Psychiatrist shows no remorse over death of teenager

November 13, 2017

According to a medical tribunal, psychiatrist Dr. Valerie Murphy has shown no remorse for the death of a teenager with epilepsy who drowned in a bath at a National Health Service (NHS) care unit in the United Kingdom.  

Murphy was the psychiatrist responsible for the care of Connor Sparrowhawk, an 18-year-old with learning difficulties, who was found submerged in water at Slade House in Oxford in July 2013.  A disciplinary panel previously ruled that Murphy had "ultimate responsibility" for the teenager.

But according to the tribunal's chairman, Martin Jackson, "Even at the beginning of these proceedings in 2017, she [Dr Murphy] still appeared to be looking for excuses, a position from which she has not departed significantly to date. There is a clear reluctance to admit full responsibility for her actions, as she appears to have only accepted responsibility for those parts which cannot be denied.  Furthermore, the tribunal has noted that there has been an absence of apology to Patient A’s mother and an absence of remorse for the consequences.  It considers that the remorse displayed was limited to the consequences these proceedings have had upon her."

The tribunal will reconvene at a later date to decide what sanction, if any, to impose on Murphy, which includes erasure from the medical register.

SOURCE: "Psychiatrist showed 'no remorse' after death of teenager, tribunal finds," The Guardian, 12 Nov 2017,


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