Dismissive GP Treated My Dying Son like a Dog; Doctor Said Asthmatic Boy Only Had a Panic Attack, Mother Tells Hearing
Byline: MAUREEN CULLEY
A GRIEVING mother told a hearing yesterday how a doctor treated her dying son like a dog.
Michelle Hynes said she had been 'totally disgusted' and 'appalled' by GP Julie Mallon's behaviour towards her and her asthmatic son, Owen Charleston.
The boy was brought into Dr Mallon's surgery for examination, where the GP dismissed his laboured breathing as a 'panic attack'.
Miss Hynes, 38, said: 'I was totally disgusted. I was appalled. I would not have treated a dog the way we were treated that day.
'She was not taking us seriously at all - we were being dismissed. I was so scared. From the bottom of my heart, I was revolted at the way we were treated. I felt she was treating me like a neurotic mother.' Owen, eight, died later that day from a severe asthma attack after he was brought back into the health centre by his worried mother and grandfather.
The General Medical Council (GMC) heard yesterday that the youngster had a three-year history of asthma problems.
Miss Hynes, of Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, had taken Owen to see Dr Mallon at the Central Health Centre, Cumbernauld, when his condition worsened after his first day back at school on August 19, 2002.
But Dr Mallon, 37, allegedly treated her concerns in a 'very patronising and condescending' manner before claiming Owen was only suffering from a panic attack.
Miss Hynes, a marketing manager, alleged that Dr Mallon had to be pressured into arranging nebulisation for Owen, a procedure which administers drugs into the lungs to ease asthma symptoms.
The mother told the GMC Dr Mallon had ordered another family member to return home for a mask to attach to the nebuliser and told the seriously ill child and his mother to wait outside her room because she was 'busy'.
By this time Owen was 'like a little old man', wheezing and barely able to walk, such was the seriousness of his condition, Miss Hynes said. …