FATAL Campaign

Families Advocating Transparency in Autopsies of Loved Ones

G20 pathologist Freddy Patel faces being struck off

17th March 2011

Dr Freddy Patel, the former Home Office pathologist suspended for incompetence in a series of high profile autopsies, has been found guilty of misconduct after failing to spot that a murder victim had been suffocated. 

The 63-year-old forensic examiner may now be now struck off the medical register.

A disciplinary panel of the General Medical Council ruled that his “fitness to practise was impaired” because of his reluctance to consider asphyxiation in the murder case, the falsification of his professional CV, and his failure to redress previous professional shortcomings.

Over the last 18 months, Patel’s work has come under intense scrutiny. He has been criticised for suggesting the newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson died of natural causes during the G20 protests in 2009.

Last summer, Patel was suspended from practising for three months after the GMC found him guilty of misconduct or “deficient professional performance” in other cases. A disciplinary panel banned him in effect from carrying out postmortem examinations on suspicious deaths.

In its latest findings, the GMC told Patel that his clinical approach was not “sufficiently in line with the required standard of a competent pathologist”.

In relation to his inaccurate CV, it said he had “acted in a way that was dishonest and liable to bring the profession into disrepute” and that the failings were “deliberate rather than inadvertent”.

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