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British Girl Starved After Teeth Pulled

British Girl Starved After Teeth Pulled

Jill Lawless / AP

February 10, 2009

Hearle said the parents signed a consent form for the procedure. The Wallers said they thought they were consenting to one tooth being removed. Janet Waller told the inquest that Sophie was “devastated” when she found out the eight teeth had been removed.

She said that doctors did not adequately take care of Sophie after the girl was sent home from hospital on Nov. 17, 2005, eight days after the operation.

Janet Waller said she and her husband phoned the hospital to express concerned about Sophie’s weight loss and refusal to eat, and were told not to bring her in, but to talk to the community child psychologist assigned to the case.

Sophie’s father, Richard Waller, said he phoned the psychologist “every day, sometimes twice a day, to say how unwell she looked.”

“I kept asking her to come round but she said she would next week and there was nothing to worry about,” he said.

The psychologist, Kerry Davison, told the inquest Tuesday that she spoke to the parents two days before Sophie died and was told she was eating.

“On Nov. 30, Mr. Waller said he was concerned about Sophie’s weight, he passed the phone to Mrs. Waller who seemed more optimistic and said she had been eating fruits and yoghurt,” Davison said.

Ellis, the pediatrician, said Sophie had stopped eating when she had loose teeth in the past, and “it was clear there were psychological issues” around her refusal to eat.

A coroner’s inquest is required in Britain to establish the facts when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes, but has no power to punish anyone. The coroner is expected to rule next week.

The Wallers have criticized the time it has taken to hold the inquest. The coroner’s office said it was a complex case and it took time to gather reports and inquiries from the different agencies involved.

© YellowBrix 2009

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