Doc’s acquittal: Verdict on Apr 29

The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal will pronounce its verdict on April 29 in the prosecution challenge against a lower court’s acquittal of Dr Cyril Karabus of manslaughter for causing the death of a three-and-a half-year-old leukemia patient, Sara, in 2002.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 24 Apr 2013, 9:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:48 AM

During Tuesday’s hearing, the defence lawyer objected to the prosecution’s appeal against the Criminal Court’s ruling in March that exonerated the South African professor of the manslaughter charge. However, the judge said the prosecution has a point and that should be respected.

The prosecution said it appealed the earlier verdict because “it represents the society and its duty is to challenge any court verdict that seems to be contravening the law.”

Elaborating, the prosecution stated that two reports were submitted before the court during trial — the forensic lab report submitted during the trial in 2004 and a medical review report prepared by the Higher Committee for Medical Liability the court had assigned to find out the reasons for the child’s death.

The prosecution said the medical review report showed that the girl was diagnosed as brain dead and accordingly the treatment, including the life support, was ceased, although such medicative procedures were inconsistent with the medical standards around the world regarding a brain dead. The doctor supervising the healthcare of the child had no right to halt the treatment speculating that the patient would, anyway, die.

The prosecution said the treatment must not have been discontinued for a mere belief that it would end up in nothing, underscoring that the medical staff must not cease treatment and take the life support machine from the patient.

In 2004, Dr Karabus had been tried in absentia and sentenced to three years in jail for forging the medical record of the victim in addition to one more year in jail and pay a blood money of Dh100,000 to the girl’s parents.

But the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court last month acquitted him of the manslaughter charge. The specialist paediatric oncologist was also absolved of the charge of forging the medical file of the patient while he was overseeing the treatment of Sara when he was a visiting doctor at Shaikh Khalifa Hospital in 2002.

The court then based its acquittal verdict on the medical review report submitted by the Higher Committee for Medical Liability which did not find any medical error or failure on the part of Dr Karabus in the treatment of the girl. —

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