Irish psychiatrist suspended over death of teen in UK

February 22, 2018

Irish psychiatrist Dr. Valerie Murphy has been suspended with immediate effect for 12 months from the UK medical register for "catastrophic" failings in the care of a vulnerable young man, which resulted in his death in 2013.

Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, drowned in the bath in July 2013 at a mental health facility where Dr Valerie Murphy had ultimate responsibility for his care.  The cause of death was drowning whilst having an epileptic seizure.

The tribunal found Dr Murphy did not "consider the implications of allowing him to have a bath on his own with staff observing him every 15 minutes."  Connor had also been prescribed the drug Risperidone, which can increase the risk of seizures.

The tribunal also found that Dr Murphy "failed to explain the benefits, risks and side effects" of the drug. 

Colm Ó Mongáin, "Irish psychiatrist suspended over death of teen in UK," RTE, 22 Feb 2018,


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