Doctor who killed UK patient to face German inquiry

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The Independent Online

A German doctor who accidentally killed a British patient on his first out-of-hours shift in the UK is to face an inquiry in his own country, it was disclosed today.

Dr Daniel Ubani, who fatally administered 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine to 70-year-old David Gray, is set to undergo an investigation after all, Mr Gray's son Dr Stuart Gray said.

Dr Gray, who is a GP in Old Hill, Worcs, and his brother Rory have campaigned for Dr Ubani to be banned from practising medicine in Germany since their father's death in 2008.

The brothers confronted Dr Ubani at a medical conference in Germany after a General Medical Council (GMC) ruling in June struck him off the medical register.

A UK coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing in the inquest into the death of Mr Gray, from Manea, Cambs, and also accused Dr Ubani of gross negligence.

Dr Ubani was given a suspended sentence in Germany for death by negligence but is still able to practise there.

Dr Gray, speaking on GMTV, said the fight to win a fitness to practise hearing for Dr Ubani in Germany had been a "rollercoaster".

He said the German medical authorities had been considering holding a fitness to practise hearing but were prevented from doing so by an injunction taken out by Dr Ubani.

He said: "It was up to the local government, who are not medically trained. They have been digging their heels in for over two years since the death of my father.

"We only found out yesterday that now, for whatever reason, they seem to have changed their minds, and I think a lot of it is due to the pressure that my brother and I have put on to the authorities in Germany and also the fact that we confronted him at a medical conference in Germany the day after he was struck off in this country."

In a separate development, Dr Ubani is also trying to obtain a Europe-wide injunction gagging the Gray brothers, Dr Gray said.

He said a ruling on whether to grant the injunction was due in the next "hour or two".

"It will have huge ramifications for freedom of speech in this country, I believe, if I am prevented from giving the facts about Ubani in this country to the British media," he said.

Following Mr Gray's death, Dr Ubani, 67, admitted being exhausted after getting only a couple of hours' sleep before starting his shift in the UK, and said he was confused about the difference between drugs used here and in Germany.

Mr Gray, who suffered from kidney stones and was in severe pain for several years, was administered the overdose by Dr Ubani on February 16 2008 after his partner called an out-of-hours medical service which sent Dr Ubani from his home.

Dr Ubani, who still works as a doctor in Witten, Germany, specialises in cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing treatments and is believed to have been practising medicine for 23 years.

He was charged with death by negligence at a court in Witten and given a nine-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay 5,000 euro (£4,100) costs.

It only emerged that legal proceedings had started in Germany after UK police began to investigate Mr Gray's death and a European arrest warrant was issued for Dr Ubani.

The prosecution, which is allowed under German law, means he cannot be charged in the UK.

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