Doctor undertakes not to repeat mistake made with cancer patient

Oncologist prescribed twice correct dose of drug to RTÉ producer

The doctor who works as a consultant at the Beacon Hospital was ‘a competent, well qualified and very well regarded medical oncologist’.

The doctor who works as a consultant at the Beacon Hospital was ‘a competent, well qualified and very well regarded medical oncologist’.

 

An oncologist who prescribed more than twice the correct dose of a potentially dangerous drug to a cancer sufferer has been censured by the Medical Council.

The patient,Sinéad Ní Dhúlaing-Johnson, was a RTÉ producer who later died as a result of the disease.

The doctor, who can only be identified as Dr A, works as a consultant at the Beacon hospital in south Dublin.

At the conclusion of the inquiry the doctor agreed to be censured by the inquiry and promised not to repeat the behaviour that lead to the Medical Council inquiry into the treatment of Sinead Ni Dhulaing Johnson.

Eileen Barrington, legal counsel for Dr A, told the inquiry that Dr A was “a competent, well qualified and very well regarded medical oncologist”, and that there was no suggestion that Dr A’s mistake caused or hastened Ms Ní Dhúlaing-Johnson’s death.

The hearing, which began in September of this year, heard that Ms Ní Dhúlaing-Johnson, from Dundrum, Dublin died from a brain tumour on November 25th, 2010 at the age of 44, surrounded by family. Prior to her illness, she produced children’s television shows for the national broadcaster.

As part of the inquiry, it was alleged that she was given more than twice the correct dose of chemotherapy drug Temozolomide, which she took for 16 days in August and September 2008 before the error was discovered.

As a result, Ms Ní Dhúlaing-Johnson became extremely unwell, and required hospitalisation until November of that year.

The inquiry heard that Dr A admitted to the mistake of the incorrect dosage, and by September 15th, 2008, had put in place a series of precautions in the hospital to ensure that this type of mistake would not happen again.