Circumcision doctor killed boy, 9, with heroin overdose: Suspended sentence for GP who gave 'wholly inappropriate' pain relief

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The Independent Online
A FAMILY doctor who killed a nine-year-old boy by giving him a massive overdose of a pain-killing drug during a circumcision operation, was given a one-year suspended jail sentence yesterday.

Dr Mahbubul Alam, 59, of Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, admitted the manslaughter in July 1991 of Raju Miah, of Smethwick, who died in hospital six days after being given diamorphine (heroin).

Timothy Barnes QC, for the prosecution, told Stafford Crown Court that the boy was taken for the operation by his grandfather. Dr Alam, who had performed four circumcisions that day, administered 10mg of diamorphine, 'five to six times the appropriate dose'.

Mr Barnes said: 'Raju was given 10mg of diamorphine, which sedates the brain and also tends to depress breathing. After the operation the boy was still unconscious and when he was driven back to the family home, Dr Alam tried to arouse him by sprinkling water on his face and lightly smacking his face.'

He said shortly after the doctor left, the boy's condition worsened and he was taken by ambulance to hospital. After six days, he was certified brain dead and the life-support machine was switched off.

Mr Barnes said the cause of death was narcotic poisoning. 'The choice of drug was wholly inappropriate and on a boy of his age was grossly negligent,' he said.

Mr Justice Buckley said: 'I only hope Raju's family can find it in their hearts that sending Dr Alam to prison . . . would serve no public interest and do nothing good for the memory of Raju.'

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