Doctors have come out in defence of a paediatrician who was found guilty of the manslaughter of a six-year-old boy after missing the signs of sepsis. Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted, along with agency nurse Isabel Amaro, of the manslaughter of Jack Adcock at Nottingham Crown Court in November last year.
Jack, who had Down's syndrome and a heart condition, died at Leicester Royal Infirmary in February 2011, hours after being admitted with sickness and vomiting. Bawa-Garba made the 'remarkable error' of mistakenly placing Jack under a 'do not resuscitate' order after confusing him with a two-year-old who had been discharged.
Hadiza Bawa-Garba (left) was convicted, along with agency nurse Isabel Amaro, of the manslaughter of Jack Adcock (right) at Nottingham Crown Court in November last year
However more than 700 doctors have protested against attempts to strike off Bawa-Garba, The Times has reported.
In a letter to the newspaper, healthcare professionals said the General Medical Council's pursuit of Bawa-Garba ignores the role short-staffing played in the tragedy.
They also claim that the case could lead to a 'climate of defensiveness' where doctors would be scared to admit to mistakes.
Jack's mother Nicola said she was 'disgusted that doctors are all sticking together' and defending Bawa-Garba, who was given a two-year suspended sentence.
She's never been held accountable for what she did,' added Mrs Adcock. 'She hasn't gone to prison, she hasn't been struck off.
'Never once did she ever say sorry to us, she showed no remorse, nothing.'
Earlier this year the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found that Bawa-Garba should not be struck from the profession, a decision the GMC is appealing.
The case is set to be heard in the High Court on Thursday, with the GMC arguing that the healthcare profession in the UK will be damaged if a doctor convicted of manslaughter is allowed to continue working.
Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, told MailOnline: ‘We have a clear responsibility to maintain the public’s confidence in the medical profession.
'That is why we must act in cases where a truly exceptional degree of negligence – the very high threshold set in the criminal law for gross negligence manslaughter – has been established, as was the case with Dr Bawa-Garba.’
Jack, who lived with his parents and younger sister Ruby in Glen Parva, Leicester, was said to be a 'lively and energetic' boy who attended a mainstream primary school.
But on February 18, 2011, Jack showed symptoms of diarrhoea, sickness and breathlessness and was admitted to hospital's children's assessment unit.
Although he had sepsis and urgently needed antibiotics, Bawa-Garba - originally from Nigeria - wrongly diagnosed him as having gastroenteritis and failed to look at an X-ray for over three hours which showed he had signs of the highly dangerous infection.
She also did not review 'seriously abnormal' blood tests results which showed the youngster was suffering organ failure and later allowed him to be mistakenly given medication usually used to treat high blood pressure.
That evening Jack suffered septic shock and a 'crash call' went out to medics to revive him only for Bawa-Garba to call off CPR because she mistakenly believed there were instructions not to resuscitate him.
Efforts to help Jack were halted for up to two minutes until the junior colleague picked up the mistake but by then it was too late.
Mother-of-two Bawa-Garba was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of manslaughter by gross negligence in December 2015 but was given a 24-month jail term suspended for two years after she said she was sole carer for her five-year-old son who is disabled.
She said her husband, who lives in Dubai and works in aviation, would not be able to care for her autistic son and has no right to work or claim benefits in the UK.
Portuguese agency nurse, 47-year-old Isabel Amaro, of Manchester was also given a two-year jail terms suspended for two years for gross negligence manslaughter.
The court heard the pair had provided Jack with 'truly, exceptionally bad care' in the hours before his death.