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Doctor to face manslaughter charge


19 February, 2008  

A doctor charged with killing a Staffordshire patient is to be extradited from Texas to face a manslaughter charge in the UK, a court has heard.

Mother-of-two Priya Ramnath moved to the US days after she was accused of killing Patricia Leighton, 51, from Burntwood, by injecting her with adrenalin against colleagues’ advice when her blood pressure fell in 1998.

The 39-year-old, who denies manslaughter, waived her right to an extradition hearing at the US district court in Lufkin, Texas, and will be brought back to Staffordshire in the custody of UK authorities. No date for her return has been set.

Ramnath originally escaped prosecution because the Crown Prosecution Service missed a five-year deadline to apply for her extradition by three days.

A treaty between the US and the UK led to the arrest of Ramnath at the Woodland Hills Hospital in Lufkin, Texas, where she was working as a licensed anaesthetist, on November 30 last year.

Mrs Leighton was admitted to Staffordshire General Hospital in 1998 with a painful bunion and monitored by an intensive care team because of a shortage of beds in other wards.

A coroner ruled in 2004 that she was unlawfully killed after hearing that Ramnath had injected adrenalin against her colleagues’ advice when her blood pressure fell.

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