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Guilty verdict for surgeon who 'played God' with patients' lives

28 Apr 2017

Nottingham crown court has found surgeon Ian Paterson guilty of seventeen counts of wounding with intent, and three of unlawful wounding, after carrying out unnecessary operations.

Responding to the verdict, a Royal College of Surgeons spokesperson said:

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all patients that suffered under Mr Paterson’s care. It is deeply upsetting to hear that easily avoidable failures in care have led to serious patient harm. This was an individual who abused the trust put in him by patients and played God with their lives.

“Mr Paterson used techniques that would be unrecognised to surgeons. In modern practice, patients are fully informed of the care options open to them, so they can decide what form of care is best for them. In circumstances such as these, decisions should not be decided by the single personal opinion of a doctor.

“What is clear in the case of Mr Paterson is that he was often working in isolation. Teamwork and shared decision making is now standard practice in healthcare. The case also highlights the need for continued evaluation of doctors through a regular appraisal. Evaluation is key in ensuring every doctor is up to date with medical guidance and to ensure they are fit to practise.

“It is now vital that all health services - NHS and private - reflect on the lessons of this unacceptable practice.” 

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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