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Jul 10,2007
Doctor accused of hastening babies' deaths
by UPI

MANCHESTER, England -- A Scottish doctor accused of misconduct says he acted with the parents' consent when he gave two dying babies a drug that hastened their deaths.

Michael Munro, 41, a neonatologist at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, said he and the parents of the two infants believed they were suffering as they endured violent body spasms shortly before their deaths, the Times of London reported Tuesday.

Munro injected the babies with the muscle relaxant Pancuronium after they exhibited a phenomenon known as agonal gasping, which was "horrendous to witness" for the families of both children, he told the General Medical Council at a hearing Monday in Manchester, England.

The two families said they supported Munro's actions and were grateful to him while members of the medical community say what he did is tantamount to euthanasia, the newspaper said.

The babies suffered complications during their mothers' pregnancies and were pronounced terminally ill shortly after they were born in 2005, the newspaper said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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