London—A locum or fill-in optometrist has been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence after a young patient died following a routine exam.
Honey Rose, BsC, 34, was charged after she failed to diagnose 8-year-old Vincent Barker with a papilloedema. According to the Daily Mail, Dr. Rose was working a shift in a Boots—a chain of ophthalmic and dispensing optician stores in England—in Ipswich in February 2012 when she performed an eye examination on Barker.
Barker died at home on July 13, 2013, after reportedly falling ill at school. Prosecutors allege that Rose should have seen that Barker’s optic nerve was swelling during the examination.
“We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Vincent Barker's family at this difficult time,” a Boots spokeswoman told Express. “Looking after the health of our patient's eyes is at the heart of what we do, and we have co-operated fully with the investigation into this tragic incident.”
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The maximum jail term for manslaughter by gross negligence is life in prison, and this case is aggravated by circumstances including prolonged and deliberately dangerous course of conduct and awareness of a significant risk of death or serious injury. Dr. Rose is expected to stand trial next year.
According to the General Optical Council, Dr. Rose’s registration status is currently suspended.