An experienced neurosurgeon has been stripped of his licence to practise medicine after it emerged he lied to a patient about removing her brain tumour.
Emmanuel Labram conducted surgery on a woman in 2008 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, but despite only removing a few tiny fragments of a lesion told her and her husband he had removed “100 per cent” of the tumour.
An investigation by NHS Grampian found that Mr Labram proceeded to cover up his mistake, forging documents to send to her GPs and lying to colleagues.
When he told the woman, known only as Patient A, that her lesions had “recurred” in 2010, she was forced to seek private medical care. Surgeons then told her that the tumour was inoperable.
At this point an inquiry was launched into Mr Labram’s actions, yet he was allowed to continue practising until 2012, when he took early retirement.
Yesterday a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel ruled the surgeon may genuinely have believed he had removed the tumour, but found him guilty of misleading and dishonest conduct for trying to cover his tracks when he realised this was not the case.
According to reports in BBC News, panel chairman Dr Howard Freeman said: “The panel considers that Mr Labram's misconduct put Patient A at serious risk of harm, he abused his position of trust and he violated Patient A's rights.
“Whilst the panel accepts that Mr Labram's misconduct relates to a single episode, it is concerned that his dishonest behaviour was persistent and covered up.
“The panel is also concerned that Mr Labram denied any wrong-doing and he maintained throughout the NHS Grampian investigation that his operative management and probity were not deficient.
“The panel considers that Mr Labram has displayed a reckless disregard for the principles set out in good medical practice.”
Mr Labram will be struck off the medical register in 28 days, subject to his right to appeal.
STV News reported a letter from Mr Labram’s solicitor, read out to the panel, said: “He has made a grave error of judgment with the best of intentions. He did not intend to be dishonest, but to lessen the anxiety of his patient.”