in order to find out who is responsible for the victim’s death, the original files need to be reviewed.

Since the beginning of the case, only parts of the victim’s file have been available.

Therefore, the court has postponed the hearing several times due to the missing evidence which is required to prove whether or not the alleged forgery is real. The court finally decided to refer the case to the Attorney-General until all the evidence is available.

The accused strongly denied the charge of forging a prescription issued by the SKMC. He told the court to review prescriptions at the hospital’s pharmacy to verify his claims.

The defence also requested that a medical committee review the files, provided that no member of the committee is affiliated to Seha (Abu Dhabi Health Services Company) or any of its subsidiaries.

Earlier the doctor had said: “If you review the medical records on October 14, 2002 you will see that the platelet count jumped from 1,000 on that day to 19,000 the following day. These numbers could not have been obtained if I had not given her a transfusion.”

“In addition the red cell count rose from 66 per cent to 73 per cent between those two days, once again proving that she had been given the four units of blood. Unfortunately, despite having given her platelets, she had a cerebral episode the following day and required surgery,” he added.

The girl’s condition deteriorated on October 15, 2002, and she died four days later.

Early documents from the September 2003 court hearing, which was held in absentia as the suspect had left the country after the incident, show that Sarah suffered from haemorrhage.

The doctor’s claims that the victim suffered a stroke,and not a haemorrhage which could have been caused by a lack of platelets.

“The victim did not have an autopsy or post-mortem examination so we cannot be sure of the exact cause of death,” the doctor previously told the court and denied having anything to do with Sarah’s death.

In October last year, the doctor was granted Dh100,000 bail until a committee decided on whether he was responsible for the incident.