Dr Vaishnavy Laxman has been cleared of serious misconduct by a Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPT) finding that her fitness to practise was not impaired when, in March 2014, she negligently performed a vaginal delivery. The baby's head became trapped during the birth and, despite various attempts to free it, the head became detached from his body. The panel found that, by this time, the baby was already dead.
The tribunal found that this was a single error of judgment in difficult circumstances. They were "satisfied that Dr Vilvanathan Laxman has expressed genuine and appropriate remorse for what happened, and she candidly accepted responsibility as the consultant in charge in theatre that day...Further, at no point has Dr Vilvanathan Laxman sought to blame others for what happened or to minimise her actions."
This is in contrast to the case of Dr Bawa-Garba, who had already been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in the criminal court at the time of her MPT hearing, where there were a number of failings (rather than a single error of judgment), although she was working under very difficult circumstances doing the job of 3-4 doctors, in a situation where there were multiple systems failures and a nurse colleague was also culpable. Unlike the case of Bawa-Garba, I consider it unlikely that this MPT decision will be challenged, but let's wait and see.
A doctor who caused a baby to be decapitated during birth has been cleared of misconduct and can return to work.