The General Medical Council (GMC), a disciplinary panel is beginning to examine the cases of 18 patients of Dr. Howard Martin, 75, a former GP, who has been cleared of murdering three of his patients nearly five years ago.
The panel heard that Dr. Martin of Gwynedd, North Wales, who was a partner at the Jubilee Medical Group in County Durham at the time, had given irresponsibly high doses of morphine shortly before their deaths.
The fitness to practise hearing is expected to last until 18th June, with the hearing concerned with the deaths of the 18 patients between 1994 and 2004 at surgeries in Newton Aycliffe, Shildon and Eldon, all in County Durham.
Dr. Martin, who was acquitted of murdering Frank Moss, 59, Stanley Weldon, 74 and Harry Gittins, 74, in 2005, did not attend the Manchester hearing and in a letter from his solicitor, he said he was not prepared to travel from his home in North Wales, as his wife who is in her late 80s, was in poor health.
According to Dr Martin, he saw no practical consequences, whatever the outcome of the trial, since he had retired and did not wish to practice in medicine again.
Rebecca Poulet QC for the GMC said, each patient was visited by their GP, Dr. Howard Martin, shortly before they died, and in each case he had administered an inappropriate and irresponsible dose of morphine sulphate or diamorphine, without properly assessing their condition, including no adequate record-keeping of his actions.
She added, while there was nothing to suggest Dr. Martin was motivated by greed or malice, even so he was considered `arrogant and single-minded' when treating the terminally ill.
His `reckless approach' to the treatment of his patients, left relatives deeply distressed that their loved ones had died prematurely, and that he must have been aware the inappropriate administration of large doses of controlled drugs risked serious injury or death.
The former GP, now a resident of Penmaenmawr, Gwynedd, North Wales, remains suspended, while the hearing continues.
- Inquest into Death of Dylan Crean, 3, Finds Communication Failings between Agencies
- Denise Welch Shares Her Experience during Fight against Depression
- Toy Car Helps 16-Year-Old Girl Recover of Paralysis
- Lack of Support Makes Carers in Scotland Fail in Relationships
- Vodafone pays no corporation tax in UK for second consecutive year, despite earning over £5bn