Two senior coroners have said former patients of surgeon Ian Paterson may have died of “unnatural deaths”.
Louise Hunt, senior coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, and area coroner Emma Brown have stated they believe there is evidence to suspect victims of Ian Paterson may have died as a result of his actions.
Paterson is currently serving a 20-year custodial sentence for carrying out unnecessary surgery on hundreds of women over a period of 20 years.
Following preliminary investigations, the senior and area coroner believe there is evidence to have reason to suspect that some patients who were treated by Mr Paterson and subsequently died may have suffered “unnatural deaths”.
In accordance with the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, inquests will now be opened in relation to four former patients of Mr Paterson.
Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence partner at Shoosmiths, commented:
"This is a significant development as the coroner must have very serious concerns to take this action. It would not be done lightly and will open up wounds for the families of many of Paterson's former victims.
"It does, however, reflect what we have been saying for years. This man was a menace. His patients didn't die because of the natural progression of their disease. They died because the treatment he gave them was negligent and intentional. He was told time and time again to stop but he continued performing the cleavage sparing mastectomy leaving toxic breast tissue in situ and some went on to develop secondary cancers. This raises serious questions about whether further criminal charges need to be considered."
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