x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE prosecutors launch appeal to overturn doctor's acquittal for child death

South African doctor Cyril Karabus was cleared in March of manslaughter when a medical committee found his treatment of leukaemia patient Sarah Adel, 3, was not negligent.

Dr Cyril Karabus, 78, is acquitted of manslaughter in his treatment of a Yemeni girl in 2002. He must now wait to fly home until prosecution decides whether to file a final appeal with the Court of Cassation. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Dr Cyril Karabus, 78, is acquitted of manslaughter in his treatment of a Yemeni girl in 2002. He must now wait to fly home until prosecution decides whether to file a final appeal with the Court of Cassation. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // No one has the right to decide a hospital patient is a lost cause and turn off life support before the person is clinically dead, prosecutors have said in a submission to the Appeals Court.

They are contesting the acquittal last month of the South African doctor Cyril Karabus, who appeared before court again yesterday in the latest stage of his retrial for manslaughter.

The judge adjourned the case to announce a verdict on Monday next week.

The doctor was cleared of manslaughter when a court-appointed medical committee found his treatment of Sarah Adel, 3, a Yemeni leukaemia patient, was necessary and appropriate, and that he had displayed no negligence.

Prosecutors say the court failed to properly consider a further finding of the committee: that the decision to turn off the child’s life-support machine was made before she could be considered clinically dead according to international standards.

The initial trial found Dr Karabus guilty of manslaughter on the ground that he had failed to give the girl a crucial blood transfusion.

But at his retrial, the court accepted that he had given the tranfusion.

Dr Karabus’s defence lawyer Khalfan Al Kaabi argued yesterday that federal law gave the medical committee’s opinion equal weight to a forensics report, which was used as evidence in the original conviction.

Mr Al Kaabi said that the public prosecution therefore had no legal right to appeal its decision.

“We request that the appeal is rejected,” he said.

hdajani@thenational.ae

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