NRI Doctor guilty of morphine death


London, March 18, 2004

Dr Narendra Sinha, 68, from Liverpool, gave 63-year-old Maureen Lyth more than three times the safe level of the drug. He is accused of manslaughter over the death of Maureen Lyth. The court was told that Sinha was working in Ellesmere Port when he was called to Lyth's home by her husband John in September 2001. A jury at the Chester Crown Court convicted the "careless and grossly negligent" general practitioner of manslaughter.

He gave Mrs Lyth a 30mg injection of morphine sulphate in arm. But Leighton Davies QC, for the prosecution, told the court the patient suffered from kidney problems and should have been given less than 10mg of the drug. Mr Davies said Sinha refused to read Mrs Lyth's medical notes, even though her husband explained her medical condition. He also presented him with a chart of the 12 forms of medication she took each day.

Leigton Davies QC had previously told the jury that Mrs Lyth was "plagued by medical conditions" including severe arthritis and chronic and advanced kidney failure. When the doctor was called out, she was inpain from arthritis in her knee and painkillers were not taking effect.

Timothy King, for the defence, argued that Sinha had increased the dose because Mrs Lyth weighed more than 14 stone. He said it was not uncommon for doctors to increase the dose for patients with a larger build. Judge Justice Harrison told Sinha, who is currently on bail, that he could face a prison sentence.

Dr. Sinha, who trained in India before emigrating to Britain in 1969, that he faced a possible prison term when he returned to court for sentencing next month.