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Doctor faces extradition over death


11 December, 2007  

A hospital doctor charged with killing a patient may be extradited back to this country after being arrested in the US.

Priya Ramnath, 39, was held at Woodland Hills Hospital in Lufkin, Texas, where she has been working as a licensed anaesthetist.

She moved to the US in 1998 days after allegedly injecting 51-year-old Patricia Leighton with adrenalin against the advice of her colleagues at Staffordshire General Hospital.

Mrs Leighton had only been admitted with a painful bunion and was being monitored by an intensive care team because of a shortage of beds in other wards.

Ramnath was charged with her manslaughter but the Crown Prosecution Service could not prosecute her because it missed a five-year deadline for her extradition by three days.

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “A 39-year-old female doctor sought in connection with the investigation was arrested in Texas on November 30, 2007 and is currently remanded in custody there pending a court hearing on December 18.

“We are liaising closely with the CPS and, via the CPS, with the relevant US authorities in respect of extradition.”

Dr Ramnath’s arrest follows the ratification of measures allowing British citizens to be extradited from the US even if the usual time limit has expired.

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