[Marxism] Hutton and the death of Kelly

Richard Harris rhh1 at nildram.co.uk
Fri Feb 13 18:46:53 MST 2004


Doctors: Medical evidence does not support suicide by Kelly
guardian, 14.02.2004 01:13

Since three of us wrote our letter to the Guardian on January 27,
questioning whether Dr Kelly's death was suicide, we have received
professional support for our view from vascular surgeon Martin Birnstingl,
pathologist Dr Peter Fletcher, and consultant in public health Dr Andrew
Rouse. We all agree that it is highly improbable that the primary cause of
Dr Kelly's death was haemorrhage from transection of a single ulnar artery,
as stated by Brian Hutton in his report.

Medical evidence does not support suicide by Kelly
Thursday February 12, 2004
The Guardian

On February 10, Dr Rouse wrote to the BMJ explaining that he and his
colleague, Yaser Adi, had spent 100 hours preparing a report, Hutton, Kelly
and the Missing Epidemiology. They concluded that "the identified evidence
does not support the view that wrist-slash deaths are common (or indeed
possible)". While Professor Chris Milroy, in a letter to the BMJ, responded,
"unlikely does not make it impossible", Dr Rouse replied: "Before most of us
will be prepared to accept wristslashing ... as a satisfactory and credible
explanation for a death, we will also require evidence that such aetiologies
are likely; not merely 'possible'. "

Our criticism of the Hutton report is that its verdict of "suicide" is an
inappropriate finding. To bleed to death from a transected artery goes
against classical medical teaching, which is that a transected artery
retracts, narrows, clots and stops bleeding within minutes. Even if a person
continues to bleed, the body compensates for the loss of blood through
vasoconstriction (closing down of non-essential arteries). This allows a
partially exsanguinated individual to live for many hours, even days.

Professor Milroy expands on the finding of Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic
pathologist at the Hutton inquiry - that haemorrhage was the main cause of
death (possibly finding it inadequate) - and falls back on the toxicology:
"The toxicology showed a significant overdose of co-proxamol. The standard
text, Baselt, records deaths with concentrations at 1 mg/l, the
concentration found in Kelly." But Dr Allan, the toxicogist in the case,
considered this nowhere near toxic. Each of the two components was a third
of what is normally considered a fatal level. Professor Milroy then talks of
"ischaemic heart disease". But Dr Hunt is explicit that Dr Kelly did not
suffer a heart attack. Thus, one must assume that no changes attributable to
myocardial ischaemia were actually found at autopsy.

We believe the verdict given is in contradiction to medical teaching; is at
variance with documented cases of wrist-slash suicides; and does not align
itself with the evidence presented at the inquiry. We call for the reopening
of the inquest by the coroner, where a jury may be called and evidence taken
on oath.
Andrew Rouse
Public health consultant
Searle Sennett
Specialist in anaesthesiology
David Halpin
Specialist in trauma
Stephen Frost
Specialist in radiology
Dr Peter Fletcher
Specialist in pathology
Martin Birnstingl
Specialist in vascular surgery

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