Moot - Cases for Junior Appellant.Watch
Dr Marston was convicted at the Crown Court of the murder of Baby C. The facts relating to his death are as follows. At the time of the offence, Dr Marston was the senior consultant and Head of the premature baby unit at the only hospital in the region. He had previously authorised the use of the only available life-support system in the hospital for Baby C, whose chances of surviving without it were extremely small. Subsequently another baby, Baby E, was admitted to the unit needing urgent support. Baby E was a more viable baby. There was only one life support machine available at the hospital at the time and on that basis, there were no other alternatives available, Doctor Marston decided to remove Baby C, who was less viable, from the life support system to provide support for Baby E. Dr Marston made this decision based entirely on his own initiative and medical expertise, and without any consultation with medical colleagues or the parents of Baby C. Baby C died soon afterwards. Baby E died ten days later while still on the life support system. On the advice of his counsel, Dr Marston pleaded guilty to the murder of Baby C. Counsel’s advice
followed the intimation of Harden J. that he would direct the jury in the following manner:
1. That Dr Marston had caused Baby C's death, on the basis that the baby would, though born
prematurely, have lived much longer had he not been removed from the life-support system;
As a Junior appellant I have to answer question 2 on the moot:
2. That Dr Marston’s belief that the life-support system would give Baby E a greater chance of
survival than Baby C was no defence to the charge.
Dr Marston now appeals to the Court of Appeal on the ground that both rulings were erroneous, and that his conviction is accordingly uncertain.