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
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 evidencetaken on oath.
Public health consultant
Specialist in anaesthesiology
Specialist in trauma
Specialist in radiology
Dr Peter Fletcher
Specialist in pathology
Specialist in vascular surgery
You Are Here !
Just ordinary people that have
finally had enough, of being lied to, bullied, and accused