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Medical malpractice: Irish dentist's legal challenge fails

A senior dentist in Northern Ireland has lost his legal battle to block a meeting that could result in his dismissal for widespread malpractice, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Professor Philip Lamey had sought a High Court injunction preventing the Belfast Health Trust from convening a meeting to decide his ongoing employment whilst proceedings investigating alleged professional misconduct are ongoing.

However, a senior judge in Belfast's High Court ruled that the Health Trust was justified in its attempt to clarify Prof Lamey's employment status without having to wait for the outcome of the hearing by the General Dental Council. 

Ruling against Professor Lamey, Mr Justice Deeney said: "[The Belfast Health Trust] is a public body discharging important public duties."

"It would be quite wrong to prevent them holding a meeting which might lead to the termination of his contract," he added.

Professor Lamey is a senior consultant at the Royal Dental Hospital in Belfast and a professor at Queen's University. He stands accused of 46 counts of malpractice, which he denies.

Although the High Court accepted that a dismissal could be unfair, as Professor Lamey has yet to put his own case to the General Dental Council, he ruled that other legal remedies such as compensation would be appropriate, if Professor Lamey was dismissed unjustifiably.

Professor Lamey has been suspended from practicing on behalf of the Belfast Health Trust for two years and eight months already, pending the outcome of the investigations into the alleged malpractice.